I suppose there is no better way to start off a tutorial than to dive right into it. So, that's what I'll do.
Currently, there are three different ways you can share a bike route on RoadBikeJourney:
- Map the bike route out directly in your browser at RoadBikeJourney (this is the most popular)
- Map the route out in Google Earth and upload it to RoadBikeJourney (RoadBikeJourney integrates with Google Earth)
- Or upload your GPS tracks from your ride directly to RoadBikeJourney (this is the fastest but you must own a GPS device that is "track" enabled - most are)
Today, I'm going to talk about using Google Earth to map out your favorite bike routes. Why? Well, because we just made some code changes to the site that enables some pretty cool integration with Google Earth.
I'll add tutorials on the other two options as I get requests (hint: if you want to see one let me know).
So, why would you want to use Google Earth to map your route? Two words: Automatic Routing.
What is Automatic Routing you ask? I can select two points and Google Earth will draw a line that follows the road between those two points. If you have a 90 mile segment of a great bike route that you want to share, plot two points, upload the file to RoadBikeJourney and you are done.
First things first, download Google Earth. It's free and it completely integrates with RoadBikeJourney (you can download routes from RoadBikeJourney and view them in Google Earth, etc.)
Click below to download Google Earth, it comes as part of the Google Pack of software. Simply select what you want and you're done (make sure you get Google Earth).
The Basic Method
Now that you've got Google Earth, let's get started. The following is the basic method for using Google Earth. If you have more complex routes that require multiple segments, you'll want to skip ahead to the Advanced section.
Step One:Mark the Start of the Route
The first step is to put a "PlaceMark" at the start of your route, a PlaceMark looks like a pushpin.You will want to make sure you zoom far enough in too make sure that you place the PlaceMark on the actual road. In this case we are going to route Highway 96 from WestCliffe, Colorado to Pueblo, Colorado.
Step Two:Mark the End of the Route
Repeat Step one, except put the new PlaceMark at the end of your route, on the same road as your first PlaceMark. In our case, we placed it on Highway 96 in Pueblo, Co.
Step Three:Draw the Route
Return to your first PlaceMark, single click on it and select "Directions From Here". Go to the second PlaceMark, single click on it and select "Directions To Here."
Voila! Your route is drawn along the map automatically!!! Take a minute to bask in the glow of your own brilliance.
Step Four:Save the Route
To the left of your screen, you'll notice a bunch of stuff that has popped up since you routed your favorite bike road. This is your route. We want to save this
to a file so that we can upload it to RoadBikeJourney.
Simply right click on that item next to the minus sign with all the numbers next to it (those are the latitude and longitude coordinates of our route) and choose "Save As" from the popup menu.
Note: To make sure you got the right one, you can uncheck it and see if your route disappears from the map. If it does, you're set.
When you save the file, make sure you choose to save it as a KML file not a KMZ file.
Step Five:You're Done!
Now all that is left is to share your great bike road or route on RoadBikeJourney.
Simply click "Add Your Favorite Route" on the under where the new routes are listed and then upload your file under option two!
The rest of this tutorial is the advanced section, for those of you that have routes that traverse more than one road. It's pretty easy to do, but just has a few more steps - hence, why I called it advanced.