Help me improve Furkot, a free online road trip planner

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

  1. Paulie

    Paulie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    UK (Upper Kuba)
    Yeah melitele, that's looking terrific! Keep up the good work. And please keep it a freebie. :wink:
    #61
  2. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thank you for your encouragement.

    Furkot is free and we plan to keep it that way. We fund Furkot by providing booking options that make reserving lodging for trips easier for users while in the same time earning us a commission. This money isn't added to your bill - you pay exactly the same price whether you start your booking on Furkot or book directly with the booking service provider. Details here.
    #62
  3. DrLewall

    DrLewall ADV Has gone to SHIT

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    46,523
    Location:
    Banned Camp
    am still struggling with it. I am so use to mapsource and hate trying to learn new stuff. :gerg :baldy

    will keep playing with it. Trying to figure out how to keep off the hwy's.
    #63
  4. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thank you for giving Furkot a try.

    You can set avoid highways and avoid tolls options in the TRIP drawer (little icons that look like highway overpass and ticket in the line titled My Speed). And you can drag your routes where you want them.
    #64
  5. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,718
    Location:
    Arkansas near Oklahoma
    I don't think Doc means keep off the Hwys. I think he means keep off the pavement.

    Me too.
    #65
  6. DrLewall

    DrLewall ADV Has gone to SHIT

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    46,523
    Location:
    Banned Camp
    ^^This

    :ricky
    #66
  7. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    At the moment the only option you have is to manually drag routes where you want them. Switching to satellite map (white button with earth globe above the map) may help.

    Some people suggested switching to bicycle mode at least temporarily to discover less travelled roads.

    The option to automatically route on dirt roads is in the works - I'll keep you posted.
    #67
  8. zokn

    zokn ...In a Hand Basket

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    The Furkot desktop/website functionality is very nice, indeed. I like the way I can plan a route, move the routing from one road to another, add stops, etc. After a bit of time with the programme, I am getting the hang of it and find it fast, intuitive, and very useful. However, the big drawback for me is using it as a navigation tool on the motorbike to follow the route I created at home.

    I realize I can export the trip, and with a bit of back and forth get it into a Garmin (don't have one, though), and I can open the trip in Safari on my iPhone (mounted on the bike) where I can read the descriptions of the stops I have entered into the trip. Also, when I click on a stop/waypoint on the iPhone, the Apple maps app will open, but the app will recalculate the trip, not just to that stop/waypoint to which I am riding, so I loose the wonderful meandering route I created on the desktop and might as well have just typed in my destination for the segment into the iPhone Apple Maps app directly.

    (I used to own a GPSMAP 60Cx, but never was able to use it to follow a trip exported from Basecamp because the GPS always recalculated the route and presented a different route than I planned in Basecamp. I also found Basecamp and Garmin counterintuitive, buggy, and expensive.)

    Is there a way to get the trip I've created on the desktop into the iPhone in such a way that it is that trip's routing, and not the iPhone's app re-routing, that I can have guide me? Am I doing something wrong here, or is this a feature yet to come in the planned iPhone Furkot app?

    Is there a GPS (Garmin or other brand, and if so, which model, please) to which I can upload the GPX files that I create in Furkot such that the trip will not be re-routed automatically by the GPS, but keep the planned Furkot desktop routing?

    Or is there a particular way the trip/waypoints/stops must be created (read: workflow on my part) to accomplish my goal of creating my route at home on the desktop and have directions given to me by my iPhone, or a separate GPS, for navigating my route without changes that I do not initiate?

    Thanks, Melitele, for a lovely route planning web app. I hope I can find a way to use it whilst riding.

    Regards,

    Stephen
    #68
    Wise Guy likes this.
  9. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've recently added a third option to Furkot GPX export function: 'turn-by-turn directions (navigation cue sheet)" that puts detailed directions into exported GPX files.

    While we are working on Furkot mobile app that will support navigation along custom routes, we are also testing existing navigation apps with Furkot. So far I found 2 promising: Cue Sheet and Track Navigator (Android only) that work with GPX files from Furkot. Cue Sheet accepts files exported with all 3 options set (point-by-point track, overview routes, and turn-by-turn directions) while Track Navigator is compatible with files generated with the first and the last option set (point-by-point track, and turn-by-turn directions). I am working with their developers to automate the process of transferring files from Furkot to those apps.

    If you are using a phone app or GPS device that accepts custom routes in GPX or other format, please let me know and I will test it and, if I can, make it work with trips planned at Furkot.
    #69
  10. zokn

    zokn ...In a Hand Basket

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    112
    Location:
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Thanks for responding, Melitele. Turn by turn is exactly what I'm looking for. I had a look at Cue Sheet, but it really isn't adequate for me. The banner advertising takes up too much space and the app is not fully featured. Particularly, in the map configuration, I couldn't figure out or get it to show the route properly. This may be my fault, but the app doesn't appear to be up to my needs here. The turn directions list seems good, but requires an input in the form of a button push when each turn is reached. This just is not practical when riding a motorcycle with gloves on and navigating with an iPhone.

    So, the kind of app I need is one that will accept the trips/routes/stops/waypoints (whatever we want to call them) from Furkot and display the data on a moving, automatically advancing map and turn list without rider intervention. Additional to having the choice of list or map display, or both together, as most navigation apps do, the ability to receive turn announcements and directions over Bluetooth is needed.

    Basically, I want a fully capable navigation app on my iPhone with functionality similar to Garmin, Navigon, and Tomtom, but with the optional ability to use a route I've created in Furkot instead of one generated by the app internally.

    Am I asking for too much, or the wrong thing, perhaps?

    Stephen
    #70
    Wise Guy likes this.
  11. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    This is exactly what we would like to offer. To that end we are pursuing partnerships with navigation apps developers and working on Furkot phone app. I'll keep you posted.

    One of the lessons that I learned when I asked for suggestions on this forum to improve Furkot for motorcycle riders was the importance of planning and then riding the very specific routes. Furkot has been based on the assumption that planning specific stops (i.e. places to visit) is more important than getting there. I humbly learned that this is not the correct assumption for the fair share of Furkot users and we are working to provide better tools for customizing routes as well as stops. That includes the ability to navigate exactly the planned route. We need a bit more time to catch up. Please bear with us.

    I realize it doesn't help you with iPhone but for the benefit of Android owners: Cue Sheet for Android has voice prompts (as paid option) and so does the Track Navigator.
    #71
  12. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,174
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    After a ride yesterday, the club president and I were chatting, and one of our issues is that a route built in one tool, like Google, does not stay consistent across accesses by even the same tool.

    Load it into various GPS's and phones, or even load it in a different browser, it comes out different. I suspect things like real time traffic, personal settings, etc, cause it to re-route.

    Does Furkot help solve this? Currently, we have to add a load of waypoints to ensure it does not try to deviate.
    #72
  13. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    Once you have your route set up (by dragging and adding intermediary stops) Furkot will display it the same until you modify it.

    In order to display route from Furkot on GPS devices and phones you need to export it as GPX. Depending on the options selected when exporting, you'll see the same route on the device or not. It depends whether the device/phone routing algorithm kicks in and whether it works the same as Furkot or not.

    Generally by selecting 'point-by-point' track export option and/or 'overview routes', you should see the same route on the device that you import the route to. It works in the same way as you adding a lot of waypoints except most of them are not visible on the Furkot map but added to exported GPX file - depending on device they may be displayed as separate waypoints (i.e. you'll see more waypoints on the device than you have stops in your Furkot trip).

    One exception: when you select 'turn-by-turn directions' option, the route exported to GPX and then imported to the device may be different as, due to licensing limitations, we are using a different routing service. We are working to fix that issue.

    If you export a trip created in Furkot, import it to a GPS device and it looks different, please let me know (via PM if you prefer) and I'll see what I can do.

    We are also working on Furkot mobile version to provide ability to view and navigate routes exactly as planned on the phone.
    #73
  14. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    2,174
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I will see if the road captains can do some testing.


    "Add Hidden Waypoints" with a range like every X miles would probably force it, but that is as they say... "inelegant"
    #74
  15. Ciph3r

    Ciph3r Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Germany, Hamburg
    One Question about the "overview routes" export: when I use the export, I'll get one route per day (yay!), but each route has a total of 50? "markers" for the route in it (my own plus many many numbers). When I export my trip just plain without any options, I only have my planned stopovers in the file.
    The positive is, I'll get my planned route for sure, the negative, my garmin will bug me the whole day with "you have reached your destination, please follow the route xx km and then turn yy" :D
    Could I get the overview routes, but with only my stops? It's not much of a problem, I always can delete the "surplus" numbers, but it would make it a lot easier to redesign parts of the trip.

    Again, thank you very much and high praise for furkot, it really helps me with my trip :)
    #75
  16. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    Absolutely.

    The purpose of the overview routes is to split trip into separate routes: one route per day. And to give GPS devices some hints about a route to follow by adding extra points.

    Prompted by your question I've made the number of points configurable. Overview routes always contain all your stops, so if you set the number of points lower than the number of stops in each day, you'll only get your stops in GPX file with overview routes.
    #76
  17. Ciph3r

    Ciph3r Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    Germany, Hamburg
    That is so brilliant, thank you :) Works like a charm :)
    #77
  18. zeeede

    zeeede Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,158
    I have a .gpx track that I tried importing into Furkot. Imported fine, but I'd like to extend the track in the beginning to make a route to meet up with it. Any time I try to edit the track, it Furkot re-routes between points and messes up the track. Can Furkot be used to edit an existing track, or should I find some other software?

    I used to use dualsportmaps for this, but they're out of commission for track editing with the newest google maps API.
    #78
  19. melitele

    melitele Furkot Developer

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    393
    Location:
    Colorado
    When you add a new stop Furkot tries to guess the best position for it. If it guesses that the new stop should be at the beginning or the end of the trip - it won't change paths between existing stops. Since Furkot changes the path I assume it does not place your new stop as the first stop as you would like. That's OK - after importing a track and adding a new stop, open the PLAN drawer and move your added stop to the top of the trip (drag-and-drop or use up/down buttons with arrows). There is a very good chance that Furkot will restore the paths if you do this immediately after importing as Furkot caches previous path for a short period of time.

    If you want to add a stop between existing stops and preserve the paths, you will have to drag the path to where it was (Furkot will add stops anchoring the path after you drag it). I realize it is cumbersome since the previous path is not displayed at that point - we are working on a better way of preserving imported track even when adding stops in the middle of it. Please bear with us.
    #79
  20. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    just a thought - you clearly are very savvy coders, and you must have spent a lot of time smashing together disparate sources of info/data for furkot to use to make it's recommendations and proposed routing.

    Since that sort of racking, stacking, comparing, combining and displaying must already be happening to support how the current system works, I was thinking there might be a way to leverage that in a different way without taking a lot of extra coding. Since a lot of folks on a site like advrider clearly like exploring and finding off the beaten path, perhaps you could have an option to invert (for lack of a better word) the normal system recommendations to give the worst, most convoluted, least driven option with the click of a button.

    For example, lets say I have a trip coming up, and I want to use the site to lay out 3 days of a 4 days cleanly, efficiently, making use of ample fuel, food and lodging recommendations through the site as it does currently; but maybe one of the days I have ample time to kill and want to get lost on purpose - wander around looking at stuff that I'd likely never see otherwise. For that leg of the trip I could click the "Get Lost" button that maybe clears default filters and gives me a route based on roads that the system normally would have ranked lowest/worst.

    Obviously this would be hit/miss depending on where you attempted it, but I just thought it might add a little interest and fun to the site and the planning with possibly just some reuse or alternative use of coding that is already in place

    Anyway I really like the site, can tell there is a lot of good data voodoo churning away in the background, while the interface is clean, relatively simple, and fun

    thanks for being interested in our feedback, and letting us post our ideas (even silly ones like mine), best of luck with the site and your other coding endeavors
    #80