Maps Mania: The Bike Map

By neub9
2 Min Read

Planning biking directions can be challenging, as most route planners do not take into account important factors for cyclists. When plotting bike routes, I prioritize road traffic, elevation, and road surface conditions such as avoiding cobbles.

To test a route planning map for cyclists, I use a familiar route from my home to a nearby supermarket that I cycle at least twice a week. The best route requires knowledge of dedicated cycle lanes and pedestrian-cycling paths, which most maps do not consider.

Sherpa, a new cycling route planner, is the first map to recommend my preferred cycling route to the supermarket. It offers options to prioritize elevation, road types, and leisure or race routes, with the leisure option aligning with my preference for dedicated bike lanes and shared paths.

The ‘Choose Route Profile’ option allows cyclists to prioritize road surfaces, terrain, and route type. The ability to color code the route by elevation, surface, and grade makes it easy to identify hills along the route, and an elevation profile feature provides a visual representation of the entire journey. Additionally, the road surface is displayed on the elevation profile using different colors.

While Sherpa covers essential factors like elevation, road type, and bike lane availability, I would like to see the ability to color code the route line by the type of road, such as physically separated bike lanes or shared pedestrian-bike paths.

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