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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Can't fault Ride with GPS even with the free version, selection of map type options (Google, OpenStreetMap, others) and can download the GPX/TCX, only drawback is the free version does not allow "custom" cue entries, just the generated Google ones.

plus one

I've started using Ride with GPS for my trip planning in the last year or so. It's saved me quite a bit of time in planning. I've found that it does have a few wrinkles, so I also use it with OziExplorer (to remove the wrinkles and add waypoints for things like 10km distance markers, camp/caravan park/isolated food and drink locations, start/end of gravel roads) as well as being able to get a decent route profile for my daily route info on the handlebar bag (shown below). I find the profile to be really useful for planning rest stops. I use Garmin Basecamp and Snagit to capture a strip of the map with the route marked that is pertinent to the day's ride. Basecamp allows the maps to be rotated and still readable, so I start from the LHS of the map and work my way across for the day. The distance waypoints appearing on the strip map make it easier to work out location as a scale is not very helpful. 

Camp sites I get from the android/pc Wikicamps app, which I've found to be very good. It doesn't have much in the way of info on other accommodation.

I use all of this info on my GPS, which I keep running when the bike is moving.

The distances bracketed on the day strip below are meaningful. [] is a place of interest and () shows that there is food and drink available. The day strip is a backup in case of electronics failure, and as a quick reference.

Looks like I need to check out Ride with GPS .

I actually prefer to plan tours with paper maps but there is such a dearth of decent ones these days. (The best maps I have are NRMA Touring Services Touring Map Series from about 25 years ago. A little out of date now. NRMA no longer does paper maps at all.)

I've just found this route planner that's similar to Ride with GPS. However, it has some features that RWGPS seems to lack. I particularly like its ability to show what the road surface is. I haven't tested it too much, but it was correct on the routes that I looked at. It also has the ability to show bike routes for different riders - touring, MTB or road - from the same start/end points. On one of the routes that I looked at that I'm planning for my spring tour, it seemed to give a more realistic measure of the height gain on one particular section that was a 1,000m descent over about 15kms. It showed a height gain of 440m for the 55k's that day compared to double that for RWGPS. Based on my expectations and comparisons with other mapping programs, Komoot would seem to be more realistic. It was comparable to my bike computer and GPS height gain measure from one of my recent touring days.

That's a good find Darrell.

I've just done a quick 5 minute test getting the route through the Illawarra (my local area) and I noticed the proposed route misses several sections of the coastal cycleways. You can see these on the OpenCycleMap and re-route by pulling the path across. So no biggie. When I put in a shorter route around the local area it picked up the cycleway. So I think it's looking for the quickest "bike friendly" route.

Looks like you need an account to download the route (this might be free) so I didn't get to look at that.

Obliviously I need need more than a 5 minute view but I liked what I saw.

From my 30 second in depth analysis seems Oz is only available with the 30 euro "everywhere" package? The european "areas" (4 euro) and "regions" (9 euro) are tiny

iI Tony, It's just a matter of creating a login for yourself, similar to the pc version of RWGPS. It allowed me to create a number of routes, save them and export them to my pc, or, if you prefer, your GPS - all free. I was also able to import GPX files and manipulate them. There didn't seem to be any forcing to get any of the packages to be able to use it.

Like RWGPS, it does have wrinkles, so the use of another editing mapping program is needed. It doesn't seem as intuitive as RWGPS at this stage, but that may just be a familiarity thing.

You know I still do my initial planning with paper maps and I also carry paper maps as back-up and if I need to plan a radical change of route while travelling.

The only problem is it so hard to get decent maps these days that have all the by-ways marked.

Very rarely do I use hard copy these days. However, while touring I use the info from the net on my tablet or phone, but if I need hard copy, I've found a visit to the local Information Centre can provide a plethora of free good quality Cartoscope Touring maps. If that doesn't work, it's a case of buy what you can from a local servo!

Cartoscope Touring maps aren't too bad. But my local Information office told me they aren't doing paper maps any more (not sure if they meant just the Illawarra one or all their range) and you have to download off their web site. 

The best maps I have came from the NRMA from about 20+ years ago. They don't have all the highway upgrades since then but they are very complete on the back-roads. Unfortunately the NRMA don't do paper maps any more as part of their "customer service". They tell you to use the web. I did complain as a NRMA member, but got a corporate speak cut-and-paste reply.

I don't know if Google has a sealed/unsealed metadata definition but OpenStreetMap does although I haven't worked out how they describe a road with both sealed & unsealed bits . Unfortunately there is no visible indication of the status only the defined "importance"

I doubt Komoot has its own worldwide data, looks like they just front end the Google API or the OpenStreetMap data which is what all the other mapping tools do.

New Mapping sites pop up regularly all overlaying an interface over the (only?) two publicly available data sources and one way or another they all just want your money, eventually.

another one is plotaroute.com

The good think about OSM is you can (with an account) modify the data to correct errors etc or even plot and describe missing roads.

ps as I thought the roads on OSM are broken into segments at change of type  Ie paved/unpaved and the metadata changes but is not visible via the normal interface


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