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Creating Route Cue Sheets with Google Maps

I have taken the unusual step for me and reproduced in full this blog post from http://the-yosts.com/googlemap_cuesheet.html.  I have done this as I think this is a great feature for Audax riders and others planning cycling tours and the like and I am a little concerned about the longevity of the source (no website, just a registered address).

Full credit for this great feature goes http://the-yosts.com.

The GoogleMap_CueSheet scriptlet makes it incredibly easy to create a precise cue sheet for cycling by leveraging Google Maps Driving Directions.

The cue sheet can be exported in GPX format for import into www.bikely.com, complete with pre-populated cue sheet.
Or, the cue sheet can be exported in Garmin CRS / TCX format for import into Garmin GPS devices for turn-by-turn directions on your Garmin.

Or, for the old-fashioned, the cue sheet can simply be printed.

Instructions for using the GoogleMap_CueSheet scriptlet:

  1. This step only needs to be done one time:
    Firefox: Drag the following link to your browser’s bookmark toolbar.
    Internet Explorer: right-click on the following link and “Add to Favorites…”
    This is the link:
    GoogleMap_CueSheet
  2. Go to Google Maps and create a route.
    This is most easily done by choosing to ‘Avoid Highways’ and then “drive” from your start point to the furthest point away on your route just as if you were requesting driving directions from Google.
    Then, drag the blue line around to follow the roads you want instead of those Google chose for you.
    Then, right-click at your finish point and select ‘Add Destination’ and again, drag the blue line to follow the roads that you want until your route is complete.
  3. Click on the GoogleMap_CueSheet bookmark that is now in your toolbar or Favorites if you did Step 1.
  4. A screen should now appear that indicates that your Google route has been saved and provides three options for how to format your cue sheet.
    1. Cue Sheet – choose Miles or Kilometers and click “Cue Sheet” and a print-friendly cue sheet is displayed
    2. Bikely GPX – click “Bikely GPX” and the GPX file for import into Bikely is displayed
    3. Garmin Course – specify the speed for the Garmin Virtual Partner and name your Course (15 chars max) and click “Garmin Course” and a CRS/TCX file for import into Garmin Training Center is displayed.
  5. Copy and Paste the text into a text editor like Notepad and save as .TXT (cue sheet), .GPX (Bikely Import), or .CRS or .TCX (Garmin).
    When using Notepad, in the Save dialog under Save As Type make sure to specify “All Types” and not “Text Documents” or your file will have a .txt.gpx extension.

Loading Your Route Into Bikely

  1. Log in to www.bikely.com
  2. Under Create Routes, select Import Route and select the .GPX file you saved in Step 5. Your route is now loaded complete with cue sheet and elevation profile.
  3. Specify the start city and give the route a description and save

Loading Your Course Into Your Garmin

The GoogleMap CueSheet scriptlet greatly increases the usefulness of Garmin Edge and Forerunner computers.
You can now have your Garmin direct you on your rides turn-by-turn with names of streets, directions of turns (Left, Right, Straight), and distance to next turn.

There is no need for cue sheets clipped to handlebars and there is no getting lost – if you get off course your Garmin will beep and you and tell you this!

This functionality works with the old and now cheap Garmin 205 and 305 models; there is no need for the new 705 models that include maps.

  1. Connect your Garmin to your computer and open Garmin Training Center
  2. Choose File->Import Courses and select the .CRS or .TCX file you saved in Step 5.
  3. Your course is now available in the Courses list with the name specified in the GoogleMap CueSheet script interface
  4. If desired, edit any of the turn-by-turn directions within the course
  5. Click the “Send to Device” button
  6. Choose the desired course
Getting Your Garmin to Use The Course
  1. In your Garmin, scroll to the Settings screen
  2. Select Training and then Courses
  3. Choose your Course and then “Do Course”

Your Garmin now has your Course loaded and is ready to navigate you.
You now have a choice to follow the line in the Map Screen, or to use the Courses screen which can show much standard bike computer data such as distance, speed, elevation, in addition to data useful for navigating such as distance to next turn and name of road at next turn.

Examples

Here are some examples of routes in Google Maps:

Here are links to the same routes above after imported into www.bikely.com.
Note the ability to view elevation profile and the cue sheet automatically generated from the Google Maps Driving Directions:

4 Responses to Creating Route Cue Sheets with Google Maps

  1. Marty September 27, 2009 at 12:40 AM #

    Have you considered OSM maps? if you look on the Cloudmade Maps website you will see that you can create routes and get cue sheets at the same time.

    • Aushiker May 1, 2010 at 7:27 AM #

      Hi Marty. I have had a look at CloudMade Maps, however it usefulness to someone like myself in Australia appears to be no existent. That said UK residents may well find it a good tool.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      Regards
      Andrew

  2. Marty September 27, 2009 at 9:40 AM #

    Have you considered OSM maps? if you look on the Cloudmade Maps website you will see that you can create routes and get cue sheets at the same time.

    • Aushiker May 1, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

      Hi Marty. I have had a look at CloudMade Maps, however it usefulness to someone like myself in Australia appears to be no existent. That said UK residents may well find it a good tool.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      Regards
      Andrew

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