Bike route update

Quick update about my bike routing application: The cycle routing now works for Australia, New Zealand, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Bangladesh, Turkey, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Bicycle routing also works for the handful of South Pacific island nations I’ve tried, such as Fiji.

Some observations:

  • New Zealand bicycle routing only works for intracity locations — traveling from Auckland to Wellington, for example, results in a route failure. I don’t know if that’s because bikes are prohibited on the national highways, or if the OSM data needs tweaking.
  • I don’t know why, but routing also doesn’t pick up the interisland ferry services between North Island and South Island in New Zealand, although the data is there in OSM. This might be because the ferries seem to be connected directly to those national highways.
  • It seems odd to me that routing works in every southeast Asian nation except Malaysia.
  • Bicycle routing in Fiji is interesting, but seems almost pointless. You can cycle across each of the larger islands in about a day. Take two days if you’re on “Fiji Time.”
  • Why Borneo, but not China, Japan or Korea?
  • For fun, try finding a route from Melbourne, Victoria Australia to Tasmania.

Remember, the routes are only as good as the data in OpenStreetMap. The most common issue I’ve found for US routes — several paths seem to be imported as GPS tracks, but then whoever imported them didn’t bother to connect the tracks to nearby streets. If the paths aren’t connected, MapQuest won’t route you on them.

If you see problems or errors like that, please feel free to find the spot in OSM and fix it.

My TODO:

  • Mobile version. I’ve started hacking away at this already but it currently stinks. Sorry.
  • OSM bike paths. Right now, when you click the “Show bike paths” button, you only see the bike paths Google Maps knows about, which is pretty useless if you’re looking at Christchurch, New Zealand. I’ve started work on a program that grabs bike path data from OSM so then the paths are available to view on my map for any location.
  • Easy Edit. I keep nagging you to fix and add bike facility information at OSM, but I don’t exactly make it easy for you. I’ll add a button so you can go directly to a map editor if you find something to fix.
  • Waypoints. Yes, I’d like to have a way to add waypoints as well as you do.
  • Draggable route. I need to think about how to do this, but this would come after the waypoints feature.
  • Markers. The Markers feature is kind of broken right now — click on a route step and you’ll see the point marked on the map, but there’s no way to make it go away right now. I’d also like the reverse — click on the route on the map, and see the nearest step highlighted.

Bicycle routing map here.

8 Comments

  • December 29, 2010 - 2:54 am | Permalink

    bikeparty could use a predefined route option.
    along with turn by turn… with comments :)

  • December 29, 2010 - 4:37 am | Permalink

    But I’m not sure I’m interested in duplicating functionality that already
    exists at sites like MapMyRide and Bikely. Feel free to convince me
    otherwise.

    Sent from my Googaw

  • December 29, 2010 - 4:37 am | Permalink

    But I’m not sure I’m interested in duplicating functionality that already
    exists at sites like MapMyRide and Bikely. Feel free to convince me
    otherwise.

    Sent from my Googaw

  • January 3, 2011 - 4:34 am | Permalink

    from what I’ve heard of NZ drivers, cycling from Auckland to Wellington will just get you killed ;-) it’s probably tagged that way in OSM!

  • Su Yin
    January 11, 2011 - 4:36 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately in New Zealand, you can’t cycle on certain motorways (who knows why?) near the major city centers but you sure can cycle along the State Highways—there are signs signaling some cycle paths and where to cross near the exits.

    It does seem kind of weird that it wouldn’t recognising the inter-island ferry route. Google Maps is smart enough to pick it up though.

  • January 11, 2011 - 5:03 am | Permalink

    Hello Su,

    Mapquest knows to route over ferries as well (it works for San Francisco,
    Melbourne, and the English Channel, for example) . In New Zealand, I
    discovered the OSM data is still in the process of being added and verifed.
    Routing fails because the map is incomplete.

    Sent from my Googaw

  • Su Yin
    January 11, 2011 - 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Ah, that would make sense. Cheers

  • Alex Mendes
    October 29, 2013 - 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard, I am from São Paulo, Brazil and this city is quite inhospitable to bikers. I have been thinking about a website bikers to post their routes in this concrete jungle. Maybe this information could be used by the city hall to create the bike lanes or … at least to help bikers to find less dangerous routes. I am not sure how to start it (I need to translate the website to portuguese) but I have some experience in development. Could you please give some suggestions and directions?

    Thanks in advance,

    Alex Mendes

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