Is Google a decent tool in planning trips..

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Noth, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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    It seems that it works very well... I use it and under the options, enable the "avoid Highways" function... That way, I think it is taking me from point A to point B in a more interesting way.. I could go all the way to point B via Highway ( I-95)... but would rather use secondary roads all the way.. I've never done that and the route "seems" OK.... Just wondering if anyone else has tried it and whether it worked for them, or whether they had issues.. I take the Google route link, and load it into my TomTom via Tyre.. after I make a few adjustments for roads that I want to be sure to use..
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  2. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    I have only used it locally but it has worked well for that...another way to avoid freeways and see interesting alternate routes is to use the bicycle option (though that could put you on bike paths in town it works well for routes between towns)
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  3. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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    I tried the bicycle route and it out me the wrong way down a one way street :muutt.. so that is no good..
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  4. Danimo

    Danimo Adventurer

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    I use it religiously. I like how you can edit the trip with a click and drag of the mouse. It helps to find roads that are not major highways.
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  5. steveb126

    steveb126 Adventurer Anonymous

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    Yes, I use it like that and also use avoid highways option then save the map. I don't have a GPS so I sign in with my Android phone and use my Google Map App. I cache sometimes in case of poor signal. I still carry maps too.
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  6. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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  7. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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  8. dddd

    dddd Been here awhile

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    I always route first with google map, for it is far more friendly than basecamp on GUI.

    then the key operation is to hit the create link button and save that bookmark yet I immediately get the full gpx track with the gmaptogpx online javascript tool documented at
    http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/gmaptogpx/

    after that gpx track is imported in basecamp, I route under what google gave me. sometimes I have to work around dead end. Sure you are doing it twice, but it's good for memory and to spot hotels and gas station in a different way than google cant do in one shot.

    if gmaptogpx could save a anything else than an atrociously broken route, I would probably not use basecamp. unfortunately, routes and waypoints are too broken. it only is really good to trace a full track, which is enough indication to route with basecamp.

    dunno about tomtom, good luck.
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  9. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    As Google Maps keeps having issues, is there another reliable web based trip planning platform?

    I've mapped everything out on paper. But want accurate mileage, fuel locations, etc, etc.

    Google Maps is really struggling (read, not working) with 25 way points for my MN > AK > MN route

    I've spent 12+ hrs working on routing everything out.
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  10. dddd

    dddd Been here awhile

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    I think you should take the hint that this is a "web" app, not an app.
    (crappy performance by design).

    map 1 day at a time, they will be short enough to handle high level of vias and waypoints. plus it makes it easier to printscreen fullhd and print 1 nice map page per day with decent details level, not the whole continent.

    Most importantly, you will avoid taxing whatever poor device you try to get to display that huge trip. Im thinking tablets and phones, but even garmin as a limit on the route length before it gets really slow and even crashing.
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  11. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I had a funny feeling that was going to end up being the best solution.

    thanks
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  12. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

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    There in lies the problem with Google maps. If you just want to get from here to there by the most direct route then fine. But I use a BUNCH of waypoints when I travel off the beaten path. And Google chokes on them every time.

    In addition to that, Google is just plain not accurate in many areas. I would rather use my six year old copy of Streets and Trips.
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  13. MountaineerWV

    MountaineerWV Been here awhile

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    Why would you spend 12 hrs planning a route in the US? Accurate mileage and fuel points...are you off road? Have a 1 gallon tank?

    Typically I would use ADV, HUBB, Thorntree, or locals to find interesting stuff ahead of me. Do another search using google if anyone had mapped it out. I liked getting way out there, where there were no roads mapped. However, I could typically use Google Satellite and visually identify if there was a road/path/cut through the mountains or jungle. It was pretty useful.
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  14. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    I've got well into 20+ hrs planning this trip. Reading Milepost, Woodall's, ADV, etc to determine places that are worth stopping. Places to camp. Side trips to take, etc.

    Take for instance: "I want to stay in Banff;" there's multiple campgounds and places to stay. So I'd spend time reading about that stop, make a decision and then put that into google maps as a waypoint.

    I guess I didn't consider that weird. :confused
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  15. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    I have a garmin GPS so I use mapsource for loading the waypoints. I use google maps extensively when actuallly geting the routes I want to use and where the waypoints might need to be. Mapsource is not very friendly when trying to find points and its very easy to screw up routes or points. So I find it good to use google maps for locating then pinpoint in mapsource. I did my entire trip from Key West to Prudhoe Bay and back to KW using this method. Worked out fine! I do agree with the one comment of checking with locals and anybody that has traveled to an area for the outta of the way roads and sights. You can then use google to find them and the find the point in mapsource. I have also found that using google chrome to run google maps is much easier and faster than going to google through internet explorer. One other thing, not sure how other GPSs might work but with a Garmin I have found its a pain to load the route because if you decide to deviate it will constantly try to turn your around to go back to the point you left the route. For that reason I almost only use waypoints now. Might require a good memory of the map or a map handy but less of a pain then getting pissed because the GPS is constantly trying to make you turn around!!!

    Good luck!!
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  16. 73datsun

    73datsun Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I'll probably have a Garmin for the trip. I screwed around with their mapping software. Couldn't really figure it out.

    When I uploaded the GPX file from google maps, it essentially just took the shortest distance between two destinations, a straight line. :D Not following any sort of road.

    I'll have to do a lot more digging into GPS systems and how it works, etc.

    But honestly, all of this is a lot of fun. Except with google maps tanks on me.
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  17. Noth

    Noth Been here awhile

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    Great advice.. Yes.. I have thta too with the TomTom.. I was up in VT last year and with all of the washouts and closed roads... I finally just would go to the town on the route, then go from there..
    #17
  18. Meriden

    Meriden Yea whatever

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    It may depend on where you are. In South Texas about ten percent of the roads on Google Maps are private. Garmin is worse, because if you have the unit set to automatically recalculate and get off route, it will take you up some rancher's driveway.

    Just smile and ask about the last rain. A "Farm Bureau" sticker on your forks helps.
    #18
  19. Dogscout

    Dogscout Been there done that

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    Google Maps is a great resource for planning, but don't do what my friend did for a trip up the Dempster. He did not realize that the distances reported in Canada were in Kilometers and not miles. This lead to some last minute planning problems. I expect that it is more obvious to the user now, since his problem was back in 2007, or I'm just vigilant to check. Either way, its a great tool.
    #19
  20. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    Google maps is what gets me thru the long winter. By the time spring rolls around, I have a dozen trips rattling around in my head. And of course not nearly enough time to ride them all.

    I travel way off the beaten path mostly, and don't have any trouble routing thru forest roads, BLM roads, etc. It's best to keep the segments short, like one day at a time, and just start dragging the route around. It's nice to be able to calculate distance across the wild lands for fuel purposes.

    -al
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