11 February 2011

Which Online GPS map service? Try www.ridewithgps.com

Not good riding weather today, Friday (national holiday) and probably not on Saturday either.  Hoping for a Sunday ride.  8AM from my house -- leave a comment or email me if interested.

I'm tired of the BING maps at Garmin Connect.  IMHO and compared with Google maps, they are [just awful], at least for Japan and for our rides in the hills.
  • No English/Romanized names at all (Google maps have this).
  • Poor detail, ugly font.
  • No topo/terrain feature unless you zoom in way too close to be of use.
  • A pale ugly yellow background color.

Based on some of TCC discussions (www.tokyocycle.com), here, briefly in passing, here,  I decided to try Ride With GPS instead and am very impressed.
  • A very nice interface. 
  • Google maps!
  • A screen/map layout that looks great on my wide Benq LCD monitor at home.  
  • No distracting ads like mapmyride.  
  • I was able to upload a full year of rides in a few clicks using their "bulk uploader".  
If you look at last week's post (below) of the Kazahari Rindo ride, I have now embedded the Ride with GPS map above the Garmin Connect map so you can compare the "embed" versions.

So far, Ride with GPS looks like a great choice.  And, of course, it is free (if it is as good as it seems, I'll send a donation).  It seems to be a start-up by two guys in Oregon ... so I guess I do worry about long-term viability and will not delete any data from my hard drive just yet ...  But Garmin Connect has handed them a great opportunity by its switch to Bing.

Are there other alternatives I should be considering?

Any reason to try one of the Japanese alternatives, such as Yahoo Japan's LatLongLab?

Several options to embed -- here is Yanagisawa and Sasago trip from last April, a link to a static map image here (perfect for blog comments) or the full embed:


TOM said...

will give it a try!

jun said...

Hi!! David L san.
This is Aoyama Jun. I was very surprised to see you because ...っと、日本語でOKでしたよね。あまり英語力が無いところを披露したくないので日本語で失礼します(^^;
自宅もオフィスも神奈川で、都心には年に数回しか行かない&知り合いも少ないので、東京体育館の健康相談室で知り合いにあった時は「とっても!!」 驚きましたよ(^o^) POSITIVO ESPRESSO ジャージを着て、PBPの話をしていたので「もしや?」とは思いましたが。
私はVO2max 57.8、AT値43.1でした。今年も何本かブルベに参加登録していますが、またどこかでお会いできることを楽しみにしています。

David L. said...

Thanks for the note. 日本語でOKです。
I edited the blog entry to include your correct VO2max number. And I look forward to seeing you on a Brevet. I am signed up for Chiba 300 "night" Brevet on 2/27 with some friends, and also for Chiba 400 km Brevet on 3/26 -- first time I have ridden Chiba events. I am told that even though there are no mountains, there are lots and lots of hills. Let me know if you will join either, and if you have a plan to ride any 600 km event.

Vincent said...

I agree with you totally about Garmi using the Bung maps. How about Strava though it's subscription

jun said...

David L. san
Thanks to change my VO2max number:-)
This year, I'll ride Motosu 300km, Misaka 400km, and Torisaka 600km. These Brevet,called Aoba series, start & goal points are very close to my house(under 5km), so it's easy to join them(^^;
Best, Jun

David L. said...

Jun: The Aoba series looks nice -- starting from the Tamagawa just south of Noborito -- very close to my house also, which is in Kaminoge near Futakotamagawa. ... but I wanted to do the first 300 and 400 km Brevets I could find near Tokyo this season, in case I need to cancel because of work or have a mechanical or health issue. ... so I can still have some backup chance, I hope, to complete the series for PBP.

Vincent: Strava looks very nice, especially the way it detects climbs and automatically asks you to confirm the start and finish, and tracks you against your prior efforts and against others on the same segments (if you want to share the data). This would make our "togebaka" series (right hand edge of the blog) obsolete very quickly. ... but Strava does require a paid subscription to add more than 5 rides per month ... if you want to track everything, and when I search for rides near Tokyo it looks like only two or three people are using it yet, so no benefit of seeing who else is doing the same climbs/routes. And I could not see an obvious way to export a rider's track in TCX or GPX format, as one can from RidewithGPS or Garmin Connect. Still, the "detect a climb" feature is just great -- and I will think about subscribing.

Manfred von Holstein said...

David, thanks for trying and for posting. The more people switch, the sooner Garmin will hopefully realise that innovation needs to move products forward not backward.

Gordon Harris said...

Hi David -- Thanks for your great site. I have linked to it on my site, http://cyclingnewengland.blogspot.com

My embedded maps from RWGPS work perfectly on every browser except Internet Explorer, and that problem only exists in Blogspot, not my other sites. Have you had a similar problem? Your RWGPS maps look fine in all browsers.

Gordon Harris