In “Part 1 – Choosing a Place to Ride” I covered the basics of picking an area/distance to ride and types of roads out there. Now it”s time to get down to adding detail to the trip route. For this post I”m going to assume not everyone has used Google Maps so some of it may sound like common knowledge, but just in case I”ll write it down too.
Getting down to details
Last time I used the Google distance tool to mark out the trip, which is handy for quick route planning but now I want to be able to edit and save my route so I need to create a map.
On the Google Maps page is a link to “My Places” where you can create a map. The two basic tools you will need are “Placemarks and Lines” which are located as buttons on the top left of the map you have just created. (Google My Maps User Guide Here)
To start with I draw a quick line similar to the distance line in part one. This is my rough guideline.
Next I add Placemarks along the proposed route where there are major road intersections or turns where I think I might get lost and also to help me when I add the detailed line as I will be zoomed in much closer and it is sometimes hard to remember which road I should be plotting the line on.
Note: You may notice the rough line color is red. You can change the color and width of the line clicking on the line. (you must be in edit mode) A box will pop up on the line. Click on the line color (top right) of the first box and another box with editing options will come up. This will also happen on placemarks and allow image options.
Now it”s time to add a detailed line. From my starting point I zoom in about 2/3 closer and start adding points (not completely accurately at first) along the route. I then save the line – called “Trip Route” on the screen shot. You may notice that I have deviated slightly to the right of the rough line at the beginning of the ride. This is to avoid busier roads closer to the city and so I”d rather add a few km”s than battle city traffic and lights.
Now it”s time to really zoom in and start placing the points on the road. The “Trip Route” line now has a bunch of little points (squares) where I initially clicked. In edit mode you can drag these boxes around. Each time you move one another two points will be added (either side) of the moved one. You can then more the new points and two and more are created (you get the idea) making the map more accurate.
How accurate you go depends on you and the route. If there is only one road I am going to be on sometimes I only add in a few points. If I want to know the distance as accurately as possible I take extra time and really mark it out. In the image below I have been quite accurate.
Here is a section of the map. You will see that the line is now on the road and there are Placemarks at important points or turns.
A couple of extra tips
I name some Placemarks with info such as “Turn 35” meaning turn on to road 25. Other shorthand I may use is INT 25/451. (intersection between to road numbers) These will show up in my GPS later.
Zooming in and out gives you a real good idea of the surrounding roads, as well as using “Terrain View” (more one that in Part 3).
Now I have a working route that I can export to my GPS and thats it for part 2. The above map took me about an hour or so to map out to the point that I am happy with the amount of information.
In Part 3 – “Adding Details” I will be covering cover “looking over the route, marking hill climbs, using Korean websites Daum and Naver, and adding alternate routes.