Sustrans Scotland Goes Google

Posted by chdot on March 22, 2008

Pioneering path charity Sustrans has always been big on maps. No point in having delightful routes if people don’t know where they are/go. It went onto the internet quite early too, with maps to show the National Cycle Network. The web has moved on and the Sustrans’ main mapping now looks a bit primitive.

As in several other areas, Google has revolutionised the ‘on-line mapping experience‘. People now expect to be able to drag and zoom with ease. The addition of high resolution aerial views has made things even better – would help if the resolution around Edinburgh was as good as that of the city…

Now Sustrans in Scotland has launched a new site (Routes2Ride) which uses Google maps to show some selected routes. There are currently 26 – four in, or from, Edinburgh: Balerno-Bathgate, Edinburgh-Musselburgh, Union Canal-Water of Leith, Edinburgh-Cramond Brig. (Though the ‘search’ only finds those with Edinburgh in the title – a bug needing to be fixed, especially if more routes get added.)

Making use of “web 2.0” the site is similar to a blog and allows/encourages comments. John Lauder, Sustrans’ National Director for Scotland says: “Routes2Ride is a really user-friendly website which has been developed specifically for people to share their experiences of cycling in Scotland and find new rides to try out.”

3 Responses to “Sustrans Scotland Goes Google”

  1. Unfortunately they seem to have a method of embedding the map, which means that I can’t use the OSMify bookmarklet. This is a pain as you can’t actually see the route on the map, nor the alternative options for joining or leaving the route, as it appears to go through the middle of nowhere. OpenStreetMap data are far richer than Google’s in this respect. A cycle rendering is available, and highlights the important cycle routes.

  2. Andy said

    There are so many people mapping cycleroutes it would be nice to see us all under one banner. The OpenStreetMap project seems to be a better option. The Sustrans site is the same old routes but in some ways worse than previous versions which had elevation profiles. This group in London use google to better effect;,-0.08896350860595703
    and wouldn’t it be nice to have a cycle route planner like they have in London?

  3. There are different types of cycle route that want to be mapped. OpenStreetMap, looks at mapping the on the ground sign posted cycle routes. This is cartography.

    Whereas there is always the other type of cycle route of some other journey not on these sign posted routes. These need to be done elsewhere outwith OSM, though they may well still use the OSM data. This is what is called a mashup.

    You might be interested in this presentation at last year’s State of the Map conference.

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