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Who wants to help design an all-new trip planner from the ground up?
GoneNomad
Ken in Regina said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
...The question is its planning capabilities. That brings us to the second thing. I did a quick test back then to see if it could do multipoint routes. It couldn't.
I had (perhaps foolishly) made an assumption that BingMaps (which does allow multiple stops) could be used as a trip planner, and seamlessly export the trip to the Win10 Maps app. Seems like a no-brainer. But for some reason, Google, Here, MapQuest & Microsoft all keep fumbling the ball on this point.

Furkot may be the only one that doesn't (because of its many excellent route export options), but I don't know what the new multi-step GoogleMaps/Nav will do with a Furkot multi-step trip.
Hmmm... I guess I should test this....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
...if it could do multipoint routes. It couldn't. ...So I didn't bother to check anything else. I don't care how well it does other things if it only routes A to B.

I just checked the latest release version on the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and I still can't find any way to do more than A to B with it. I also just checked the next version in the latest Insider Edition (Build 14955, installed yesterday) and it's still limited to A to B.

So, yes, it's easy/trivial to download map segments to use offline. That's a big plus. But without multipoint routing it holds no interest for me.
I agree completely with that. I had no idea Microsoft wasn't there yet but I guess it should not be a surprise considering that the google map/nav app only recently gained that capability.

From using CoPilot, I see one problem with actually navigating multi-stop routes: the app doesn't always "know" if you've actually passed one stop, and if when this happens, without manual intervention the nav app keeps trying to take you back to the point you are now trying to head away from. In some circumstances (the usual, and the WORST kind, is in an unfamiliar place) that can be VERY confusing. Nav apps need to do a better job of preventing that confusion. Maybe that's part of the problem. In the meantime, it looks like their bastardized workaround is to 'save searches as tabs along the top of the app, and searches layer on top of one another'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Having said that, if there's anything in particular that you would like me to look at in it, I would be happy to do so.

...ken...
Thanks! I'll keep that in mind.

------------------------------

SpadesFlush said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
The search you cannot do in Google Maps is a search around a route, or around a route segment, or around a route point which S&T/AR can do.
True, but let's face it: S&T's built-in search is horrible, and its POI data was never all that great when it was new and is getting more out of date every day. True, it can be extended by importing POI sets but it's not the only one that can do that. A lot of local search involves looking for SOMETHING but you don't know exactly WHAT until you do the search.

And anyway, Furkot provides a way to search google's excellent map data near a stop or along a route segment:


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
This has been a useful discussion for me. My big take-away is to consider augmenting my current methods with the further step of using Google Contacts for POIs and route stops.
Yes, I agree. Brainstorming like this is helpful for me too. It helps me consider the needs of other users, and to learn about other generic tools I'm not familiar with that can be utilized for trip research & planning.
Attached Images
furkot-poi-searh.png  
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Are you saying I'm not in my right mind???
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
No one who wishes to self-identify with my cohort merits an apology.
Then I will take it as a significant compliment.

Quote:
I defer to your wisdom on ALK CoPilot. I have no experience with the product.

My routes can easily involve 50 or more stops, if that would be a factor. Also, many of my routes are in Europe.
Aside from the shortness of any particular screen and the scrolling thus necessitated, I don't see that the number of stops would have any effect on CoPilot Android's usefulness, strictly for setting up the route itself.

Quote:
That's interesting. I do not use OneNote for anything; it is off my radar screen. HOWEVER, your discussion prompts me to think about using Google Contacts the way I perceive you to be using OneNote. A "Contact" does not have to be a person as I have been thinking by default but it could be a hotel, a bar and lounge, a museum or, I suppose just about anything. Then, Google Maps or Google Calendar would be able to find it. When I am planning a trip, I do a lot of cutting and pasting from sources such as Wikipedia and I could do that with Contacts. Contact Groups can be created (Hotels, Bars, Museums, etc.) to keep things organized without bloating one's Contacts folder.
Aha, now that gets the creative juices flowing. When I mentioned the usefulness of Contacts as one of the searches you could use in CoPilot when adding a point to a route, something started niggling in the back of my head. I think that was because you had already mentioned the use of Calendar in a similar fashion.

You just articulated the thought that was trying to get started. Thanks!!

As you say, any of the standard Google stuff that knows how to use addresses for navigation purposes would happily use a contact. And the organizational capability of the Groups feature adds another whole level of usefulness.

By the way, I use a contacts app called "DW Contacts Pro". It adds more levels of usefulness than the basic Android Contacts app but still uses the standard Contacts database. In particular, finding things in a large contacts database is trivial by comparison to the basic app.

Yes, I'm sort of using OneNote that way. But there's no physical or logical linkage with any of the navigational stuff as is possible with Contacts. It's simply a record I cut/paste or type in of useful information that I'm free to organize in any fashion I want (if you were ever a Palm guy, think of the Palm memopad with the ability to also store pics/images).

For instance, in my primary notebook I have a subsection called TRAVEL. In that subsection I have four categories: Travel BC, Travel AB, Travel SK, and Travel Other. These cover the three provinces I travel in the most and the fourth is for anywhere else.

In each of those categories I have notebook pages by city/town name. On those city/town notebook pages I enter (type, cut/paste) information relevant to those places, such as motels we've stayed in and/or might stay in, restaurants we've liked or hated and others we might want to try, local attractions or entertainment spots with relevant info like address, phone, email, prices and hours of operation. The notebook pages in these four categories are strictly for reference purposes.

I have a fifth category in the TRAVEL subsection called, simply, TRIPS. This is where the planning for a given trip occurs. So each notebook page in this category is titled by trip name and date. Each Trip page contains anything relevant to the trip itself, like itinerary, any places we plan to stay/visit, reservations/bookings and related confirmations, etc.

This starts out as the itinerary and planning info. But as we do the travel it gets updated with our experiences. At the end of the trip I might decide to move info from it to the relevant city/town reference page(s) for easy future planning reference. I would do that because I can't always remember which date/trip to look in for later reference but I know which cities/towns I'll be going through on the next trip I'm planning.

The TRAVEL subsection of the notebook is really a living record of past and future travel information. I have so much stuff in it now that I'm shortly going to split it off into a separate notebook.

But I really like your thoughts about using the contacts for navigation related planning. Once I have information like you mentioned in the Contacts database it would be trivial, as noted in my post above, to use that info to build a route.

However, much of it would still be more useful in a point A to B context. That is, hotel/motel locations are good for building an overall trip route because that's usually where you'll start from for the day's travel and your end of day stopping point. But restaurants, bars, museums, etc. are most often more useful to get to them once you're in that town (eg. A to B navigation).

That's not to take away from your concept; just an observation of the most probably usage once you have the info in the Contacts database.

As you say, a profitable discussion!

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Ken in Regina said:
Quote:
...The question is its planning capabilities. That brings us to the second thing. I did a quick test back then to see if it could do multipoint routes. It couldn't.
GoneNomad said:
Quote:
I had (perhaps foolishly) made an assumption that BingMaps (which does alloe multiple stops) could be used as a trip planner, and seamlessly export the trip to the Win10 Maps app. Seems like a no-brainer. But for some reason, the all four (Google, Here, MapQuest & Microsoft) all keep fumbling the ball on this point.
I did not look to see if there was any way to transfer a route into MS Maps. There was nothing obvious but I'll poke around a bit tomorrow to see if there might be something. It didn't even occur to me to look at the possibility that Bing Maps might be able to transfer something to MS Maps.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
It didn't even occur to me to look at the possibility that Bing Maps might be able to transfer something to MS Maps.

...ken...
You and the developers too, I guess. Absent a full-blown trip planner, it seems to be the way to go.

In most of the user forums I've looked at, whether it be google maps, or Here or whatever, there's always several requests to do this.

The people behind Furkot did get that part right: trip planning using the "normal" desktop map site (or a touch-screen mobile OS device if necessary), with easy hand off to navigation on a mobile device.

And as far as "what about accessing the map with no internet connection"
the fact is that it COULD be possible to do that with a web-browser-based setup, though it would take more than the normal caching.

I am probably biased by years of habit, but I think planning complex trips is one of those tasks that benefits from the precision of a mouse-driven interface. Then again, I only use a laptop's trackpad as a last resort, too. A touchscreen is probably better than a tiny trackpad, but AFAIC, nothing beats a mouse in a lot more circumstances than this chart suggests.

Case in point: the Android version of www.google.com/maps STILL does drag routes to change it.

Not having an easy alternate way of pressing is the drawback of fingers on a touchscreen ("long-pressing" doesn't cut it).
GoneNomad
I just stumbled across this:

alternatives using Bing Maps
especially this one:
Onterra Systems Route Savvy


Features Comparison


Looking for a replacement or alternative for MapPoint and Streets & Trips?
It’s no secret that Microsoft discontinued MapPoint and Streets & Trips products as of December 31, 2014, which has left many users looking for a replacement or alternative to MapPoint and Streets & Trips. Enter RouteSavvy route planning software from OnTerra Systems: a powerful, affordable & effective replacement to MapPoint.

But here's the drawback:

"$300/year for up to 3 users"

UPDATE: I just watched a few of the tutorial videos on youtube,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs2nIzK2aK1ouSmVGpijoog
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s79k2-M7Z0
...and although some of the features are nice, it seems pretty basic, and I don't see any way this would be worth that price to travelers.

GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
I had (perhaps foolishly) made an assumption that BingMaps (which does allow multiple stops) could be used as a trip planner, and seamlessly export the trip to the Win10 Maps app. Seems like a no-brainer. But for some reason, Google, Here, MapQuest & Microsoft all keep fumbling the ball on this point. Hmmm... I guess I should test this....
UPDATE: The Android GoogleMaps/Nav app will indeed import a multi-step trip created on www.google.com/maps

That's great news.

The bad news is (according to conventional wisdom) since www.google.com/maps provides no way to directly save routes, most people suggest resorting to copying & saving (either in email or a google drive text file) the URL from the desktop browser used to create that trip at www.google.com/maps

But all you have to do is bookmark each route planned in www.google.com/maps , organize them manually in bookmark folders and/or by using your favorite note-taking app and then synchronize the bookmarks (by logging into the same google account on all computers/mobile devices).

That's even better news.

The multi-step trip will hand off seamlessly to the
Android GoogleMaps/Nav app... but I do think they have a fairly low limit on stops/waypoints (maybe 10?)
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
...I don't know what the new multi-step GoogleMaps/Nav will do with a Furkot multi-step trip.
Hmmm... I guess I should test this....
UPDATE: As explained here, Furkot can hand off navigation for only ONE point at a time to the Android GoogleMaps/Nav app.

Furkot can export multi-step trip files (GPX, TRP, etc.) for any nav app (like CoPilot) that can use them but the routing may be different.

This makes Furkot useful for the time aspect google lacks, but not so much for the rest of it.
Furkot needs to be able to open a www.google.com/maps route URL, and it sure should be able to, since it's using the same mapping engine, but I didn't see a way to do it.
GoneNomad
Check out THIS trip planner I just stumbled across!
myrouteonline.com

Looks oriented more toward delivery drivers rather than POI exploration but still worth a look.

You can try it FREE (up to 6 addresses) without a paid account (don't even have to log in)

Pricing for paid accounts:
https://www.myrouteonline.com/pricing

MyRoute App – Navigate Multi-Stop Routes

MyRoute by MyRouteOnline is an easy to use navigation assistant for Android, iPhone, Tablets, iPads and Windows Phone.
Get MyRoute on Google Play for Android
Get MyRoute on Apple Store for iOS
Get MyRoute on Microsoft Store for Windows Phone
SpadesFlush
@Ken. Our thought processes are converging to a certain extent. With respect to planning a significant trip, in the old days before Android I used to create folders that were sub-folders of "Travel" with titles like "Hamburg." I would have things like links to flickr.com photos, Wikipedia write-ups, hotels.com pages, etc. Some would be pdf captures of what I saw whilst trolling around the web and some were just links. I would dump everything in there including S&T/AR files, pdfs, url links, in a general unfiltered, un-managed way. Then, I would start making sense of these things, sometimes using pushpins on map files to call up either a link or a file drawing together a coherent route.

But that does not work so well in Android. Yes, you can load all those pdfs onto your phone but then reading them is a bit more challenging. So, now what I am doing is copying the text from relevant web pages and then pasting that text into calendar entries or what Google calls "Events" where quite a bit of text can be accommodated. If need be, I can then scroll down through the text.

BTW, I use a small free app called "aCalendar" that is basically an overlay to the Google Calendar but with slightly different formatting that in some ways can be subjectively superior to that of Google's. I suppose your DW Contacts Pro is somewhat like that in spirit and I shall take a look.

@GoneNomad - I am not going to follow MSFT down the rat hole with Bing the way we did with S&T/AR. Been there, done that. That means that I will not look at apps that in anyway harken back to Bing. Period. It is not that I trust or like Google, but the universality of acceptance of what they are doing cannot be ignored any more than their continued investment in expansion. The World has become so hooked on their stuff that it should be protected by the UN or something.

However, I will try to look at some of these other things you are teeing up.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad - I am not going to follow MSFT down the rat hole with Bing the way we did with S&T/AR. Been there, done that. That means that I will not look at apps that in anyway harken back to Bing. Period. It is not that I trust or like Google, but the universality of acceptance of what they are doing cannot be ignored any more than their continued investment in expansion. The World has become so hooked on their stuff that it should be protected by the UN or something.

However, I will try to look at some of these other things you are teeing up.
As far as 'following MSFT down the rat hole with BingMaps the way we did with S&T/AR' Well, I have to agree with that.

www.bing.com/maps/ -to-> MSMaps having no viable way to transfer a multi-step route is a deal-breaker for me. End of Story (for now at least).

Sure would be a LOT easier if there was a Win10 GoogleMaps/Nav app. But not if they hamstring it like they have with the Android version. It shouldn't be that hard to understand, considering how many people have asked for a STRAIGHFORWARD way to save routes from www.google.com/maps and open them into the Android GoogleMaps/Nav app. For now, all we have are kludgy workarounds. Having a separate MyMaps app does allow custom maps to be saved and opened - but NOT used directly for navigation, only adds to the confusion.

As for '...that does not work so well in Android....'
I've tried Android enough different ways to know that for many things it's a very poor substitute for MacOS or Windows (even for UBuntu!).

.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Check out THIS trip planner I just stumbled across!
myrouteonline.com

Looks oriented more toward delivery drivers rather than POI exploration but still worth a look.

You can try it FREE (up to 6 addresses) without a paid account (don't even have to log in)

Pricing for paid accounts:
https://www.myrouteonline.com/pricing

MyRoute App – Navigate Multi-Stop Routes

MyRoute by MyRouteOnline is an easy to use navigation assistant for Android, iPhone, Tablets, iPads and Windows Phone.
Get MyRoute on Google Play for Android
Get MyRoute on Apple Store for iOS
Get MyRoute on Microsoft Store for Windows Phone
https://www.myrouteonline.com/pricing seems wildly expensive for the private traveler. It does not seem to do anything I cannot already do with Google Maps/Calendar/Contacts for "free." Less, actually.
GoneNomad
Pertinent info from a thread I I created on POI-Factory:

Has there been any discussion about converting POI .csv files to online map (e.g.: google.com/maps) HTML bookmarks?
I realize they are not "directly" convertible, but I'm wondering two things:
1. If any/some/most of the maintainers of POI files use google.com/maps (or equivalent) as the basis for their POI .csv files? ...but don't publish them on here because the emphasis has always been on making POI files compatible with PNDs, meaning that many in many cases the HTML bookmarks already exist.
2. Converting .csv files that have geocoordinates & description into HTML bookmarks is basically just a matter of adding the latitude & longitude to the the appropriate google.com/maps URL:

......

...I also researched various tools that do different forms of GeoCoding & Reverse Geocoding (the latter of those being closer to what I need, although in most cases the POI files already have the addresses) to see if they had the appropriate batch capability.

Here are a few of the sites that looked promising:
http://www.gps-coordinates.net/
http://batchgeo.com/
http://stevemorse.org/jcal/latlon.php
http://www.programmableweb.com/news/7-free-geocoding-apis-go...

There are many, many others. Too many, really, making it more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. But none of them seemed to be able to do what is needed for this.

BUT - what follows was one of the first things I tried, but it didn't work (then) - apparently because I forgot the comma between latitude & longitude.

Turns out that this easy approach DOES work, with both Google.com/maps and Mapquest.


1. Open a POI .csv file into Excel or other spreadsheet app.

2. Since the POI .csv files have Longitude first & Latitude next (Longitude in Column "A" & Latitude in Column "B", which is opposite from how google, mapquest, etc. do that), columns A & B have to be swapped, resulting in Latitude & Longitude in A & B. An easy way to remember this is, in North America, the negative value needs to come AFTER the positive value and the two values need to be separated by a comma, i.e: "Latitude,Longitude"
2(alt). Another way to do this, while keeping the Excel column arrangement compatible with Garmin, is to build the modified data table on a separate worksheet (e.g.: "Sheet2") in the same Excel file, leaving original worksheet (e.g.: "Sheet1") structure as is, and building Sheet2 using links to Sheet 1, which can easily be done once per column, then filling down for all rows.

3. After doing that, the rest is EASY! Just append the Latitude,Longitude values to the following URLs (inside the quotes) where the space is:

Google Maps: "www.google.com/maps/place/ "
MapQuest: "www.mapquest.com/latlng/ "

This can be done to the entire list at once, simply by copying & pasting three columns out of Excel as text, then copying and pasting that text into one column in the same Excel file. There are probably other ways to do this too.
Here's an example. It's one line from the Rest Area POI file:

-85.369424 33.667729 AL,I-20,WB,CLEBURNE COUNTY WELCOME CENTER, MM213 [RR,PT,VM,Pets,HF]|RV Dump
www.google.com/maps/place/33.667729,-85.369424
www.mapquest.com/latlng/33.667729,-85.369424

I put the the URLs like those into a single column in my spreadsheet.

But google maps will find the location even if I paste the first three columns directly from Excel without even appending the Latitude,Longitude onto the end of the URL stub "www.google.com/maps/place/ "
It should be easy to convert that list to a set of bookmarks.

What I'm working on now is preserving the other POI information contained in the POI file... things like whether or not a Wal-Mart is marked as "NOP"

MS OneNote (or something similar) will probably provide a way to do that. The URL is clickable even in Excel, but reading notes on individual POIs from a line-by-line list isn't optimal.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
https://www.myrouteonline.com/pricing seems wildly expensive for the private traveler. It does not seem to do anything I cannot already do with Google Maps/Calendar/Contacts for "free." Less, actually.
You're right... to an extent, but google does not do all this:
https://www.myrouteonline.com/features

Try the demo.
It imports MS Excel files seamlessly.
I'm not sure if it does all that other stuff as easily though!

Here's a route it generated from this XLS file (that came from a POI Factory .CSV file)


(MyRouteOnline directly imported the .XLS)
Route #1: 9 addresses, duration 8:38, distance 451.43 miles

Attached Images
myrouteonline-example-1.jpg   test-xls-file.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: txt Test XLS file.txt (1.0 KB)
Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush,

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@Ken. Our thought processes are converging to a certain extent. With respect to planning a significant trip, in the old days before Android I used to create folders that were sub-folders of "Travel" with titles like "Hamburg." I would have things like links to flickr.com photos, Wikipedia write-ups, hotels.com pages, etc. Some would be pdf captures of what I saw whilst trolling around the web and some were just links. I would dump everything in there including S&T/AR files, pdfs, url links, in a general unfiltered, un-managed way. Then, I would start making sense of these things, sometimes using pushpins on map files to call up either a link or a file drawing together a coherent route.

But that does not work so well in Android. Yes, you can load all those pdfs onto your phone but then reading them is a bit more challenging.
You really need to take a look at OneNote. What you described above with folders in the Windows file system is almost exactly what I do with OneNote. For the "Hamburg" notebook page in OneNote I would put ALL those things you described. I would start, as you described, by simply dumping them all in there in an un-managed way. Then I would go through as the planning gets more serious and organize them to the extent that it makes it easier to reference things at a glance.

Here are the things I love about OneNote:

1. It has versions for the Windows desktop, a Windows universal app if you want to work in tablet mode in Windows 10, an Android app, and an iOS app.

2. It syncs to all of them so you can switch to any device, any time, and reference or work on things.

3. One feature I like that is quite simple but very useful is that whenever you paste content (text, pics, etc.) from a web page, it appends the link the content came from. That sounds like a pretty small thing but I find it huge for me.

First, it allows me to just copy/paste an excerpt from something useful/interesting rather than grabbing the entire item. Saves space on the notebook page and still allows me instant access back to the entire piece.

Second, memory ... Mine!! I find that if I simply grab a link and save it, about a month (or week!) later I may not remember what it is nor why I grabbed it. I now make it a habit to use this feature and copy paste a small but relevant excerpt so I know immediately what it's about and still have the link available.

4. You can put pretty much anything on a OneNote notebook page that you can into a Windows file folder.

If you decide to take a look at it, make sure you start with the Windows desktop version. Each of the mobile versions have some minor limitations that you don't want to encounter until you know what the full version will do and can then compare to the relevant mobile version(s) to see if the limitations are relevant to you.

In my case, the differences between the Windows desktop version and the Android version are almost irrelevant. The differences between the Windows desktop version and the Windows universal app are actually more of a nuisance than the Android app. Microsoft has really done a good job of the Android versions of their apps lately.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush,
You really need to take a look at OneNote. ...
...ken...
Since one picture may be worth a thousand words, here's a video:

Plan Travel with OneNote - Live Link Web Content


...which led me to stumble across this:

RV Logbook Pro v13: Trip Planner
http://www.ontargetsolutions.biz/?product=rv-logbook-pro-v13-windows
http://www.ontargetsolutions.biz/?product=rv-logbook-pro-v13-mac


...
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