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Almost-Satnav For Cycling 119

Posted by timothy
from the putting-you-in-the-saddle-since-2010 dept.
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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Almost-Satnav For Cycling

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  • just a guy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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

    • Re:just a guy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by telchine (719345) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:27PM (#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.

      • 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'

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by moonbender (547943)

          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].

          • by richlv (778496)

            you mention a very important point - summary left out one of the most crucial parts, that it is using openstreetmap data (which is great, because, as summary correctly points out, you can easily correct any mistakes or outdated information you find).

            of course, another benefit is that you can do with the data almost everything you want - one of those possibilities being taking it offline with you on a phone, laptop or any other device.

      • 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.

      • by N Monkey (313423)

        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!

      • by nmg196 (184961)

        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).

      • 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.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:46PM (#33729676) Homepage Journal

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

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

        by JimWise (1804930) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:07PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by fluffy99 (870997)

          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 rac

          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            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

            • by DeathElk (883654)

              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% unde

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Simon Brooke (45012)

            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

          • 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.

        • by Ckwop (707653)

          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 w

        • 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!
           

          • by cduffy (652)

            I use a solution along the same lines -- mountain biking shorts. No heckling, no chafing -- they're not so aerodynamic, but I'm not going for speed anyhow.

      • by topham (32406) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:15PM (#33730098) Homepage

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

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

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by tool462 (677306)

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

      • 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.
      • 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.
      • by russotto (537200)

        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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by piraat (1772234)
        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.
    • by naich (781425)

      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.

    • by julesh (229690)

      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hkz (1266066) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:52PM (#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: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by topham (32406)

      Same thing I was thinking.

      Slashdot has really slipped these past few years.

    • by solevita (967690) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:57PM (#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.

      • by Askmum (1038780)

        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.

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shish (588640)
      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 :(
      • by ooooli (1496283)

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by xaxa (988988)

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

    • by Like2Byte (542992)

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nyh (55741)

      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 whe

      • by xaxa (988988)

        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).

        • by Nyh (55741)

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

          Actually it is close to 400 km (A120, A12, London city center, A4, A30, A303). My best time is 14 hours, worst 20 hours. For the return journey I allot 24 hours because I don't want to miss the ferry. But 400 km isn't that a big distance when you train for rides like Paris-Brest-Paris or London-Edinburgh-London.

          Nyh

  • by solevita (967690) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @07:52PM (#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: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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!

  • by ben_kelley (234423) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:03PM (#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.

    • by treeves (963993)
      and probably better battery life as well. If the batteries do go, it's easier to change AA's than to charge the iPhone.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by fluffy99 (870997)

          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.

          • 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.

          • by xaxa (988988)

            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 fo

      • by CompMD (522020)

        My Edge can go for two days without needing to be recharged. And if I wipe out, nothing happens to it, because its actually pretty tough. If an iphone touches the ground in a wipe out, its going to completely shatter.

    • by MrCrassic (994046)
      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.
  • UK? WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by catmistake (814204) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:27PM (#33729912) Journal
    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.
  • 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

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      yes, it is called mytrack, and it is opensource

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by murph (16036)

      Check out RideTrac for Android. Works great for me.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

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

    • by samurphy21 (193736) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @08:41PM (#33729978) Homepage

      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.

      • by pecosdave (536896) *

        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.

      • 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).

    • 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.

  • by sleeping143 (1523137) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:19PM (#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.
    • 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 par
    • why not just buy a GPS device designed for motorcyclists?

      Because they cost a boatload? [google.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.

    • 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 ce
      • by xaxa (988988)

        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

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      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.
      • by cbope (130292)

        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

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      why not just buy a GPS device designed for motorcyclists?

      Probably because they are incredibly fucking expensive. As a biker myself, I can't jusify the expense for the odd time when it would be useful. You can get a car one for less than 100 GBP, bike ones seem to be 400 to 500. I appreciate you've got to have something a little better than a suction pad on a plastic cradle on a bike, but still.

    • by aug24 (38229)

      Because this takes hills into account.
      Because this allows you to choose fastest/quietest/balanced routes.
      Because this will route you along cycle ways that motorbikes aren't allowed down.

      (Because I already own an iPhone so it's free!)

      Honestly, did you read any of the friendly article at all?

  • 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.
  • 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 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]
  • First off, kudos to these guys for trying to fill this void. That having been said, I think it's only a (short) matter of time before Google Nav has this, if it doesn't already. Specifically, what I (and many others would like) is to be able to create a route in Google Maps, export / save it, and then have the turn-by-turn Android GPS thigamabob give me turn-by-turn directions. Particularly in a lot of European cities, the best route from point A to point B via bike is completely different from the best r
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