Search This Blog

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Really Cool Feature of Map-My-Ride

In this post I told you about Map-My-Ride which is a very useful program for planning bicycling routes because in addition to mileage it displays the severity of that route's climbs.  Believe me, when you're hauling a lot of camping gear you want no surprises when encountering steep terrain.

Another feature of Map-My-Ride is called "Course Fly-By Video."  Here's how it works:

As an example, I have mapped a route from National City (which is just below San Diego) to Green Valley Falls in the Cuyamaca Mountains.  Overall distance is some 46 miles and considering that I am riding up into the mountains there are some fairly steep climbs.

Right click this link and choose "Open in New Tab" to observe the map.  See the black square in the upper right hand corner that says "3D?"  Click on that square.

To watch the example video below you'll have to have Google Earth installed on your computer.  If the map software detects that you don't have Google Earth, it'll provide the link.  It's a very fast installation and it's free.

Once you have Google Earth installed watch the magic.

You can hit "pause" at any time.  Once the screened is paused, position the cursor anywhere over the Google Earth image: double right clicks expand the view, double left clicks bring the images closer.. 

Lots of fun to watch (at least I think so) but is it useful?  I think it is because it provides a pretty good overview of the type of terrain you'll be encountering without having to resort to Google Maps Street View at various places along the route to get a sense of what you'll be up against.  This Course Fly-By Video displays the entire ride - hills and all - in one fell swoop.

Try it and have fun with it.  Try planning a route from one city to another.  If you're not sure which streets to take feed your starting point and destination into Google Maps and use the bicycle icon as your mode of transportation.

More information of this new Course Fly-By feature here:

No comments:

Post a Comment