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Who wants to help design an all-new trip planner from the ground up?
GoneNomad
BTW...

The latest version of Android GoogleMaps/Nav DOES have some very useful features. But they haven't implemented them entirely consistently.

For instance you can search for POIs by picking a category from a set of choices.

Depending on which part of the route plan you're in, you will see one of these sets of POI icons:

In the Maps module:

Search here:


Notice there's no "Fast Food" icon, and to get to that popular choice requires several more steps (including using tiny buttons) to refine Restaurants down to something roughly equivalent to "Fast Food" (but you can't search that directly without typing it in)

Search Along Route:

Not quite the same icons, not in the same order, and they're not labeled

You can also search nearby while navigating.

In the Nav module:

Search Along Route:


but with some significant limitations...
Most notably, it doesn't work on a multi-stop route.
In that case, here's what you get instead:


And once you get past that, once again the POI icons are presented differently, with markedly fewer choices:




But overall, I like what they've done with it.
And for local search, it still beats its competitors, as long as you have a data connection, without which
I'm pretty sure most of these features don't work nearly as well, if at all.
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search-here-poi-icons.jpg   search-along-route-while-navigating-1.jpg   search-along-route-while-navigating-1a-remove-next-stop.jpg   search-along-route-while-navigating-2.jpg   search-along-route-poi-icons-r1.jpg  

GoneNomad
Hmmm... just ran across this;
https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/maps/7eiTBu9iXxo

" SaraLinn said:
I tried to do "send this route to home screen" but when i clicked on it, the route that came up on maps app was just the departure point and the final destination; it had forgotten the four stops in between."

That sounds very familiar!

and another one:


"totally_awesome said:

What is going on with multiple stop routes that are saved to my home screen? When I first started creating and saving routes with multiple stops the actual route would only have the start and end point, the intermediate stops would be gone. Recently the saved routes are now having the intermediate stops. So why have the saved routes changed? Depending upon where I am going and what I am doing I can see a reason for having both kinds of saved routes with manually added stops. So how can a user define how manually added stops are processed when the route is saved to the home screen? I would like to be able to be prompted at each individual stop for some of the routes. The are other routes where I do not care to see the intermediate stops, I just want the starting point to be my current location and the end point to be the final destination of the last stop in the route.
So how do I do that?"
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
...

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.

...
OK, I am starting to take a look at OneNote but I find it rather intimidating at first and counter-intuitive. Still, your recommendation is good enough incentive to persevere so I will. I have tried a few things and got results I did not like or admire and I have not figured out what I should be doing to get something I am comfortable with. I looked at the video and it did not "speak to me." MSFT has a video that I looked at, too, that left me unmoved. Still, I have an open mind and will keep dabbling.

@GoneNomad: The forgetfulness and just-plain inherent limitations of Google Maps leads me to avoid torturing it just to bend it to my will. Increasingly, I am moving to the point where I believe (subject to a better understanding of OneNote) I can use Google Contacts for "places" for potential or real stops or destinations in addition to people, Google Calendar for sequencing these Contacts, and then finally Google Maps for over-the-road navigation. It is important that I can use all three of these apps "talking" to each other and off-line and reasonably fluently on my mobile phone. As yet, I do not see how a fourth app (OneNote, etc,) adds anything to the process.

BTW, One can usefully manage what Contacts are visible, either on the desktop or on the phone with judicious application of "Group" categorizations. For instance, if you want to build an inventory of POIs, such as hotels, you would be well-advised to carefully assign those Contacts to the relevant Groups. You can un-check the default "My Contacts" so you are not populating your people Contacts list with these POIs. As for importing lists, spreadsheets of POIs, I believe Contacts can do that although I have not tried. DW Contacts gives good ability to modify which Contacts are visible in its "Contacts to display" -> "Customized list" functionality. If you narrow-down what is visible, you minimize wasted time and visual noise. This is especially beneficial on small devices.
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad: The forgetfulness and just-plain inherent limitations of Google Maps leads me to avoid torturing it just to bend it to my will. Increasingly, I am moving to the point where I believe... I can use Google Contacts for "places" for potential or real stops or destinations in addition to people, Google Calendar for sequencing these Contacts, and then finally Google Maps for over-the-road navigation. It is important that I can use all three of these apps "talking" to each other and off-line and reasonably fluently on my mobile phone. As yet, I do not see how a fourth app (OneNote, etc,) adds anything to the process.
The part I made bold above is the rub for me. I'm not sure if they all work together without an internet data connection. The testing I've done shows that "google play services" launches in the background to make that happen, but it won't do it without no internet.

My goal is to be able to plan extended trips (including an actual date&time-of-day schedule rather than elapsed time) on a laptop/desktop PC* using POI sets from various sources, in addition to online searches. Google has a LOT of info, but hardly everything. For example, Google maps has no info about whether or not a particular Walmart allows overnight parking, but the POI-Factory file does. Google maps has a lot more rest areas than its competitors, but not all of them (especially the primitive ones out in the boonies). POI-Factory has them. And on and on.

And then there's the traffic cameras... which I need much more for road conditions than for traffic. That's an area where I think google is lacking, but MapQuest & Bing have at least most of them shown on a map, but in both cases the images are WAY too small to be useful. But all the state DOT websites have the higher-res images. Granted, this is something for which internet data is inherently necessary, but it still fits in the same scheme/system I'd like to create: map view AND list view (with directly clickable links) for pertinent POIs along any trip route.

I want to be able to do all of the mandatory tasks with no internet data connection, and by this I mean, from start to finish, not dependent upon temporarily cached data on the device or needing online access just to load the POI info, waypoint locations or route info. So far, that last one is a sticking point with getting from google.com/maps excellent local search to the GoogleMaps/Nav app that can do the actual navigation task.

That's where the relatively new "Add route to Home Screen" fits in.
One workflow scheme might be to plan trips on google.com/maps and then use bookmarks or links to open every segment into the GoogleMaps/Nav app, and then use "Add route to Home Screen" for each one. but GoogleMaps/Nav doesn't allow you to manage those... for example, the default name (the destination) can't be changed. This is not at all like saving a S&T .est file.

AND, I have no idea what those shortcuts point to or what's in them. On Android OS, items on the "Home Screen" apparently aren't actually items (like shortcuts) at all, but merely entries in a launcher database. But saving a route via this method MUST store the waypoint info SOMEWHERE. I just have no idea where.

I've been looking with file managers but but cannot find any new files right after I "Add route to Home Screen" this way. Creating a new route does result in some files being put into the Android/data/com.google.android.apps.maps/cache directory,


but "Add route to Home Screen" doesn't add any more files, and even if I delete all those cache files, the GoogleMaps/Nav app still works.

What I KNOW is, GoogleMaps/Nav app can create routes (without an internet connection, if the map area is stored locally) using the location (Lat&Long) geocodes.

I know this because I can build a multi-stop route in the GoogleMaps/Nav app (with internet turned off) by manually entering the geocodes for each stop. Those very same geocodes can exist in completely usable form in BOTH bookmarks and clickable URL.

But the idea that I'd have to type in GeoCodes - or choose a spot on the map

by dragging the map until the desired location is under this stupid pointer:


And no matter how carefully you position the map, all you get for a description is "Point on Map"


If you're adding a point in the MIDDLE of a route, it doesn't work this stupid way... it works more like, but still not as easy as, it does on the google.com/maps (desktop site), allowing you to click on POIs that show up on the map.

Yes, I know I can start typing in a description and it will return a short list, from which I can choose. Here's an example of what happens when you do that:

You get a list of what is (probably) what you're looking for, but if you're in a totally unfamiliar area, this list isn't all that helpful because it doesn't show you WHERE they are relative to your current location. In this case you'd probably want to find the closest one ahead ON YOUR ROUTE. Without a map (which you get on the website... if you have internet), you won't know which one without picking them one at a time.

As an aside, this is one area where CoPilot wins, by providing a MAP view... unless you're looking for a something more generic (like "fast Food"), in which case the map view fails by having all the same icon. Want to know which one is which? You'll have to click/tap on them, one at a time, to find out.



So, you're right about the 'inherent limitations of Google Maps leading to avoid torturing it just to bend it to the need.'


* probably Windows, although I have been experimenting with the Jide Remix OS (a desktop variant of Android)
Attached Images
choose-point-map-0.jpg   choose-point-map-1.png   choose-point-map-2.png   choose-point-map-3.jpg   cache-files.jpg  

routes-added-home-screen.jpg   type-description-1.jpg  
Ken in Regina
@SpadesFlush,

Save yourself some head scratching and do this:

1. Create a new notebook to separate yourself from the tutorial stuff in the default one.
2. Pretend you are working in Windows File Manager to get yourself into the right organizational mindset.
3. Create three or four tabs that match (by name) some of the folders you have previously created for trip related stuff. In my case I would likely do it by state/province.
4. Think about what you would like to use the pages for. In a typical province tab I use the pages for cities/towns or other identifiable locations I might stop/stay at and want to accumulate info about. In your original description of folders and subfolders in the Windows file system, think of the pages as subfolders.
5. Create some relevant named pages and start dumping some of your typical stuff into them.

For the last step, ignore the tutorials and just do copy/paste... from your file system or from your browser or whatever... links, text, pictures, whatever.

Just get your head around the organizational aspect first. Once you're comfortable with that - shouldn't take more than a few minutes - you can start looking at what more you might like to do.

If it helps, please scroll back up check the next post and take a look at the two screen shots from my TRAVEL example for an idea of a basic tab and page setup.

Once you get that basic setup nailed, feel free to ask if/how you can do things to enhance it.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Here are two examples of why I don't trust CoPilot directions for the final steps to POIs:

In both cases below, CoPilot found the named POIs, both of which have been there for years.

Evidently this is because CoPilot's map data isn't as detailed as google, MapQuest, etc., because CoPilot didn't find the parking lot entrances. Instead it directed to the (mall, tight) residential streets BEHIND the POI, from the opposite direction, meaning that you would not likely even see the prominent signage of a big store like Sam's Club.

Now imagine you're in a large truck or RV in a totally unfamiliar area.
NO THANKS!




___________________________________





...but since CoPilot is one of the few options that has truck/RV routing... I'm thinking about using it for the "main" routes, though... and using google for the side trips.
Attached Images
copilot-jimmy-johns-1.jpg   copilot-jimmy-johns-2.jpg   copilot-sams-club-1.jpg   copilot-sams-club-2.jpg  
SpadesFlush
@GoneNomad

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
The part I made bold above is the rub for me. I'm not sure if they all work together without an internet data connection. The testing I've done shows that "google play services" launches in the background to make that happen, but it won't do it without no internet.
I have had no problems clicking on the location link in a Calendar entry or in a Calendar Contact on my phone in my car and seeing Google Maps open up, showing the location and giving me the usual click-on option to navigate to "there" from "here." I honestly do not think it was dependent on a internet connection. I did this within the past 24 hours to solve a real-world navigational challenge.

Quote:
My goal is to be able to plan extended trips (including an actual date&time-of-day schedule rather than elapsed time) on a laptop/desktop PC* using POI sets from various sources, in addition to online searches. Google has a LOT of info, but hardly everything. For example, Google maps has no info about whether or not a particular Walmart allows overnight parking, but the POI-Factory file does. Google maps has a lot more rest areas than its competitors, but not all of them (especially the primitive ones out in the boonies). POI-Factory has them. And on and on.
I use POI-Factory, too, but I see no reason why the sort of more-detailed information cannot be cut-and-pasted into a Contact entry.

Quote:
And then there's the traffic cameras... which I need much more for road conditions than for traffic.
Here is where you lose me as that is not a concern for me. But, again, I see no reason why a Google Contract entry could not link to a specific DOT or other highway camera.
GoneNomad
Ken - re: OneNote... after the data is sync'd, is it stored locally?

I think I read somewhere that only the "full" version of OneNote can save files locally.

I just checked a few URLs in an Android Excel file; selecting it brings up the same dialog as with an email, offering to open into the maps app. So I assume it will work the same with OneNote "card" (opened on the Android version of OneNote). Would still need a internet connection (for google play service) to do that though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
@SpadesFlush: Here is where you lose me as that is not a concern for me.
Near the beginning of Post #8:

...The thing is, "traffic cameras" have another even more important use in the winter: road conditions, for which a HFT will want to see THIS view
(at the same location as above):

Anyone who has been there and done that as many times as I have knows that a quick glance at a picture like this is better than a weather report.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
But, again, I see no reason why a Google Contract entry could not link to a specific DOT or other highway camera.
It looks increasingly like ANY filing scheme will work, as long as it has whatever info/photos needed, along with the URL from the google.com/maps location that will also open into the Android GoogleMaps/Nav app, and the URLs to any important external sites (like the specific traffic cam, Travel Center, etc.) Any up-to-date info like that WILL need a internet connection anyway.
GoneNomad
What all this boils down to is: I think there's a need for a modern equivalent of the S&T POI Megafile, one that works with modern browsers and mobile apps, to bring together in one organizational system the information travelers need.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
Ken - re: OneNote... after the data is sync'd, is it stored locally?

I think I read somewhere that only the "full" version of OneNote can save files locally.
It's not that simple, or that limited. The full desktop version allows you to save notebooks locally and/or in the cloud for syncing. With this version you can open notebooks stored locally even without an Internet connection and you can edit notebooks even while you're offline.

In the mobile versions... well, in the Android version for sure... any notebooks that are currently open in OneNote can be viewed and edited while you are offline but you can't view or open other notebooks or create a new one. So I have a couple that I just leave open on my phone and tablet all the time.

Obviously the ability to edit offline notebooks on multiple devices can cause some issues but OneNote handles it gracefully. The next time it syncs it puts both/all versions of the pages in conflict next to each other in the appropriate tab(s) and pops a Conflict error. You can then fix things up at your leisure.

I find this all works fine for me.

Quote:
If you put a URL on a OneNote "card" (opened on the Android version of OneNote) does selecting it bring up the same dialog as with an email, offering to open into the maps app?
I'm afraid this one has me baffled. Occasionally it comes up in the Maps app but today it always goes to the browser. At least it looks like that's what it's doing because it shows the full route but doesn't give me any way to start navigation. Doesn't matter whether I tap the home screen icon, tap the link in an email or tap the link on a OneNote page.

...ken...
GoneNomad
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
In the mobile versions... well, in the Android version for sure... any notebooks that are currently open in OneNote can be viewed and edited while you are offline but you can't view or open other notebooks or create a new one. So I have a couple that I just leave open on my phone and tablet all the time.
Yep, I was about to say that... but now you told me what else I wondered: that AndroidOneNote can open multiple notebooks.

I guess that works OK, as long as the device doesn't have to restart...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
I'm afraid this one has me baffled. Occasionally it comes up in the Maps app but today it always goes to the browser. At least it looks like that's what it's doing because it shows the full route but doesn't give me any way to start navigation. Doesn't matter whether I tap the home screen icon, tap the link in an email or tap the link on a OneNote page.

...ken...
I had actually edited that post after I figured out the answer to my own question.

Android handles map URLs the same no matter where they are. If a map URL is opening into the browser instead of GoogleMaps/Nav app, it's probably because the default app was inadvertently changed at some point. I found that happens too easily. You can reset that in Settings->Apps->(browser app, presumably Chrome)->"Launch By Default" [Clear defaults]. Maybe that will fix it.

I noticed that my tablet differentiates between URLs that can open into the GoogleMaps/Nav app and ordinary URLs, which is a good thing, otherwise it would be a real problem trying to view traffic cam images or travel center info (in a browser) while also trying to see their location on a map (in the GoogleMaps/Nav app) to start a navigation. That said, Android Chrome can view ordinary web pages and also will allow you to send a google.com/maps location or route to the GoogleMaps/Nav app.
Ken in Regina
I wish it was what you described, but in this case it was purely operator error (blush).

I normally leave location services and the GPS turned off by default. So when I created the routes I've been testing with, I just used my city name for the start point instead of my actual location.

Of course the Android Maps app won't offer you navigation if the GPS is off. When I turn the GPS on for nav, it finds my actual location which is, of course, different from the start point of the route I load. So it will cheerfully show the route but since I'm not at the start point it doesn't think it should offer me navigation.

As soon as I edit the start point to make it "My location" (trivial to do, by the way) the navigation icon appears.

This works perfectly whether I tap the home screen icon or the link in an email or a OneNote page.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
What all this boils down to is: I think there's a need for a modern equivalent of the S&T POI Megafile, one that works with modern browsers and mobile apps, to bring together in one organizational system the information travelers need.
Yes, that is a good summary of the hole in the market.

I would add that we need the ability to create coherent multi-stop itineraries that incorporate linking capabilities to on-line and off-line resources with the ability to edit, save, recall, preview, and optimize the route.

I do not understand Google Maps' primitive eight-stop limitation. Is it simply a matter of breaking through that? In other words, if Google removes that cap, are we good? If so, it would be unwise to devote any significant time to a work-around.

If Google Maps had pushpins a la S&T/AR where links could be imbedded, would our problems be solved?

Does Google have a feedback channel the way MSFT did?
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNomad
... That said, Android Chrome ... will allow you to send a google.com/maps location or route to the GoogleMaps/Nav app.
It will also allow you to create a file for any unique route that can be saved and opened 'anywhere' that will recall from the internet (to which you must be connected) that route. That, at least, is a degree of portability.
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