When I go touring I usually use Google Maps and its bicycle direction routing tool as part of my planning.

I was wondering if anyone had recommendations for any other tool that covers Australia that might be better for bicycle travellers. I'd particularly be keen on a tool that has -
(1) Good bicycle specific routing (on road including dirt roads).
(2) Ability to download the route to a GPS.

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The "surface" characteristic is paved or unpaved

Actually the "surface" meta data is more than just paved / unpaved


Below is a Komoot route from Kew to Harrington over mixed surfaces. The line graphs on the bottom RHS show where the various types of surfaces are along the route, as well as other stuff that I couldn't show. The gravel is shown as being from about 13k to 36k marks. I had to log in to the web version to get this info. From there I could download the route to my GPS, PC or device.

Looks like it is using the "highway" (way), "surface" and "tracktype" meta data from OSM which I haven't seen used in other mapping sites. The Greens rd example I used is because it is one of Robflyte's and Andrew's favs from their Bilpin ride.

The nature of the road surfaces has been on my "I want" list for a long time. I like the other details that it has, such as height gain, time guide, gradients are of passing interest, and other info shown as you drag the cursor across the surface line bars. Not all critical, but it does provide a better picture of the proposed route.

I've been having a bit more of a play with Komoot, particularly looking at route profiles. I'm beginning to think that it may be a better option than Ride with GPS. The height data for profiling looks much smoother than RwGPS, and more like it's from the actual road heights. RwGPS seems very saw toothed and as though it's taken the heights from world wide SRTM 3 second height data - which can be possibly up to 100m away from the track point. This becomes an issue when climbing/descending through mountainous areas, and gives substantial misrepresentations of the actual. I think that I'll be using it in future for my trip planning! It seems less fiddly and more reliable than RwGPS.

A few people on a ride last December had Ride with GPS. They both wanted to consult my OSM a lot.

Noels' reply  raises a subsequent question for me I'd like to ask -

For those of you who use a dedicated GPS what maps are you using?

Currently I'm using OSM and Tracks4Australia although Tracks4Australia hasn't been updated since 2006 and I think no longer available.

I use Shonkymaps when out of the suburban areas. It's similar to T4A, but I think it does a much better job. I think they were both conversions of the 1:250,000 mapset done by the government mapping mob, and consequently are as out of date as the hard copy.

For OSM, I have used this site to download current mapping info, which I usually update before a trip. I sometimes find that the OSM maps are too "busy", so that's one of the reasons for switching between it and Shonky.


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