[Talk-us] cycle.travel US bike routing, and unreviewed rural TIGER
richard at systemeD.net
Sat Jun 13 18:38:17 UTC 2015
At State of the Map US last weekend I was really pleased to unveil
bicycle routing for the US (and Canada) at my site, cycle.travel.
The planner, at http://cycle.travel/map , will plan a bike route for you
between any two points - whether in the same city or on opposite sides
of the continent. It's all based on OSM data but also takes account of
elevation and other factors.
I "dogfooded" it with a three-day ride around New York state after
SOTM-US, and it found me some lovely quiet roads in and around the
Catskills. I hope it'll be equally useful for the other two-wheelers
amongst us. There's still a lot I want to add (as detailed at
but I hope you enjoy it.
Plug aside, there's a couple of things might be relevant to US mappers.
First of all, I'm aiming high with this - the aim isn't just to make the
best OSM-powered bike router of the US, but the best bike router full
stop for commuters, leisure cyclists and tourers. (I leave the
"athletes" to Strava!)
Here in Britain, experience over the years has been that good bike
routing and good bike cartography - historically via CycleStreets and
OpenCycleMap - are a really effective way of driving contributions to
OSM. So if you know cyclists who aren't yet contributing to OSM, maybe
throw this at them - and if it doesn't find the route they'd recommend,
maybe there's some unmapped infrastructure they could be persuaded to add!
Second, the routing and cartography both heavily distrust unreviewed TIGER.
In other words, it won't route over a rural road tagged as
Any road with tiger:reviewed removed or altered, any road in urban
areas, and any road with highway=unclassified or greater is assumed to
be a usable paved road. (There are a few additional bits of logic but
that's the general principle.)
Unreviewed rural residentials are shown on the map (high zoom levels) as
a faint grey dashed line, explained in the key as "Unsurveyed road".
I've been finding this a really useful way of locating unreviewed TIGER
and fixing it... it's actually quite addictive. :) Looking for roads
which cross rivers, or with long sweeping curves, is an easy way of
identifying quick wins. My modus operandi is to retag 2+-lane roads with
painted centrelines as tertiary, smaller paved roads as unclassified,
and just to take the tiger:reviewed tag off paved residential roads.
Anything unpaved gets a surface tag and/or highway=track.
I can't promise minutely updates I'm afraid - the routing/map update
process takes two full days to run so it'll be more monthly than
minutely. But I hope you find it as useful as I do. You'll see there's a
tiny little "pen" icon at the bottom right of http://cycle.travel/map
which takes you to edit the current location in OSM.
Finally, many thanks to everyone who's tested it so far, particularly
Steve All - your feedback was and continues to be enormously useful.
More information about the Talk-us