Saturday, September 29, 2007

All Hail the Googleborg (Google Maps API Edition)

by Tom Bozzo

I'm probably the last person to have noticed, but MapMyRide is a pretty cool Google Maps-based tool, in part in that its point-and-click route creation is not much more time consuming than bashing out a text description of a ride in an e-mail.

Here's yesterday's after-work ride with my co-workers.

Not that it's perfect — Google Maps isn't Madison bike path-aware, which limits the usefulness of a street-following feature. But it's free-as-in-beer!

And I'm not sure what crazy person designated N. Sherman and Aberg Avenues on the northeast side as bike routes. (Yet the accordingly deserted Starkweather Creek path has lighting and the heavily trafficked Southwest Path doesn't. Go figure.)

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Memories ... I've done almost all of those streets but not all at once. Aberg as a bike route??? That's even scarier than Johnson past the southeast dorms.
The new Yahara River path makes visiting both lakes in one ride a lot easier.

Aberg isn't so bad -- it has a wide shoulder up to where the Starkweather Creek path (Packers Ave. to MATC/MSN) takes over. N. Sherman is the worst, unique among the designated bike routes for being listed as a street lacking accommodations for most cyclists on the city bike map.
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