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Posts Tagged ‘maps’

Ever wanted to have a giant version of Google Maps’s road map that you could print and squiggle all of the rides you have done before? Now you can.

I’ve held onto a piece of software for a couple years now that is capable of downloading Google’s maps in tiles, then stitch them all together into a big image that is printable. Unless you have a large format printer, I’m sure that you could just tape/glue the pieces together.

I really think this program is great for shops, race organizers, or just cycling geeks that like to have a big wall map of where they have been.

I’ve used two pieces of software to grab very large maps of a certain course we have been riding lately.

First, Google Map Buddy:

google map buddy bike maps cycling maps cyclist maps

Click for LARGER image

When I say this map is huge, I really mean it. This ideally would be printed at 42″x60″.

So far I haven’t really found any downsides to Google Map Buddy. If there are any, it is that it is kinda sorta hard to find, and that it is no longer supported by the creator, since google sent them a cease & desist order. Something about downloading google map tiles for non-software supported use, etc etc etc…

If you have been looking for something like this, try it. It is best suited to save about a town or two worth of map space. I have tried to save all of West Virginia at once… Yeah… haven’t lucked out on that one yet, but then again my bandwidth is terrible.

 

There is also gMapMaker, which is also abandonware, but is easier to find. It isn’t supported by the publisher, and the forums have been dead for over six months. The software is capable of utilizing Open Source maps, and some Bing maps, but it is kind of sketchy, as seen here:

cyclist maps cycling maps bike maps google map buddy gmapmaker

Click for LARGER image

As you’ve noticed, there are a few splotchy parts on the map that appear black. That is where a tile is missing from the set of images that the program downloaded, and either lost or discarded when it compiled them all to make the big map. I tried three or four different times to get the software to not do this with no luck in the long run. Sigh…

 

Either way, if you still ever had dreams of printing off enough maps to cover your bathroom walls, or stick behind a piece of plexi, so you can chart your rides… this is the way to do it.

 

If anyone else has some up-to-date, and cheap ways to have large format maps printed, lemme know!

 

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In attempt to show people all of the lovely areas to ride in the of West Virginia, I plan on putting placemarks all over a custom Google Maps page.

Right now, with the help of MTBR, and Garmin; I have about 100 locations scheduled, with at least one or two trails/routes listed for each place. I think this is going to take a lot of time, but the end product will be fantastic.

Once I have the tab at the top of the page, it will allow everyone to comment and post locations for me to add!

Quick sample pictures:

West Virginia Trails and Routes

Trails and Routes

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Velominati’s post about non-paved road riding made want to get on the mountain bike. Yes, riding the 29’er is pretty shameful to do in perfect road riding weather, but I couldn’t help myself… I just had to go out for a few hours. Trying to decide exactly where to ride at was nearly as difficult as climbing some of the local mountains. Either the trails were too far, or I had spent so much time on them in the Fall and Winter that riding them would have been as lame as riding one of these:

velominati bike blog mountain bike trail finding garmin GPS

All issues aside, I needed to be on the 29er, and find a new trail to ride around on… but where? How do you, the readers, find new trail systems to ride on?

  • Ask friends or your LBS?
  • Exploration?
  • Check Internet/Garmin/Forums/The Google Maps?
  • Use Other Types of Trails?

I have heard stories of people finding trails using Topo Maps, following jeep trails and gas wells. With this technique, and a bit of freestyle exploration, I was able to find some pretty sweet gas well routes that resulted into ATV trails going into the woods. If there was ever a honey pot of local trails… this would be it!

velominati bike blog mountain bike trail finding garmin GPS

After a ride or two, I have been able to map out just a fraction of the entire trail network on just one side of the forest. I’m guessing there is around ten miles of rideable trails, but with the amount of the paths going up and down a 200+ foot climb would make it a hell of a ride if you tried to do it all at once. This trail system is going to take a while to fully explore, but I think I’m willing to take the time to document it for local MTB’ers.

It all goes to show you that spending some time, and taking an educated guess can really pay off. Having ten or more miles of trail less than a mile away from home is such an amazing gift. I’m very glad (and very lucky) that such elaborate trails were found.

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