Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    I need skills
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,002

    making a route available online?

    I have an idea for an unsupported mountain bike race.

    I envision participants downloading a gps track and that track being the only information given to the racers. But I don't know how to do this.

    I have a gpx file of the route. What is a good service that I can upload to, that will allow multiple people, (public) to down load?

    thanks in advance.

    Charlie

  2. #2

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    401
    I second that. ridewithgps.com is the best

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: woody.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    240
    Go over to Bikepacking and they should put it on their race calendar. Not sure how long it is, but it's worth a try.
    2013 Ultra Racing Calendar

    Also, send Scott an email over at Topofusion and I'm sure he would add your GPS track over there.
    TopoFusion.com | GPS Mapping Software for Windows

    Woody

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    6
    strava.com

  6. #6
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,787
    You could go with a pre-packaged hosting service like the sites mentioned so far, or one of a couple dozen other options. Which one is "best" now may change in a few months as their competitors publish updates to the service.

    For this kind of thing, however, I wouldn't use one of those services. Especially if you've sketched it up manually and the .gpx file does not have time information, some services will not accept the file. Some will, but trial and error will help you figure that one out. IME, Garmin Connect won't accept hand sketched files, but Strava will. I don't extensively use others to be able to say what is what.

    In your position, I would take a different route. I would self-host the file. I see you have a website in your signature. I'm assuming you own/operate it? If so, it'd be easy for you to self-host the file. There are also other options for simple hosting services. Make a web page for this race, post a link for folks to download the .gpx and then also post a map. You could go the easiest route and simply screenshot Google Earth or other mapping software and post the image. You could also post a dynamic map using GMap4 or GPS Visualizer.

    Doing it this way, you can have a little more control over how your race is advertised elsewhere. They can easily link to your race information page, which will already contain everything participants need to know. If you post the .gpx file on another commercial site, you run a strong chance of people learning about it some other way and not getting the information they need.

  7. #7
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,212

    different stroks

    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    ... I would take a different route. I would self-host the file. I see you have a website in your signature. I'm assuming you own/operate it? If so, it'd be easy for you to self-host the file. There are also other options for simple hosting services. Make a web page for this race, post a link for folks to download the .gpx and then also post a map...
    My preference is to be able to download a raw GPX file. But beware, it's a little too technical for some.

    For my event, I made the gpx files available for direct download, and then I also posted them up on garmin connect. FWIW, Garmin Connect drives me nuts. I find it way more complicated than it needs to be, but it's a nice abstraction that lots of people want. It can just talk directly to your Garmin Edge unit. No need to handle any files.

    I personally don't use an Edge, and connect is worthless for loading my eTrex 20. Getting garmin connect to poop out a GPX file is an exercise in hair-pulling in my experience.

    But when I made the files available directly, and had no other option at first, people got in touch with me and said "what is a GPX? Could you put the route on garmin connect?".

    Strava isn't right for this. Getting a GPX from Strava has I think just become impossible.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  8. #8
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,787

    making a route available online?

    The problem is with people who don't bother to learn their hardware, not with direct downloads or not. Like I said, GC won't accept .gpx files with no timing data or messed up timing data at all so depending how the .gpx file was constructed, it may not be an option at all.

    I am of the opinion that if I provide a direct link to a file and provide a map, I have done my due diligence. Supplying the file via someone else's preferred service is a slippery slope. I will provide the file the most versatile way I can. It is the end user's responsibility to figure out how to use it. If I put it on GC for one guy, will I have to create accounts on a dozen other services so others can use their favorite idiot-proof service?

    A printable version would probably be my luddite version of the route.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The problem is with people who don't bother to learn their hardware, not with direct downloads or not. Like I said, GC won't accept .gpx files with no timing data or messed up timing data at all so depending how the .gpx file was constructed, it may not be an option at all.

    I am of the opinion that if I provide a direct link to a file and provide a map, I have done my due diligence. Supplying the file via someone else's preferred service is a slippery slope. I will provide the file the most versatile way I can. It is the end user's responsibility to figure out how to use it. If I put it on GC for one guy, will I have to create accounts on a dozen other services so others can use their favorite idiot-proof service?

    A printable version would probably be my luddite version of the route.
    I would also rather have a printable map. It is still the best option, even with all the technology we have. That and written directions. IMHO

  10. #10
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,212
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The problem is with people who don't bother to learn their hardware, not with direct downloads or not. Like I said, GC won't accept .gpx files with no timing data or messed up timing data at all so depending how the .gpx file was constructed, it may not be an option at all.

    I am of the opinion that if I provide a direct link to a file and provide a map, I have done my due diligence. Supplying the file via someone else's preferred service is a slippery slope. I will provide the file the most versatile way I can. It is the end user's responsibility to figure out how to use it. If I put it on GC for one guy, will I have to create accounts on a dozen other services so others can use their favorite idiot-proof service?

    A printable version would probably be my luddite version of the route.
    I also provided printable versions.

    I think it's good for people to learn about their hardware too. But the reality is that not everybody does that. The success of the Macintosh is proof of that

    When I put on my event, I just want everybody to know where they are going. I work in IT and have made much of my living sorting out technical stuff for people who can't or don't want to. For 60 or 70 people who needed gps data, the combination of direct download, garmin connect and the fallback option to print out paper was enough.

    Kinda depends on what you want your event to be like. Give people an option that they don't understand and most of them will figure it out or get help from a techy friend. But for me it was just spending a little time figuring out garmin connect. I like my event particpants, and I don't want to be going looking for them at the end of the day.

    Oh, and regarding the timing data? I would never send anybody out to follow a hand-drawn track. I ride my routes and the gpx files given to riders are based on actual tracklogs from my gps.

    But that's just me.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  11. #11
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,787
    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Oh, and regarding the timing data? I would never send anybody out to follow a hand-drawn track. I ride my routes and the gpx files given to riders are based on actual tracklogs from my gps.

    But that's just me.
    I do a lot of hand drawing and splicing of data. Sometimes I'll splice a segment of a track with a hand drawn segment. It's not that I haven't ridden the route, but in some cases, accuracy is very important and some areas are notoriously difficult to get an accurate individual GPS track.

    Sometimes, to see where the trail actually is, I have to hand-draw over a satellite image because the gps tracks wind up hundreds of feet off, and the trail network is dense and would probably send someone onto the wrong trail.

    Sometimes, consistency is a problem and I have to ride a trail several times and see where most of the tracks wind up, because the trail is not visible in satellite imagery.

    Also keep in mind, I'm a map guy. I want to provide people with the most accurate GPS data possible. If I was sending folks out on a long distance unsupported race, I also would not want to be collecting lost souls at the end of the day. Time data isn't necessary to navigate a .gpx file. There's also more than one way to get a .gpx file onto a GPS.

    Frankly, IMO, if folks cannot handle one of two options: putting a .gpx download onto their GPS (and following it) or printing and following a hard copy map/cue sheet, maybe they shouldn't be doing the sort of event that requires them to do those things.

    If I was DOING that kind of event, I would be bringing both options along in case of a hardware failure or something.

  12. #12
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,212
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    ...Frankly, IMO, if folks cannot handle one of two options: putting a .gpx download onto their GPS (and following it) or printing and following a hard copy map/cue sheet, maybe they shouldn't be doing the sort of event that requires them to do those things...
    Valid points. And you are absolutely entitled to do whatever you think is appropriate. Your audience is likely different than mine.

    Personally, I don't make judgements about whether some technical skill or lack thereof qualifies someone to do something. I don't want to have inexperienced goofballs out there doing my event, but I don't think that a solid background in how USB works or how to edit GPX files necessarily is the kind of experience I'm most worried about.

    The course is nearly 100 miles with about 12K feet of climbing. The people who sign up tend to be people who have done this sort of thing before. They are the type who could get hopelessly lost and figure out how to get home anyway. Or survive a night out.

    I know of some really strong, capable, experienced people who don't even use email. And I respect that. I live in a tech world as you do, and I almost envy people who don't. I'd trade quite a few of my geek skills to be able to maintain a 12-15 mph average over a 100 mile climbey offroad course.

    Also, I don't have any situation I can think of when a track that I've recorded could possibly be less useful and accurate than one that I've drawn by hand. Maybe where you live is different.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  13. #13
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,787
    The lack of technical skill is why printed maps and written directions should always be supplied (and if you can't follow those, the most basic of directions, you have no business doing the event). However, if you're going to commit to using a GPS, commit to learning how to use it. I help people all the time who have questions. And that's fine. If I got enough questions about using the files I supplied, I'd probably have a link on my website with a quick and dirty FAQ about the subject. I just would not react well if folks whined to me about how I didn't supply the file their personal favorite way and that I need to do it the way they liked it.

    My experience with trails out west is very different from here in the midwest. The hills here are very curvy, so trails that follow the contours make a LOT of turns. They frequently double back on each other. Sometimes, trails parallel each other on the same hillside where the horizontal distance between them is less than the vertical distance between them. On a map, sometimes the trails appear to intersect, cross, or look to be the same trail. In those cases, it's sometimes necessary to make the map LESS accurate to clearly distinguish the separation between the trails.

    I've been working to map the trails in my state for the local club's database and have been encountering a lot of this.

  14. #14
    Team Velveeta™
    Reputation: TomP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,212
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    The lack of technical skill is why printed maps and written directions should always be supplied (and if you can't follow those, the most basic of directions, you have no business doing the event)...
    OK then. Nice talkin' to ya!
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •