Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tour Maps

I have said it before, but I love maps. They guide you to places, they take you along roads you wouldn’t otherwise know were there, let alone find.

Studying a map and then making decisions about where to ride on a trip can be very rewarding and for some, this planning gives a foretaste of what is to come – the ride itself.

I enjoy seeing on peoples blogs, the routes that other people take, but I have one plea – please make them bigger so we can see the context. Very often the map is so zoomed in, we can see the detail, but we have no idea where in the particular country the route is. If needed, make two maps, some general and one detailed, and add them both to your blogs.

I have recently added to the bottom of my blog some big scale maps showing the overall routes I have taken on some of my recent rides. Will others do the same?


bobskoot said...


some people are smarter than the average bear. I can't figure out how to save maps in Google, I have to screen capture them and often they are not the size I would like so you have to squint.

Oh, oh, . . . just forget what I typed above. You many have been referring to someone other than myself

Riding the Wet Coast

SonjaM said...

Good idea. We often assume that people are familar with the area we are riding in. I will try that for next time I do an epic ride, and be more detailed about the routes I am taking.

Rex J. Covington said...


I have been using for posting my routes. I use the tracks from my GPS and upload them to Every Trail.

It show the route(s) on Google Maps and they can download the GPS file and use it in their GPS or use it for planning their route.

It's easy and dose not take long to do.

Example of one of my days:

Keep up the great work on you blog.


mq01 said...

no wonder i keep getting lost ;)

Charlie6 said...


I sometimes post googlemaps of the route I took for the extended rides, especially if I think others might want to do the same route and it's not painfully obvious by just following the route mentioned within the posting.

I need to get back to doing that more often, thanks for the reminder.


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Canajun said...

A good reminder that "somewhere in North America" isn't always sufficient information to locate the exact originating point for the ride of a lifetime.

Chris Luhman said...

A good reminder. :)
I post googlemaps, so people can click on them if they want to make them bigger and look around.

Gary France said...

Bob – I am like you and I cannot work it out either. Chris Luhman has got it right and he puts a Google Map on his posts that you can zoom in and out of. I am even more Neanderthal, in that I print out a map, draw my route on it with a pen, scan it and post that map!

Sonja – One of the good things about reading riding blogs is they come from many different places in the world. It is hard to know where exactly though sometimes as the maps are so zoomed in.

Rex – I just took a quick look at Every Trail and it very good indeed. I also looked at your Summer Trip 2011 posts and the maps on there which also look good. I should look into downloading the data from my gps into my computer and use that somehow – good idea!

Gary France said...

mq01 – LOL

Dom – I just took a look back at some of your older posts and found the map from Glacier National Park to Boise in Idaho. It looks like you plug in your route into Google Maps and then take a screen shot. Quite a few people do that and we should learn from Chris Luhman how to create a map in Google and then link electronically to it.

Canajun – You have it just right – a lot of people who are not from the USA or Canada don’t understand where particular territories or states are, so sometimes we don’t have a clue where people are riding.

Chris – Having seen your Google maps where as a reader, I can click on them and then zoom in and out, this makes you the king of route maps. Can I suggest you might do a post about how you do this, as some of us, including Bob and myself, clearly need some guidance!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Gary France:

I use a computer every day of my life to make a living... But I would be lying to all of you if I said I was proficient with one. I cannot follow computer instructions if they are more than one or two lines.

The ordeal I went through trying to pre-plot trip coordinates on my GPS, through an Apple, using directions fro Garmin, left me with a pounding headache for three days.

I would like the people at Garmin, to meet with the folks at Apple, to discuss the "click install" concept, so that map details can be exchanged by nothing more than "clicking" and "dragging."

I am under no illusions, and it is very unlikely that I will get a chance to ride a motorcycle in Europe. (So I will not be badgering you for your notes.) However, there is a rider out west (US), who is making my mouth water for roads in Utah, New Mexico, and Montana.

I intend to annoy him plenty for his maps and recommendations.

Fondest regards,

Amish Stories said...

Id like to invite everyone to my blog Amish Stories today to read a post from old order Mennonite Jean of New York state. Jean has taken-in a foster child named Michael whose parents are no longer able to take care of him. He's English and Jeans family is old order Mennonite (horse and buggy) but that makes no difference in the love that this young man is receiving from this family. Thank you folks and i hope to see some of you drop by the blog. Richard

VStar Lady said...

Oh, man - that's where I went wrong. I was supposed to use a map? Seriously, I like linking to Google Maps and embedding them into the blog. Retracing my steps gives me something to do when I stop.

bluekat said...

I love maps too. Paper maps more so than these digital maps of our modern age. Ron was amazed. The other day I cleaned out my map box. For the first time ever, I threw out a few old and obsolete ones. At least the old and obsolete AND has no sentimental value ones.

I haven't really mastered the digital versions of maps. Best I've come up with is a screen shot of google maps. Hardly useful for anything. I'll try to get better, but considering my track record with anything technical it's probably a lost cause. :)

Gary France said...

Jack – I would like the people at Garmin to meet up with the people who make explosives and detonators. The Garmin folk should then be told to make their products more user friendly, or the explosives and detonator people can show them how well two things really can work well together. I am sorry to hear you might not get to ride in Europe, as I am sure you would arrive with lots of curiosities and leave with a big smile.

Richard – I hope a few wandered from here to your blog.

VStar Lady – Oh, yes. Maps might have helped, but you seemed to have got on pretty darn well with or without them!

bluekat – Sorry, but I have only just recovered from what you said. You threw away some maps?? How could you?? I nearly shed a tear..... I am totally with you about not being able to master digital maps. The map of Spain at the bottom of every page on my blog had the route drawn on by hand and then scanned!! There ought to be a blog just about how to create a Google Map and then import it into your own blog.