Help me improve Furkot, a free online road trip planner

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by melitele, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    A group of riders on the mountain pass tracing a distant outline of the road to decide where to go next.
    A trio of bikers in a diner peering into a GPS unit to plan the next leg.
    A motorcycle passing me in the dusk hurrying to arrive before the nightfall.

    My thoughts each time: those guys and gals need a decent trip planning application. I know, this is not what people think when they see bikers but I am a software developer and I have spent the last 4 years alternating between taking road trips all over US and building Furkot - https://trips.furkot.com - a free online road trip planner.

    I don’t ride a motorcycle - none of Furkot creators does - but I believe riders have a bit different needs than drivers. I am calling on you, the riders, to help me figure out what those needs are. My goal is to make Furkot the best road trip planner for bikers.
    Please, take a look at Furkot and tell me what we can improve for motorcycle trips. I know I am asking a lot; if you are short on time, just tell me your biggest gripe with trip planning websites and applications that you used, so Furkot can do better.

    Thank you in advance,
    Natalia
    #1
  2. Jdubb

    Jdubb DL1000, WR250R

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    I took an initial look. For me I use Basecamp and would want the ability to input the Waypoints for my trip. The trip I am working has 67 points at this time, though there could be hundreds. Can you import a GPS or other like file?
    #2
  3. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Thank you for trying Furkot out.

    Furkot has an Import Trip option (look for a white button with a cloud and arrow above your trips; if you see the map then you need to click Back button on the left to get to trips). The Import Trip function allows you to create trip from a GPX or a KML file - give it a try. There is a variation in GPX format and, while our goal is to support all possible variants, we are still in the process of collecting test samples. If for some reason importing doesn't work for you, would you mind send me your GPX file?
    #3
  4. Ciph3r

    Ciph3r Adventurer

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    Looking good, easy to understand/easy to use interface. Since I currently plan a month trip down to and through Italy, I will input my trip and see how it goes. First impression: the best I've seen so long in easy to use trip planning! :) I'm eager to see how my Garmin will take the gpx files :)
    #4
  5. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    I am so glad to hear - ease of use is my goal.

    Furkot allows you to import and export GPX files (I'm putting together a detailed instruction since it seem to be a popular feature). If you have any problems with GPX files due to incompatibilities between Furkot and Garmin model you use, please let me know and I'll do my best to make it work.
    #5
  6. Mollygrubber

    Mollygrubber Eschew obfuscation

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    This looks very interesting, thanks for posting. I need to spend some time with it and try it out, but after a quick glance it looks like it could be incredibly useful.
    #6
  7. Strawdog

    Strawdog Strawdog

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    Was playing on Furkot like the idea you can see grid roads and gravel roads Base Camp does not show grid roads which I do travel a lot on .

    Is there a way to show only campgrounds or tent sites ? I try to stay on gravel and off main roads as much as I can.

    I did find it easy to use will play around some more let you know so far so good.
    #7
  8. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Did you try the campground option in the SLEEP drawer? It's the third icon and looks like a tent above a camper. You'll need to switch off hotels (the first icon) to see only campgrounds. In the US you have two sources of campgrounds: ReserveAmerica (a.k.a Active) and Google - switch on both for maximum number of choices. Campgrounds are displayed either around selected stop or spread over map (they tend to cluster around center, so you may need to pan and zoom the map a bit). We are working on the third option to display campgrounds (and other lodging options) along the route.

    I'm glad. Thank you.
    #8
  9. Wansfel

    Wansfel 50+ yrs on 2 wheels

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    Definitely beats Google Maps for establishing a route, quick and easy,...but...the GPX export only creates a route with the chosen waypoints. A detailed track would be much appreciated.
    #9
  10. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Thank you for the suggestion.

    I am pleased to announce that I've just added an option to include a detailed track in GPX files exported by Furkot.
    #10
  11. Wansfel

    Wansfel 50+ yrs on 2 wheels

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    I've tried the "track" option on a couple of routes with excellent results. Probably the best tool I've found to create a route and then export the results directly to GPX for BaseCamp/GPS. The "gas stops" are great along with the speed and ride time feature.

    Good job.
    #11
  12. StrokedNBored

    StrokedNBored Been here awhile

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    Very cool application.

    quick feedback:
    1. It take a long time to render once you make a trip with multiple way points and several thousand miles. I'm guess you can turn off the gas planning until the end?

    2. It tries to automatically sort new waypoints into an existing trip. It would be nice to have the option to build them in the order that i want. i may be missing a button somewhere that does this.

    Overall, great for finding camp sites and stuff in unknown places.
    I like the location timing feature, start day/end day feature.

    It would be really cool if you could upload multiple GPS co-ordinates into the program that somebody gave you and plot a route using that. (like a list of geocaches or a scavenger hunt type motorcycle rally :evil )
    #12
  13. StrokedNBored

    StrokedNBored Been here awhile

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    Scratch that item off the list. Just read the comments above. Makes sense once you have it explained, but not very intuitive.
    Also, instead of the "BACK" button, maybe make a button called "My Trips" - seems more user friendly. Until i clicked that, I didn't realize you could create more than 1 trip at a time.

    The White cloud button for importing data from files could use a label. - again more user friendly.

    Now that i've found half of the stuff i was looking for... its pretty impressive. Nice Job.
    #13
  14. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Thank you for giving Furkot a try and taking time to write your comments.

    I admit, recalculating route takes time. That's why we don't switch automatic scheduling of gas stops on by default. That said I am working on making it faster.

    Furkot tries to guess the most optimal order of visiting places. It may not always be successful (and optimal order may not be what you are looking for anyway) - you can always move places around drag-and-dropping them in PLACE drawer.

    There is no button to switch automatic sorting off and instead adding places in your preferred order but it sounds like a good idea. Thank you.

    That's an excellent suggestion - I'll make this change right away.

    I absolutely agree: we need to make importing files (GPX and other) easier to find and more user friendly. I am working on making import function available in the trip view, so you can easily add more than one track to the same trip.
    #14
  15. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    I want to thank everybody for taking time to try Furkot out and giving me many excellent suggestions. I am grateful to forum moderators for allowing me this fantastic opportunity to learn about motorcycle riders community and their needs when it comes to trip planning. I’ll put the knowledge I gleaned here to good use making Furkot a better tool for riders.
    Natalia
    #15
  16. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Seems really cool so far in the limited time I've played with it. Are there any plans for an app (Android preferably)? One of the things missing in the market is a trip planner->App where you can figure your route (or track preferably)at home with a beer in hand, and it just shows up when you open the app. Gotta have offline maps though!

    Oh, every time I try to import a track it crashes the browser. Routes are fine. I assume its anything over XXXX points. Honestly, for many of us on this site, that might be a deal breaker.
    #16
  17. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    We are working toward exactly that.

    Furkot has a limited mobile version now that works on phones including Android: when you open Furkot in a browser on the phone it'll show you your trips, each with list of stops, times and addresses. It'll remember those trips on the phone so you can see them even where there is no cell coverage. There is no map but if you have a GPS app on your phone, Furkot will try to switch to it when you click navigate button that is displayed with each stop.

    The current mobile version of Furkot is meant to be a companion to the desktop: it assumes you do your planning on the computer. We are working on a new mobile version and app that will have maps - including offline - and will allow you to modify your trip on the phone.
    #17
  18. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Sorry about that. There is a 1MB limit that I'm working to increase to 8MB by tomorrow. Could it be that?
    #18
  19. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Maybe? I'm not smart enough to know anything about MB's:lol3:lol3:lol3
    #19
  20. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Wanted to try it, but doesnt seem to work with my browser (Safari 5.0.4).... Maybe I will try it on my PC with Windows XP when I am at work. :wink:
    #20