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Almost-Satnav For Cycling

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the putting-you-in-the-saddle-since-2010 dept.

Transportation 119

An anonymous reader writes "A couple of guys (us) in Cambridge have written a cycle routing system, CycleStreets.net, based on open data, and have now released it as a free iPhone app. It's been done on a shoestring, in spare time. There's an API and some disruptive tech in the form of a photo submission screen where street problems can be submitted directly. Because it's open data, you don't have to wait 6 months for the routing to be fixed if there's a bug. Android and .mobi versions are in the works, with the apps being done on GitHub."

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lol.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33729584)

am i allowed to advertise my apps here too?

Re:lol.. (1)

Ohrion (814105) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729618)

You are welcome to try! Please make sure you use some sort or open source or open source related data if you want to be successful. It also doesn't hurt if the app in question is interesting to a large chunk of readership (well, the mods at least). :)

Useless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730024)

I hate bikers. I try to run them over when I can.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730146)

Bikers are usually faster than cagers, and you do so much damage to your car when you hit all that metal and engine and wheel. Now cyclists, there's a soft target..

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730596)

I hate drivers. I try to blow their heads off with sawed off 12 guages whenever I can.

just a guy (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33729614)

From my limited knowledge looking in to the works of Open Street Map it would be best for the cycle-tastic groups wanting to push their agenda to talk about the overall work of OSM and their usability.
I love open source. I hate a lot of faff. Tried using OSM tracker with OSM and tracking a trip from Sheffield to Exeter - basically crashed my Samsung Galaxy S... and that is the phone I was hoping would take me across Europe as a SatNav.

Usability is so important. Put you time and effort in to that - the "open data" is already there thanks to OSM.

Re:just a guy (3, Interesting)

telchine (719345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730144)

Usability is so important. Put you time and effort in to that - the "open data" is already there thanks to OSM.

I just use a TomTom One with a decent bicycle mount. It's easy to use and with USB charging, I can easily power it with a standard battery to USB charger and it cost £100 (much less than an iPhone would have cost). Okay, it doesn't cover bridleways, but you can never be sure what the conditions are going to be like on bridleways. Muddy tracks suitable for horses aren't always suitable for a road bike.

Re:just a guy (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730342)

Sound from your comment as if it doesn't have special hike/bike maps... I don't know about GB, but that's not going to cut it in many places... There is a huge number of bike routes that are perfectly fine for road bikes, but which most navigation software (including for the most part Google Maps) is blissfully unaware of. I assume they are selling bike map packs for some areas and some devices. OSM coverage about those routes is extremely good from what I have seen, too bad the satnav gadgets probably can't use that data.

Re:just a guy (2, Informative)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730384)

Well, if I had read on instead of posting in an early thread, I would have known that a) these guys are using OSM data (a fact sorely missing from the summary) and b) you actually CAN use OSM data with Garmin satnavs [openstreetmap.org] .

Re:just a guy (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731866)

Usability is so important. Put you time and effort in to that - the "open data" is already there thanks to OSM.

I just use a TomTom One with a decent bicycle mount. It's easy to use and with USB charging, I can easily power it with a standard battery to USB charger and it cost £100 (much less than an iPhone would have cost). Okay, it doesn't cover bridleways, but you can never be sure what the conditions are going to be like on bridleways. Muddy tracks suitable for horses aren't always suitable for a road bike.

Batteries aren't very practical for significant touring, because they don't last. The last couple of years I've used a solar panel, but it's pretty awkward to arrange a panel to get good consistent sun exposure on a moving bike! However, over the past year chargers have been emerging - mostly in Germany - which charge off a bicycle dynamo: this one [burls.co.uk] seems well made and extremely versatile, while this one [tout-terrain.de] fits neatly in the steerer tube and charges via USB. Of course, real geeks will make their own.

Re:just a guy (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732008)

Usability is so important. Put you time and effort in to that - the "open data" is already there thanks to OSM.

I just use a TomTom One with a decent bicycle mount. It's easy to use and with USB charging, I can easily power it with a standard battery to USB charger and it cost £100 (much less than an iPhone would have cost). Okay, it doesn't cover bridleways, but you can never be sure what the conditions are going to be like on bridleways. Muddy tracks suitable for horses aren't always suitable for a road bike.

Errr... my TomTom One took me (in my non 4wd car) along what I could describe as a muddy bridleway a few days ago when I tried to avoid a jammed road, so I'm not sure that you would really miss out on the mud. To be fair, the detour did work but it was worrying for a while!

Re:just a guy (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732142)

I tried using a TomTom but found it useless. TomTom snaps to roads wherever possible and doesn't really handle off-road navigation at all well. It has no idea about cycle paths and footpaths, or any terrain features which are important to cyclists. Even many streams and lakes are missing!

I wish they'd add a "pedestrian" or "cycling" mode which turns off all the snapping and just gives you an arrow to your destination (or lets you draw it on the map dot-to-dot style).

Re:just a guy (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732204)

Usability is so important. Put you time and effort in to that - the "open data" is already there thanks to OSM.

I just use a TomTom One with a decent bicycle mount. It's easy to use and with USB charging, I can easily power it with a standard battery to USB charger and it cost £100 (much less than an iPhone would have cost).

Now all you need is an extra cell phone and an MP3 player, and you're golden. You are of course right that the iPhone can only be charged by Steve Jobs' RDF, so you are better off with your 3 devices.

Real time updates (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729676)

you say? Submission by anyone you say? Finally I can get those self righteous morons in Portland to ride into the river.

Re:Real time updates (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730040)

You need to do it right. the normal people are fine, it's the ones riding in the spandex trying to show everyone their genitalia... Those are the ones that need a good river ride.

Dude, you are not going to go faster by wearing tight spandex shorts.. I dont want to see your asscrack in relief or nutsack.. my wife is grossed out about it as well.

What is it with these guys who think they are Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France...

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730068)

all this from a guy named Lumpy... priceless

Re:Real time updates (5, Informative)

JimWise (1804930) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730070)

I think much of it has to do with lessening chaffing, wearing a material that will let your sweat evaporate vs just absorb it, not as a fashion statement to try to catch the eyes of condescending people like you and your wife. Those who ride longer distances/more strenuous routes seem to think it is worth wearing even when having to put up with ribbing/heckling from people like you, so apparently the benefits are noticeable enough to make it worth their while to pay the extra expense of cycling gear (a T-shirt and shorts are quite a bit less expensive) along with wearing it out on a ride on public roads/paths.

Re:Real time updates (2, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730778)

I think much of it has to do with lessening chaffing, wearing a material that will let your sweat evaporate vs just absorb it, not as a fashion statement

Bingo. That's why I wear bike shorts. Good sweat wicking without seams or folded fabric prevents crotch rot and chaffing. For really long rides (>60-miles), having the thin gel pad is really nice. Of course I'm reasonably fit and don't look too bad in them. I personally don't find the really heavy-set guys or girls in spandex t all that pleasant to look at. But on the positive side, they are out there exercising trying to improve themselves instead of being couch potatoes.

When I participate in a race and see a really large woman struggling to finish, I recognize that she probably put out more effort and guts than the guy who won the race in half the time.

Re:Real time updates (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33731190)

I've done several 100+ mile days and ride to/from work regularly(route:http://maps.google.com/au/maps?q=Military+Rd,Cremorne+to+Pyrmont) in nothing more than t-shirt and shorts(I wear boxers if that changes anything) and have never experienced these issues you mention.

I've had no significant sweat problems(the wind keeps you dry while your riding) and no chafing. I get the wind resistance issue though I suspect you should pay more attention to wheel resistance(under-inflated tires). I too am mystified by all the lycra and padded shorts. So what am I missing?

Re:Real time updates (1)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731330)

First up, congrats on the commute - that's a good ride, I know it well. More lower North Shore folks should do it.

Have you tried a decent pair of knicks, a quality moisture wicking jersey and shoes/pedals with cleats? If not, you should. If you don't benefit from increased pedalling performance, you have probably been pushing through an inefficient postition/setup for years and risk long term knee/back injury. Also, wind resistance greatly outweighs resistance from under-inflated tyres (up to about 40% under-inflation). And, one would hope that anyone who spends over $200 on cycling clothing would know how to pump up their tyres :)

Re:Real time updates (2, Insightful)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731962)

Bingo. That's why I wear bike shorts. Good sweat wicking without seams or folded fabric prevents crotch rot and chaffing. For really long rides (>60-miles), having the thin gel pad is really nice. Of course I'm reasonably fit and don't look too bad in them. I personally don't find the really heavy-set guys or girls in spandex t all that pleasant to look at. But on the positive side, they are out there exercising trying to improve themselves instead of being couch potatoes.

When I participate in a race and see a really large woman struggling to finish, I recognize that she probably put out more effort and guts than the guy who won the race in half the time.

One in every three Americans, one in every four British, Australian, New Zealand and Canadian people are obese. English speaking people are the fattest, slobbiest, laziest people on the planet [journeyman.cc] . The only non-English speaking country to make it into the top seven fattest countries is Mexico. So what if fat people in cycling shorts look fugly? OK, I agree, they do. But they are out there doing something about it, and next year they're going to look less ugly and be healthy, while you car-driving couch potatoes are just getting uglier and less healthy.

People don't wear lycra to show off or look good. Most people don't look good in lycra (Vicky Pendleton [wikimedia.org] excepted, of course). People wear lycra because it's comfortable and practical. But hey, if you're content to waddle from your car to the burger joint until you're too fat to eat anywhere but a drive in, don't mind us. We're not complaining about how you look. Live and let live, after all... at least until you die of stroke or heart attack or diabetes from all that cholesterol and corn syrup.

Re:Real time updates (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732084)

I personally don't find the really heavy-set guys or girls in spandex t all that pleasant to look at. But on the positive side, they are out there exercising trying to improve themselves instead of being couch potatoes.

Exactly, I hate it when people make mockery of people that actually are doing something to improve themselves.

No, it's not a feast for the eyes when a seriously over-weighted person is jogging through the streets. But it should be a feast for the brains though, instead of making downgrading remarks you should compliment and encourage them.

They are the brave and strong ones in a society where looks are almost the single most important thing to judge a person on.

Re:Real time updates (1)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731834)

Those who ride longer distances/more strenuous routes seem to think it is worth wearing even when having to put up with ribbing/heckling from people like you, so apparently the benefits are noticeable enough to make it worth their while to pay the extra expense of cycling gear

I cycle 13 miles to and from work every day wearing Lycra. I know I look like an idiot but wearing that stuff gets me home about ten minutes faster than wearing t-shirts and shorts.

I'd rather have 50 extra minutes with my wife a week than Kowtow to the hecklers. Besides, most of them are throwing stones in glass houses anyway - they're hardly supermodels are they?

A solution (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732088)

I don't look so good in spandex/lycra, but you're right about the chafing, etc..

My solution is to wear loose-fitting cotton shorts -over- the bike shorts. That way, no one has to watch me 'smuggle plums', and I don't have to put up with the chafing or the heckling. Works great!
 

Re:Real time updates (4, Funny)

topham (32406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730098)

That look of disgust on your wife's face is the realization that she could have done better.

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730244)

Lol. I was thinking maybe she's just pretending to be disgusted to take focus away from her increasing wetness.

Re:Real time updates (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730684)

Yeah its not only bike riders who benefit from breathable fabrics.

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730100)

As a cyclist I can assure you I don't wear them for the fashion statement. It is much more comfortable on distances over 10 miles with bike shorts. You also don't have to worry about the extra fabric from a normal pair of shorts riding uncomfortably.

Re:Real time updates (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730104)

You have a real problem if you spend your time staring at cyclists crotches all the while professing to be offended by it.

The lycra/spandex is the clothing designed for the activity. Next you will be suggesting that swimming athletes wear three piece suits so you do not get offended by seeing their icky genital outlines while they compete in the olympics.

Dickhead.

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730202)

That's funny, comparing yourself to an olympic athlete to make your argument. Yeah, you are just like them. Who wouldn't want to see what you're packing, you stud muffin you. If anything, people should be thanking you for the momentary glimpse of perfection you provide.

And cyclists wonder why everyone hates them. Your unjustified gigantic egos might have something to do with it. Or it could be the unbridled sense of self-entitlement to anything and everything.

Re:Real time updates (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730700)

That's funny, comparing yourself to an olympic athlete to make your argument

I wear bathers (or a wetsuit, when appropriate) when I swim and cycling clothes when I ride. Never been to the Olympics though. So again: how is wearing appropriate clothing for an activity the wrong thing to do?

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730712)

Perhaps it's jealousy. Just a little bit You know what's ridiculous...the average american is walking around with over 50% of my body weight in FAT ALONE. I work my ass off on the bike, running, in the gym, etc. Why? Because it keeps me alive in combat. But that's beside the point. Perhaps dudes who are looking at us, wearing admittedly tight clothes (again, aerodynamics, comfort on rides well in excess of 100 miles...) are jealous of the fact that we do, in fact, have bodies like olympians.

Re:Real time updates (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731322)

You have the bodies of anorexic women. You can tout your vanity and health all you want to, but your good health ain't gonna save you when your douchebad dick-helmeted ass tries to exercise right-of-way against a semi or Hummer(LOL yuppies killing yuppies) on freeway turnpikes and other sections of road of which your asses doesn't belong. Swerving into the middle of right-turn lanes, doing anything to maintain your heart-rates.

This [youtube.com] is what sane people hope happens to you. Where's your "health" now, yuppies?!

Re:Real time updates (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732294)

This [youtube.com] is what sane people hope happens to you. Where's your "health" now, yuppies?!

Do you seriously hope people die because they were riding a bike? Does the same apply to pedestrians? People in small cars?

Please never leave whatever backward town you call home.

paging Doctor Freud (2, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730182)

Real men aren't afraid of other men's penises.

Re:paging Doctor Freud (2, Funny)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731660)

No, we are. That's why they must be contained in a shield of lycra and spandex. You know, lest they escape.

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730254)

The shorts are a lot more comfortable for long sweaty rides. Ride a bike 100 miles in a day and you'll understand. They also actually do help reduce wind resistance. That can save you a fair amount of time for long rides.

I was wearing cycling shorts when Armstrong was in elementary school. I never thought I was him. I had no idea who he was because he was a decade and half or so from becoming famous.

What's up with guys who are obsessed with other guys in spandex anyway? It sounds like it's your problem, not theirs.

Re:Real time updates (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730316)

I'd really like to see you do a half-century in a pair of Fruit-of-the-Loom briefs and come back and tell us that those of us who wear spandex are just doing it because Lance Armstrong does.

I do understand where you're coming from and I wear BDU shorts over my riding shorts. I'm not trying to make a fashion statement but riding shorts do serve a real purpose.

Re:Real time updates (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730490)

try riding any significant distance with regular shorts and see how that works out for you.

it's not about going faster. it's about the right clothing for the right sport.

ps - if you're staring at the guys (as opposed to the gals), you're doing it wrong.

Re:Real time updates (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730654)

Dude, you are not going to go faster by wearing tight spandex shorts.

Actually, you will. Anything over about 15mph and you'll feel the drag from anything loose.

I dont want to see your asscrack in relief or nutsack..

You do realize the shorts are padded, right? And just how closely are you looking at the crotch at some guy bent over on a bike, anyway, you perv?

my wife is grossed out about it as well.

<highschool>That's not what she said last night!</highschool>

Re:Real time updates (2, Interesting)

piraat (1772234) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731566)

I just biked 35 KM to work, like i do every day. If i don't wear special clothes im all wet when i'm at work, and smelly. I understand most people (you) would take the car instead. However, i settle with some stupid looking clothes.

Re:Real time updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33732228)

I've nothing against cross-dressing, it is just a shame that these pricks feel they have to hide their fetishes by pretending spandex tights help them go faster!

Re:Real time updates (2)

naich (781425) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731730)

you say? Submission by anyone you say? Finally I can get those self righteous morons in Portland to ride into the river.

Good lord! How DARE they want to ride their bikes wearing clothes that are comfortable. They should be persecuted until they stop, or you feel better about yourself - whichever happens first.

Re:Real time updates (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731958)

you say? Submission by anyone you say? Finally I can get those self righteous morons in Portland to ride into the river.

There isn't a river in Portland [google.co.uk] . Plenty of sea, though.

(Note: the app in question only has UK maps.)

Openfietskaart.nl (5, Insightful)

hkz (1266066) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729724)

Congrats on Slashvertising your app. In Holland we've had www.openfietskaart.nl [openfietskaart.nl] for a while already. There's also www.opencyclemap.org [opencyclemap.org] . Yes, open mapping is cool, no, this is not news.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (0, Flamebait)

topham (32406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729746)

Same thing I was thinking.

Slashdot has really slipped these past few years.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (4, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729762)

There's also www.opencyclemap.org [opencyclemap.org] . Yes, open mapping is cool, no, this is not news.

OpenCycleMap tiles are used as part of this app; the news isn't maps for cyclists, it's a satnav app for cyclists that's interesting.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (1)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731538)

OpenCycleMap tiles are used as part of this app; the news isn't maps for cyclists, it's a satnav app for cyclists that's interesting.

You mean: it's a satnav app for cyclists using an iPhone that is interesting. The iPhone part is the news, as the rest was already here for a long time.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729812)

But, but, it has OPEN Data! Not just data, open data!

And /shifty_eyes disruptive technology! That's gotta be all subversive! Down with the man, man!

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33729854)

It's not the app being advertised. It's the phones. Especially Apple's. Now, you just "gotta have one".

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (2, Insightful)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729970)

Do those offer route planning at all, let alone taking things like hills or noise levels into account? I have actually been looking for a cycle route planner with those features, and this seems to be perfect, except for being (AFAICS) iphone only :(

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (1)

ooooli (1496283) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730086)

Do those offer route planning at all, let alone taking things like hills or noise levels into account?

Yes, I'm sure they take every single hill in holland into account :p

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732320)

There's a normal HTML version at http://www.cyclestreets.net/ [cyclestreets.net] , and an Android version is in progress.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (1)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730218)

You know, you claim that this is not news. I disagree. Had this story not appeared on /., I'd not know of it, openfietskaart.nl or opencyclemap.org.

So, yes, this is news.

Peace out.

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (2, Informative)

Nyh (55741) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732282)

Even in the Netherlands we do not have a satnav app for cyclists on the iPhone. Route for cyclists can be done by the excellent 'fietsrouteplanner' planner from the Fietsersbond (http://www.fietsersbond.nl/fietsrouteplanner/fietsroutes-vandeurtotdeurplanner/index.html [fietsersbond.nl] ). This great planner has lots of options and biker profiles (like shortest route, avoid busy traffic, green route, social safe route, racing cyclist, etc.) but once you are cycling it is quite useless. The route is static, has no rerouting when you choose an other route due to roadworks or just because you felt so.

I immediately tried out this app but was a bit disappointed. I cannot plan a route from Harwich to Exeter, a route I have cycled multiple times to visit family in England.

Nyh

Re:Openfietskaart.nl (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732522)

I cannot plan a route from Harwich to Exeter, a route I have cycled multiple times to visit family in England.

At the moment I think it's aimed at typical commuting distances. 360 km is a very long ride! (How long does that take?!)

I don't have an iPhone, so I can't try the iPhone version out. Here [cyclestreets.net] is an example urban journey (between the two stations in London you'd need to use if you took the train from Harwich to Exeter).

Based on OpenStreetMap data (4, Informative)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729726)

As one of the devs writes:

"CycleStreets has been made possible by the brilliant OpenStreetMap project, dubbed the 'Wikipedia of Maps'. Cyclists and others all around the UK collect and update street data that enables us then to create routing that thinks like a cyclist. Unlike traditional SatNav data, OpenStreetMap data is controlled by its user community. Anyone can get involved in OpenStreetMap, and over 300,000 people around the world are already doing so."

So if you want to help improve the application, and contribute to plenty of other worthy projects, you could think about checking out The Map [openstreetmap.org] in your area and seeing if there's anything you could contribute.

Re:Based on OpenStreetMap data (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730370)

Now that's something that should have been in the description. Not just for the attribution, but rather because this makes the project instantly more interesting since they're building on OSM instead of trying to do their own thing. I hope they contribute back their improvements!

OSM on Garmin for cyclists (5, Informative)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729788)

With a suitable Garmin GPS (there are a number of models that do auto-routing that have bicycle mounts), you can load up an OSM based cycle map and get cycle routing that way. See http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin/Cycle_map [openstreetmap.org]

If you already own one of these, you'll probably find it is somewhat more water resistant than an iPhone.

Re:OSM on Garmin for cyclists (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730056)

and probably better battery life as well. If the batteries do go, it's easier to change AA's than to charge the iPhone.

alternatives do exist (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730208)

Re:alternatives do exist (2, Informative)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730792)

Speaking of google, you do realize that Google Maps already has routing options based on whether you're walking, biking, or taking public transit? I'm not sure how good their maps are or their coverage areas though. They probably don't have an iPhone app either.

Re:alternatives do exist (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732370)

They probably don't have an iPhone app either.

Well, only the build-in one [apple.com] - but it seems to be missing the cycling button.

Re:alternatives do exist (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732392)

Speaking of google, you do realize that Google Maps already has routing options based on whether you're walking, biking, or taking public transit?

Google's directions for anything except driving are pathetic in the UK. Where public transport is an option it's missing most routes -- it doesn't even have trains, so to get from Reading to Maidenhead Google suggests [google.co.uk] a 90 minute bus ride -- with one bus per hour, including a change. The obvious option is the train, there's one every 15 minutes and the journey takes 14 minutes. In London the "transport" overlay shows the London Underground lines, but doesn't show the other rail lines, which are essential for any route planner.

There's no cycling option for Google Maps UK, but since the map doesn't have any bike paths it wouldn't be any good anyway. It doesn't have footpaths either, which can make for some inefficient walking directions.

CycleStreets gives you three cycle routes: a fast (may use busy roads) one, a medium one, and a leisure one (very few roads, take some little kids with you). It also gives the profile of the route, and tells you what kind of road you'll be cycling along (e.g. dedicated cycle path, cycle lane on busy road, road with no cycle path etc).

For general public transport routes over the whole UK http://www.transportdirect.info/ [transportdirect.info] is the best option, although there are better options if you know you need to use a train, or if a local/regional organisation has provided their own route planner. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ [tfl.gov.uk] has an excellent journey planner for London, including all public transport (bus, tram, tube, train, boat), cycling and walking.

Re:OSM on Garmin for cyclists (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730258)

Totally right, but some people don't want to spend the extra $200+ dollars for a decent GPS mount or deal with the extra hassle of uploading routes/etc, especially for shorter distances that the iPhone can definitely cover. I don't think a smartphone (that is also the personal phone) is a good choice for long-distance bike routing (tried routing a century ride I did two weeks ago with a completely-offline G1 and RMaps...epic fail), but it's definitely a good choice to have.

Distruptive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33729836)

They're using DISRUPTIVE TECH! Shields are holding at 68 percent.

Awaiting orders, captain!

UK? WTF? (2, Funny)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729912)

Hey... I thought it was clear that slashdot was an American based, American centric summary site. Ok, pretty cool I guess... if I get a new iPhone and find myself cycling in UK... with a mountain of money to pay for overseas roaming.

Re:UK? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730282)

Get a local prepaid sim, you plonker!

Re:UK? WTF? (0, Flamebait)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730286)

I'm with you.. at first I thought I might be on the wrong site.. but really WTF? Like anyone in the UK cycles anyway.. if they did they wouldn't be so pasty white. Plus.. jeebus help them if they get in an accident... the NHS thinks of cycling as a way to thin the herd.

Re:UK? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730692)

Like anyone in the UK cycles anyway..

Mark Cavendish
Bradley Wiggins
Chris Hoy
David Millar

Kind of ride a bike once in a while around the UK.

Re:UK? WTF? (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731898)

Like anyone in the UK cycles anyway.

Parent answers this by suggesting a few Olympians, but TFA was about Cambridge. If you have ever been there during the University term, you will know that a navigational device is superfluous and unusable. Your bike will be sucked in, swept along and deposited somewhere at random by the dense, kerb-to-kerb flow of other cyclists.

To pick up another thread, the only sort of clothes they are unlikely to be wearing are Chris-Hoy-style spandex.

Re:UK? WTF? (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732408)

the NHS thinks of cycling as a way to thin the herd.

Officially, the NHS thinks of cycling as an excellent way to reduce future medical costs caused by an obese population, and the existing medical costs of car crashes.

Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729940)

Is there a good Android app out there I can basically hit "start" on and it will track my movement on a map, my speed, and maybe other things that I can then pimp out to a social networking site afterwards? I like to post my bike rides for my friends, since I have an extra bike and I would like to bring them along. Think advertising. I've got an app that does everything but the map and location meant to track workouts, but I want the map dangit!

Also, can anyone recommend a handle-bar mount GPS or mobile phone holder big enough to support my EVO and holds it like the fist of an angry god? Don't want it bouncing off. I'm a BMXer and my particular handlebars are very thick in comparison to most 10-speed ones. Most normal handlebar stuff doesn't fit on mine, but I am up for modding.

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33729968)

yes, it is called mytrack, and it is opensource

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730004)

Thank you, I'll be trying that. Love the open source!

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (2, Informative)

murph (16036) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729976)

Check out RideTrac for Android. Works great for me.

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730000)

That one looks awesome also. I will try this and My Tracks out and be annoying my friends accordingly!

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (3, Interesting)

samurphy21 (193736) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729978)

My Tracks will record your tracks, and I think allow you to import them into google maps. Google latitude, part of Google Maps, will allow those you tag as authorized to view your whereabouts, if you want people to find you when you're out on the road. Those are the two main apps I use for that kind of stuff.

Do you need to be able to view your phone in this holder, or do you just want it to be able to gather data while you bike? I use a frame bag and just tuck my phone in there, when I'm out.

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33729994)

I sort of wanted it be able to view it with my speedometer/compass, GPS programs open, of course the My Tracks may be the one to stay open. I'm going to check that one out. I think I found my answer on the mount myself though.

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732222)

My Tracks will record your tracks, and I think allow you to import them into google maps. Google latitude, part of Google Maps, will allow those you tag as authorized to view your whereabouts, if you want people to find you when you're out on the road. Those are the two main apps I use for that kind of stuff.

Do you need to be able to view your phone in this holder, or do you just want it to be able to gather data while you bike? I use a frame bag and just tuck my phone in there, when I'm out.

It will. Here's my Edinburgh to St Andrews [goo.gl] ride this year, for example, uploaded direct from the phone. Clicking on the last link in the left hand side bar gives you trip statistics, but does not give you a route profile (you get one onf the phone but not on Google maps).

MapMyRide.com [mapmyride.com] now have an android app [mapmyfitness.com] which almost certainly does do route profiles, since the site does, but I haven't tried it yet (will try it today).

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730820)

Yes, there's plenty. In fact both Android and iPhone have several bike GPS apps. Just look for them.

Re:Probably off topic, but I want to know! (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732180)

Is there a good Android app out there I can basically hit "start" on and it will track my movement on a map, my speed, and maybe other things that I can then pimp out to a social networking site afterwards? I like to post my bike rides for my friends, since I have an extra bike and I would like to bring them along. Think advertising. I've got an app that does everything but the map and location meant to track workouts, but I want the map dangit!

Yes, My Tracks [appspot.com] , free from Google and now open source.

If you really need this... (3, Interesting)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730114)

why not just buy a GPS device designed for motorcyclists? They've been around for a while, mount right to the handlebars, and have tons of rider-friendly features. Plus, you don't need a cellular data signal, which I'd think would be uncommon on roads where you'd honestly need GPS mapping. Of course, here I am assuming that this is something you need, and not something you just want for no good reason.

Re:If you really need this... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730278)

So if you're not willing to pour a few hundred into a GPS that means that what you want serves "no good reason"? Huh? I guess people who use calculator apps on their cellphones also do it for "no good reason" if they don't go out and buy a TI-84 Silver Edition Plus. I guess some Slashdotters really have missed the point of a phone that runs apps.

Most bicyclists don't use GPS because they don't need it for navigation. The much more common reason to have a GPS tracking device is for ride statistics. This particular software seems to deal with preplanned routes that are biker friendly and I'd like to think that if cellular connections are needed for this that the routes were already tested.

Re:If you really need this... (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730308)

why not just buy a GPS device designed for motorcyclists?

Because they cost a boatload? [google.com]

Re:If you really need this... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730350)

Because motorcyclists and (push)cyclists don't generally prefer the same types of roads? In the extreme cases, there are highways where pushbikes are legally forbidden, and cycle paths where motorbikes are legally forbidden.

Anyway, I find Google Maps does well enough for routing (it has a cycling-specific mode), and use a plain mapping program (no turn-by-turn, recalculating, etc.) to save battery life.

motorcycles != bicycles (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730590)

why not just buy a GPS device designed for motorcyclists? They've been around for a while, mount right to the handlebars, and have tons of rider-friendly features.

Because they make GPS units designed for cyclists, and most handheld / outdoorsy GPS units these days can do routing (and there are handlebar mounts.)

More reasons why motorcycle units wouldn't work, as someone who cycles a fair bit:

  • Bicycles can't go in some places (limited access highways), shouldn't in others (ditto, plus roads over a certain speed where the lane width or lack of shoulder make it very unsafe, or there are poor road conditions), and there are a popular routes, bike lanes, paths, or routes which are longer but avoid hills, etc. Something designed for a motorcycle isn't going to route me down the Esplanade bike path in Boston, for example. It's not going to know to avoid a crazy hill that a quarter mile of redirection will completely avoid. Or know that Mass Ave has a bike lane, or about the protected bike lane (off the road, out of the "door zone") over by MIT.
  • Bicycles don't have power, and anything that can't last more than a few hours is something between useless (if you do long rides like a Century, or you're touring) or inconvenient if you bike for transportation but in a metro-sized area (we already have to charge bike lights fairly often. It's not too uncommon for me to spend 2 hours on my commuter bike in one day.) Yes, I understand that some units are battery-powered, but I think many are designed to be wired into the bike for power. The iPhone-based solutions are almost useless for bicycles because they don't have enough power for all the processor usage, GPS, and data transfer of maps etc. Yes, there are kits that allow you to use your generator hub to power/charge your phone. That's complexity.
  • Weight is important if any appreciable distance is involved. It seems stupid, but every pound is a pound you have to work to move up on elevation changes, and when you're providing the power, you notice this. Particularly if your bike weighs under 20lb.
  • Mounting. There's limited space on a bicycle, particularly a road bike. Garmin units, for example, are designed to mount on the handlebar stem, as are many bicycle "computers" (odometer/speedometer, sometimes includes cadence, ie pedaling speed.)

Now, weight and battery life aren't a huge deal to someone who commutes, but to someone riding a century (100 miles; a "metric century here in the US refers to a 100km ride), where many turns may be involved, it's pretty damn important; at 15mph, you're riding for almost 7 hours, not including rest, food, water, and bathroom breaks...and there can be a LOT of climbing involved over that distance.

Re:motorcycles != bicycles (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#33732442)

we already have to charge bike lights fairly often

If you don't already have LED lights I recommend them; or at least a backup red light. Mine only need new AAA batteries about every 4-6 months.

(Perhaps you cycle on unlit roads at night -- I don't, I only cycle in London at night, so my lights are so I'm seen, not for me to see by.)

I had a Garmin eTrex Vista GPS, but I sold it. I found the routing was really slow, and didn't really cope with a city as complicated as London. (I don't tend to do long leisure rides. If I do, I'll probably just follow a signed leisure route.)

Re:If you really need this... (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730956)

You can also get yourself a Nokia cellphone, one of those with free navigation. The maps are stored on your SD card, so no data plan required (or minimal) and you don't need to carry two devices in case of an emergency.

Re:If you really need this... (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731430)

Seconded. Nokia's mapping software (Maps) is pretty good. Although I have a full-size TomTom GPS for my car, sometimes I leave it at home or just forget to take it. On a few occasions I have substituted my Nokia E75 smartphone as my GPS, and it works really well. Ok, you won't get the lane guidance like TomTom or a really large display, but it gets you from point A to point B efficiently, which is the whole point of a GPS in the first place.

If you have a Nokia with the Maps application, make sure you update it to the latest 3.0.x release, it's FAR superior to the older bundled 2.0 Maps app that is pre-loaded on many of their GPS-enabled phones. As parent mentioned, being able to download maps and save them to an SD card really saves data transfer costs. I just pre-load maps for the countries I plan to visit before leaving for the trip. My only complaints are that the map downloading and transfer to the phone using Ovi is a bit slow, even using the USB cable, and that you cannot easily delete individual maps from the SD after you no longer need them on the device.

bbbike.org is an oldie and goodie. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730226)

And is actually free.

This is awesome. (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730234)

As a cyclist, seeing any effort that benefits towards improving bike commuting and transportation is wonderful and much appreciated! I think a major benefit for this would be the ability to download map tiles and route over them. RMap on Android does this; not sure if there's any app on the iPhone (apart from Garmin/TomTom) that does the same. This could be a huge battery saver, since it would eliminate needing a constant 3G/EDGE connection throughout the trip. It would obviously require more space, though.

no it's not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33730434)

Me: cycling, hmm...hmm..., minding my own business
iPhone: Ding!
Me: Look down at the iPhone
iPhone: Pot hole ahea...
Me: Arghhhhhhh!

Seriously though, should you be having a satnav on a bike? Won't it affect your concentration and endanger yourself and others? Unlike motorists, you have to balance the bike as well and any loss of concentration would send you in the ditch.

Cycle computers (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730518)

There are these things called cycle computers. They've been around for a long time. Lots of cyclists use them. They keep track of speed and distance. You look down at it while you're riding. Sometimes you even touch a button to change the display. If you're smart, you use your eyes to look ahead and determine if there are any obstacles within range. You then look down and use the device. In a car this would be called looking at the speedometer, or perhaps adjusting the odometer.

Re:no it's not (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730900)

You should try riding a bike some day.

Some More Free Apps for Bicycles (1)

wehe (135130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33730666)

There is a short survey of free applications for bicycles [tuxmobil.org] at TuxMobil. Most applications are based on Linux. An overview of Open Hardware for bicycles (not much yet) is available there also.

Mappero - Maemo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33731622)

Mappero can also route for cycles based on open street map data and the google bike router:

http://maemo.org/packages/view/maemo-mapper/

Works beautifully on my Nokia N900

Mappero Maemo (1)

horli (1082207) | more than 4 years ago | (#33731664)

Mappero works perfectly for this purpose on my Nokia N900, it's OS, based on OSM and Google bike router: http://maemo.org/packages/view/maemo-mapper/ [maemo.org]

BRILLIANT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33731852)

Now, if they did a version for the UK canal system [waterscape.com] , it would be worth buying into Apple Product(TM, probably).

OTOH anything that takes the cyclists eye and mind off the road ahead is probably a safety hazard.

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