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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    Any chance you can upgrade your browser? Furkot works with newer versions of Safari. If you go to this website: http://whatbrowser.org/ it'll tell you of there is a newer version of your browser available for your computer. You may want to check that out not just because of Furkot - outdated browsers are slower and they can have bugs that make them unsafe to use. Just a suggestion.
    #21
  2. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    Thanks, Natalia

    Didn't realize the browser was out of date! I am on my daughter's computer and she's in Nepal so I don't want to update without her permission... I will try it on my PC (assuming it works with Windows XP?!) until she returns in May and maybe then update the Safari.
    #22
  3. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Furkot won't work with Internet Explorer 8 - the browser that comes with Windows XP - and it should tell you that when you open it.

    You can use a different browser: Firefox, Chrome, or Opera. http://whatbrowser.org/ can tell you what browsers are available and help you download and install one.
    #23
  4. Animaltrax

    Animaltrax ~ 5150 ~

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    :clap I've been looking for a site just like this, and I've tried most of them, that will plan gas stops, start/end days. My favorite is the gas stop planning (and breweryDB) :1drink

    I didn't spend much time, yet, on the site but couple of things that I would find helpful:

    Button descriptions (always found it tedious to hover a button to find out its function). I like see, click and go.

    For gas stop planning, a drag circle (like sleep planning) that show gas stations (and restaurants, poi, etc) within the circle . The circle would show a radius distance (from the gas waypoint); especially since the gas waypoint isn't going to fall on a gas station.

    Additional (selectable) gas database information (like GasBuddy) to select different gas types like diesel, premium, no ethanol (puregas). And sortable by price, distance, etc. (I know alot of these are database feeds and may not be available but just throwing it out there :)

    In addition to day start/end, add a 'distance to travel' waypoint calculation. You could plan a (your) comfortable day distance e.g. 400 mi day. Then you could jump to the sleep tab, drag your circle to find a place to stay.

    I love the weather feature. Animated radar maps for rain etc would be cool. Road/highway construction, closure, etc conditions (selectable as well) along the route would be cool too. Traffic might be asking too much but what the heck.. lol.

    Screen updates for changes (trip values, sleep/eat changes) take a while to show. An indicator (hourglass or something) to let me know to be patient :rofl maybe?

    More print options i.e. different styles more suited for tank bags/smaller formats ex. a booklet style, etc; map segments (selectable by distance or time); list of places (selectable) around a waypoint/gas stop (within the selected radius). Mostly selectable things in addition the "turn by directions".

    :D Nice work. Something I would definitely subscribe/pay for.
    #24
  5. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Thank you, Animaltrax for trying Furkot out and writing up all those excellent ideas. And they are all very doable, incremental changes. Some of them will of course require our partners who provide us data to agree (road conditions and weather radar maps being prime examples), so they may take longer but I am adding all of them to my to do list.

    It's nice to hear when someone finds Furkot useful enough to consider paying for it. Fortunately you don't have to. Furkot is free to use and we plan to keep it that way. We describe in detail how we support Furkot here.
    #25
  6. riverflow

    riverflow Adventurous Commuter

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    It's pretty fun to play around with. A couple things that would make this ideal for me:
    1. Add a topo and satellite image overlay. I pick a lot of my short trips based on how the area looks to ride in, what the road is, etc.

    2. Include a roll-chart printout option (essentially turn by turn directions with landmarks fitted to a 6" wide piece of paper)

    3. You have the avoid highway routes (like Google Maps), and some of the Garmins have a curvy roads option. Maybe you could include a check box to include unpaved roads or not and then have a slider for riding preference (like interstate----0----dirt roads)?

    The auto-organizing of waypoints is really nice, but is there a way to disable it and automatically add points on the end?
    #26
  7. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Hi riverflow, thank you kind words and for suggestions. Topo and satelite are already in the works. I'd like to add dirt roads - the slider is a really cool idea - if I can find a suitable source of this information.

    I just learned what a roll-chart is :huh. I'll gladly add support for it. In the meantime, Furkot printout format respects page size and margins - may be you can change it in your printer settings. BTW: turn-by-turn directions are only present in a printout when you use Print trip button (icon of black printer on white above the map); it is not available via File > Print menu option.

    At the moment there is no way to disable it. Sorry. Are you planning a round trip? In that case adding stops may reflect your order better if you temporarily changed it to one way (in the TRIP drawer switch from a circle with arrow to a straight arrow). And if you are planning a one-way trip Furkot won't add stops past the last one if it is set to "keep this stop as trip end" (the little icon with STOP sign is green when you select the last stop in PLAN drawer).
    #27
  8. PhiSig1071

    PhiSig1071 What's ******width?

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    This looks very, very cool. I usually use Google Maps/Satellite Images to find dirt roads, and then I just plot waypoints and plug them into my GPS. If I can make a route on Furkot, and export it as a GPX to my Garmin, it will be amazing for trip planning.
    #28
  9. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Thank you.

    As this has been suggested by a few people, I am pleased to announce that as of today Furkot can display satellite and topographic maps in addition to the standard road map (look for buttons that look like earth and compass above the map).

    You can export your route to a GPX file and upload it to Garmin. The Export button is in the Trip drawer. We strive to support as many types of GPS devices as we can - if for some reason the exported GPX file does not work with your Garmin, please let me know and I'll do my best to help.
    #29
  10. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    For motorcycles, it seems to not make a difference on the planning for cars, at least here in the Sacramento and Sierra mountains.

    I like the slider idea, with twisty's and unpaved roads as an option at one end and highway cruising on the other.

    Suggestions: Per segment adjustment of that slider. i.e. I might want all twists in one section, fine with highway roads in another.

    "road reviews": let users add notes about sections of roads between their waypoints like: No shoulder for bikes. Amazing twisties! Well patrolled. Bad potholes. Maybe some predefined radio buttons or drop downs to make it easy, with a box for more comments.
    That in turn could drive selections like "4 and 5 star roads only" or a colored overlay for roads green to red.
    #30
  11. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    In most places it won't - yet. We are slowly building our own road database but in the meantime we are using directions from Google as a fallback. And Google doesn't distinguish between cars and motorcycles. That said, you may take a look at the 'Scenic byways and backroads' option in the FIND drawer (5th button) - it will show you motorcycle-specific roads and tracks that Furkot pulls from Everytrail (where available).

    We are working on separating stops (waypoins) and route segments in the Plan drawer. Selecting road preference per segment makes perfect sense.

    Wow! This is a terrific idea. Everybody - us included - focuses on places, not so much on roads. Thank you for making me realize that. Since this is something we haven't thought about, it'll take us awhile but I'll make it happen.
    #31
  12. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    I played with the planner for a little while and it looks very promising. It needs one feature critical for many of us- an ability to export routes to Garmin (mostly Zumo series) GPS devices. Itis a difficult goal to reach because Garmin uses its own logic to calculate the route. The usual way to deal with it is too set the route up with many waypoints, thus reducing the degree of freedom for Garmin. Usually it works, but Garmin tends to chock on too many waypoints and sometimes the waypoint can be a bit off because of differences between the map providers or rounding of the coordinates. If such error will place a waypoint on the wring side of an Interstate or any other divided limited access highway, the routing will be completely messed up. If you can solve the Garmin puzzle it will make your site unique.
    #32
  13. Wansfel

    Wansfel 50 yrs on 2 wheels

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    Under the TRIP button select EXPORT and select the TRACK option at the bottom. This creates a detailed GPX track which can be downloaded then IMPORTED into BaseCamp. Use BaseCamp to convert to a ROUTE and use the FILTER command to take the route down to a manageable number of points (50 for example).
    #33
  14. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    I found hitting the bicycle button takes more interesting routes... but then all the calculations are off.
    #34
  15. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    You can improve calculations by adjusting your speed in TRIP drawer either as percentage (more than 100% I would imagine) or as your average speed in miles per hour.

    And you just gave me an idea to optionally show bike routes for motorcycle trips. Thank you. I'll see what I can do with it.
    #35
  16. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Really like the website. Sorry if this have been mentioned and I missed it but, is there a way to import an existing gpx file onto the website in the case where you wanted to add onto that file and then create a new gpx file?
    #36
  17. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

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    Yes, there is - Furkot supports both importing and exporting of GPX files. To import a GPX file look for a white button with a cloud and arrow above the list of your trips - you may need to click MY TRIPS to get to the list. I'm sorry it is hard to spot - I'm working to make it more obvious.

    Thank you for trying Furkot out.
    #37
  18. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    OK, got it.
    #38
  19. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    I saw the export GPS button, I could do the same already using Ridewithgps.com. Or use Harley Trip Planner to export directly to Zumo, which mostly works with enough waypoints and staying off dirt. Why switch to a new tool if it doesn't provide addtional features?
    #39
  20. fastredbike

    fastredbike out riding

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    I really like it! I've been playing with it a bit today for a trip I have been planning. I like the way you've combined such a diverse set of features ie. routing/weather/lodging all in one without letting the interface get overly complex. This thing is going to save me major time getting the "big picture" of a trip early in the planning stages. Importing/exporting to .gpx works really well and Basecamp easily converts tracks to routes if you wish.

    I noticed the lodging and fuel stop placements in some remote areas seem to be based on time/distance and not on actual and available services. Is that the case? If so it would be helpful if those "estimated" waypoints could be highlighted in some way so you know to verify there's actually fuel there in the middle of nowhere.

    really impressed with your work so far.:freaky
    #40