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CycleStreets blog

News from CycleStreets

Archive for July, 2012

Sustrans routes and Google

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

The announcement today that Google are to include Sustrans cycle routes alongside other transport modes is welcome confirmation that cycling is becoming more mainstream. Pitching the various transport options side-by-side will allow people to discover that, for instance, a 3-mile journey across a city can be much quicker to cycle than to drive. Making cycling an equal player helps people discover their local cycle network and help make the case for greater use of bicycles.

It is genuinely heartening to see that, 7 years on from the creation by Cambridge Cycling Campaign of one the first-ever cycle journey planners, that this concept has moved on so much. Indeed, that precursor to CycleStreets that we created used version 1 of the Google Maps API.

Google joining the peleton of websites that show National Cycle Network routes, such as CycleStreets, OpenCycleMap and OpenStreetMap, is another step forward in recognising the existence of the ever-growing cycle network of the UK.

2005: The launch of Cambridge Cycling Campaign’s journey planner, which later become CycleStreets – how things have moved on! It used the Google Maps framework.

CycleStreets android app now with offline maps

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

We’re pleased to announce a major new version of the CycleStreets Android App (version 1.4), our fourth update in just over a year. It brings a great new feature … Offline maps!

 Download the app update and install the map pack now!


Up until now, the CycleStreets app has had to download maps as it needed them. As you move around the map, or zoom in and out, the downloads new parts of the map – the tiles – as it goes. The different map styles it offers are provided by simply downloading the tiles from different servers. Generally, this works fine. But if you’re on you’re out and about and have a poor signal, or want to try and eke out your battery life, it can be a problem.

This new update provides a solution – a free downloadable map pack covering the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. The map pack is available from Google Play as a separate download, and once installed, you need never download another tile again. All the map data CycleStreets needs is there, on your phone, and it will render the maps it needs as it needs them. (Routing itself still uses the network, but this is a tiny amount of data by comparison.)

To set up the offline maps download the app update and install the map pack. Start the map pack app and it will set up the offline maps automatically. You can always switch between online and offline maps using the Settings screen.

Plan cycle-friendly routes from A to B, via C, anywhere in the UK!

  • Plans routes through the full street and path network, including Sustrans routes and other networks
  • Innovative & quick “three taps” system: Set current location, tap the map to set destination, and plan!
  • Or search for any location in the UK, including full postcode support and local/national placefinder
  • Choice of map styles (including the great OpenCycleMap showing contours, and Ordnance Survey Street View, and offline style)
  • Downloadable maps for offline use
  • Turn-by-turn itinerary view
  • Choose from different types of routing – fastest/quietest/balanced/shortest
  • Easily switch between route types (e.g. quietest to fastest) having planned a route
  • Takes account of hills automatically
  • Routes automatically saved for later use
  • UK-wide (NB some areas of OpenStreetMap are better than others)
  • Share your route by Twitter, Facebook, or email

CycleStreets for Android is an open source project and the code is available on GitHub. If you’d like to get involved with the code – and Android development is easier than you might imagine – do get in touch.

Please do add a review of the app too!

– Jez

We welcome your feedback, especially to report bugs or give us route feedback.

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