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Discussion Starter #1
It's been a good year or longer since I investigated this and, with a small group ride coming up this weekend, I thought it was time to check again.

Has anyone come up with a phone app that allows decent mapping of a route so I can get turn-by-turn directions while leading a ride?

When I've checked this out in the past, the only options seemed to be either dropping $400 on a dedicated GPS unit, or making do with apps that didn't do the job or had to be heavily work-arounded.

It seems odd to me that Google Maps hasn't made something like this readily available. Or maybe they have, and I've missed it.
 

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Here's what I do. I downloaded a free program called Tyre to Travel. It has a fairly easy learning curve, way easier than something like Basecamp. Tyre uses Google Maps, so in order to plan routes on it, you need to have an internet connection.

I create the custom route on Tyre. Then I plug in my Garmin 2455 to my computer, and drag and drop the custom route from my computer to the Garmin. It then gives turn by turn directions on my Garminas I travel .

If you want to use a smart phone, you can purchase and app called OsmAnd. I think it costs $8.99. You can upload the custom .gpx file created on Tyre to the cloud, or else email it to yourself. Once it's on your phone, open that custom .gpx file using OsmAnd, and the OsmAnd program will give you turn by turn directions just like the Garmin will.

There are other programs to create custom .gpx files, like Furkot. I don't use that one so I can't comment on how good/bad it is. Other guys here use it and swear by it.

You can create custom routes on OsMand itself, and since you can download maps to OsMand, you can use it without an internet connection. I personally find the user interface for planning routes on OsmAnd to be way more complex than I'm willing to deal with, so I just create the routes on Tyre. I either do it at home, or on the fly while I'm at a motel room.
 

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Here's what I do. I downloaded a free program called Tyre to Travel. It has a fairly easy learning curve, way easier than something like Basecamp. Tyre uses Google Maps, so in order to plan routes on it, you need to have an internet connection.

I create the custom route on Tyre. Then I plug in my Garmin 2455 to my computer, and drag and drop the custom route from my computer to the Garmin. It then gives turn by turn directions on my Garminas I travel .

If you want to use a smart phone, you can purchase and app called OsmAnd. I think it costs $8.99. You can upload the custom .gpx file created on Tyre to the cloud, or else email it to yourself. Once it's on your phone, open that custom .gpx file using OsmAnd, and the OsmAnd program will give you turn by turn directions just like the Garmin will.

There are other programs to create custom .gpx files, like Furkot. I don't use that one so I can't comment on how good/bad it is. Other guys here use it and swear by it.

You can create custom routes on OsMand itself, and since you can download maps to OsMand, you can use it without an internet connection. I personally find the user interface for planning routes on OsmAnd to be way more complex than I'm willing to deal with, so I just create the routes on Tyre. I either do it at home, or on the fly while I'm at a motel room.

You can also create a route in Google maps, copy the URL to GPS Visualizer, convert it to .gpx, upload to OsMand...

and Bob's your uncle!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, so I played around with Google's My Maps tonight for an hour or so.

I was able to create my route on a map without too much difficulty.

Next...figuring out how (if?) I can get navigation to work with my route.

I've been able to access my saved map through the Google Maps app on my phone (via 'My Places'). But that's where I get stumped. I can't seem to find anything that will let me navigate the route.

I did download Google's My Maps app, but that's totally useless as far as I can tell -- I can't even find my saved maps on that.
 

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You need to get a .Gpx file from the route. As spec noted above use gpsvisualizer to take the exported file from my maps and convert it to .gpx. the email the .Gps to yourself. When you double click the attachment on your Android phone it should launch osmand and load a "track" that you can follow as following the dot or navigate with.
 

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If you use Tyre to Travel, you don't need to use any file converters. You can plan a route by either entering a starting and ending point and the program will find the shortest route (and you can exclude highways if you want, so the program will give you the less direct route). You can then drag the route anywhere you want between those two endpoints. You can also just double click anywhere on the map to plan the most meandering circuitous route you want, and the program will store up to 1000 waypoints for each route. The program has many different features, including a reverse feature where you can flip the starting and ending points. You can also easily calculate the distances and times between individual waypoints right on the map, to help you in planning a trip.

You can save the route in multiple formats right in the program, without needing a separate file converter. The formats include .gpx files, Tom Tom files, .kml files, and .kmz files.

To load it onto a GPS or phone, you just drag and drop the route from wherever you saved it onto your device (provided your device has the ability to read an imported file). If you use a smart phone as a GPS, you just need a program to read the file, like OsmAnd. Dragging and dropping works just fine for any Garmin GPS that has the Trip Planner feature. Once it's on the device, you just open it; the device will recognize the route and give you turn by turn directions. If you're the kind of rider who likes to have a cue sheet with mileages/times between waypoints and written directions, the program will print out a "road book", listing all that info.

I've attached a photo of a route I just rode yesterday, created on Tyre in about 10 minutes. Clicked a bunch of points on the map to make a really wandering route, dragged it onto my Garmin 2455, and it was done. I also dragged it onto my phone as a backup. You open the .gpx file with OsmAnd, and it works just like it does on the GPS.

If you miss a turn, the device will automatically recalculate the route to get you back on track. If you find you can't go down a particular road (like for road construction), you can skip ahead on the list of waypoints to work around the road closure.

I've used both Google Maps and Tyre to create routes; Tyre has a much better user interface. In fact, it was designed by a motorcyclist with an eye towards a motorcyclist's needs when route planning.
 

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OLd School

Wow! I'll have to update my system.

For years now I just study Google maps on PC the night before with notepad open (in 24 point for my old eyes) and type up and print turn by turn directions in text, and put them in the map pocket of my tank bag. Works for me.

I did buy a MC GPS some years back but I could never read it in sunlight. I then tried a 7" tablet in the tank bag map pocket with maps but could never read that in sunlight either.
 

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I still carry a paper road atlas when I travel. If I hit a traffic tie up or some other delay when I'm traveling, a paper map can be a big help in planning a workaround.

For years I rode with cue sheets and maps stuffed in the pocket of a tankbag (or even taped to the gas tank). It has it's old school charms, but I'll take satellite navigation any day over that. For me, it's a lot better to just follow that purple line, than to be looking down at a cue sheet and checking an odometer to see if I've gone 8/10 of a mile yet, and dammit did I miss that turn somewhere?
 

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I still carry a paper road atlas when I travel. If I hit a traffic tie up or some other delay when I'm traveling, a paper map can be a big help in planning a workaround.

For years I rode with cue sheets and maps stuffed in the pocket of a tankbag (or even taped to the gas tank). It has it's old school charms, but I'll take satellite navigation any day over that. For me, it's a lot better to just follow that purple line, than to be looking down at a cue sheet and checking an odometer to see if I've gone 8/10 of a mile yet, and dammit did I miss that turn somewhere?
I use Delorme Gazetteers, generally review them the night before and put my route to memory for the day. I am told I have an abnormal sense of spacial location, other people have referred to me as the riding road map

although, I do get confused sometimes in urban areas, so I keep the atlases with me to help me out of those situations
 

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I have a rotten sense of direction. Always have.

I carry the big Rand McNally spiral bound road atlas. I like it; large scale maps, and it's easy to lay flat on the top case if I'm trying to plot a route. I doubt if I could memorize one of my average routes; lots of meandering down back roads, forest roads, gravel, with lots of turns. If you looked at one of my routes, they often look like a web woven by a spider on LSD.

I love having a GPS when I'm in an urban area. I'd much rather follow that purple line on the GPS in a city than have to stop to consult a map. I've definitely embraced GPS technology.
 

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I am a land surveyor/land use consultant, so it is something I do every day to go from jobsite to jobsite, the only time I have actually used my gps, other than a speedometer or listening to mp3s is on IBA rides, and then not so much for the route as programming in my fuel stops

on exploring rides I study the maps for a general sense of my route, and make turns on roads that look like they will take me somewhere I haven't been before

I have not found gps to be as reliable an exploring tool as dead reckoning
 

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I have tried a number of different gps apps on my iphone, I didn't like any of them. I have yet to find a phone gps app that has anywhere near the functionality I am looking for.

You mentioned $400 for a dedicated gps, you don't need to spend that much. A Garmin 2720/2820 can be had for $50, add on a ram mount for $20-30, use the power outlet charger or cut it up and run the wire to the battery and you're all set. You can update to the latest maps which can be done for free if you know where to look.

You now have a waterproof, super functional motorcycle gps for well under $100. IMO the Garmin Streetpilot is a better gps than most of the Zumo's (the latest ones are pretty noise, but $$$).

I owned a Zumo 660 at one point and sold it at a steep loss cause it wasn't significantly better than my 2720 and in some areas was worse.
 

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and make turns on roads that look like they will take me somewhere I haven't been before
You might like TomTom Winding Roads App for the iPhone....plug in your destination ....choose the level of winding roads you want and it will search them out but always move you toward your destination ...I love surprises....

Had a lovely couple of days wandering WV and it found all the routes I'd been advised by locals to look for





Need to get there faster - just hit fastest route within the same destination and it reroutes - don't like the look of the suggested road, just carry on and again it reroutes.
Too much fun in backroad rich regions.
 

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I have tried a number of different gps apps on my iphone, I didn't like any of them. I have yet to find a phone gps app that has anywhere near the functionality I am looking for.

You mentioned $400 for a dedicated gps, you don't need to spend that much. A Garmin 2720/2820 can be had for $50, add on a ram mount for $20-30, use the power outlet charger or cut it up and run the wire to the battery and you're all set. You can update to the latest maps which can be done for free if you know where to look.

You now have a waterproof, super functional motorcycle gps for well under $100. IMO the Garmin Streetpilot is a better gps than most of the Zumo's (the latest ones are pretty noise, but $$$).

I owned a Zumo 660 at one point and sold it at a steep loss cause it wasn't significantly better than my 2720 and in some areas was worse.
Totally agree. I've been using a Garmin 2455 now for a couple years on the bike with no problems. I forget what I paid for a refurbished one on Amazon, but it was way under a hundred bucks. They were cheap enough that I actually bought a second one, that I carry as a backup on long trips. I waterproofed mine using a tutorial I found on Youtube.

I've tried the phone apps too. OsmAnd is okay, as long as I'm just using it to read a route that I programmed somewhere else, but it sucks for me trying to use it to plan a route. I gave the phone a good try, but I still prefer using the Garmin plus Tyre.
 

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You can't plan on a phone ...one reason I lke Winding Roads...all I need to do is locate a target rich area on the computer... plug in a destination or two on the iPhone app ( allows travel via options ) and turn it loose.
Has good cover for POI including fuel and parks ( parks are sometimes a bugger ).
 
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