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August 28, 2008 10:08 AM   Subscribe

An electric scooter friendly trip planner?

I bought an electric, vespa-like scooter. It's fun and green and freaky silent. But living in Seattle, it's got some issues specific to our geography,

1. To maintain its legal classification as a moped, it's limited in power to the equivalent of a 49cc gas engine, which in turn limits the hills it can take.

2. While I forked out the extra cash for lithium batteries over lead-acid, it still only has a stated range of about 35 miles (I have not tested that yet. I don't think AAA is gonna bring me a generator and sit around for 4-6 hours while I re-charge =p).

Is there any trip planner that will let me specify a maximum grade for the trip and/or optimize for minimum elevation changes over the course of a route? I'm figuring the closer to flat ground I travel on, the longer the range, barring some sort of Portal device to make the whole world downhill.

Alternately, I do still have a car, and a GPS unit...suggestions on how I could test-run routes in the car and somehow get a grade-grade out of it are welcome too.
posted by nomisxid to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It looks like someone (read the first comment) did exactly what you need as a Google Maps mashup, but the site is currently down. In fact, the domain in question is currently available for registration, so it seems to be really down.

I've implemented a least-hilly bicycle trip planner for Seattle using USGS 10-meter-resolution elevation data and TIGER/line roadmap, and plot the results in a website using Google Maps.

So, it is, in theory, possible.

You might have some luck exploring some bicycle trip-planning websites.

I also found this:

Use MapItPronto to plan a your own cycling route as well as Upload/View GPS Routes. The Route Planner allows you to plot out your own route, calculating distance, and even graphing the elevation of the route for you. Uploading your GPS route allows you to see it on google maps with statistics such as average speed, ascent, descent, max speed. You can then enable graphs including elevation, speed, and heart rate.

But it also seems to be down.

Some others that might be worth checking out:

posted by nitsuj at 10:56 AM on August 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

I had dinner last night with the guy who wrote badhill. The software he wrote for it still exists and is being used in other applications, but I don't know if it can still take grade into account. I'll drop him a line and ask.
posted by hades at 11:35 AM on August 28, 2008

bikely can display an elevation profile for a given route.
posted by jrishel at 12:12 PM on August 28, 2008

Response by poster: MapItPronto doesn't ever seem to actually load the elevation data. That part of their interface just kept spinning, saying "fetching data".
MapMyRide has a nifty interface, it doesn't seem to be 100% accurate, since it hit "0ft" for elevation only halfway down dexter hill, then jumped up to 131 feet further "downhill" IRL. And it looks like I'd have to keep a calculator window handy, since it just gives me the raw numbers per leg.
I couldn't figure out how to display elevation info on bikely, but maybe I just kept picking routes without any?

would love to hear from the badhill guy. I've got hosting to spare, if he wanted to share the old application =)

thanx all for your answers
posted by nomisxid at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2008

in bikely, once you've created or selected a route, above the map in the top left is a menu choice labeled: Show. Mouse over that and it will drop down and once choice will be "Elevation Profile"

sometimes on a newly created route, the elevation profile will be... creative. if it's one you created you have the option in Elevation Profile screen to "rebuild graph" which takes about 24 hours, but they are a lot more sane looking after that.
posted by jrishel at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2008

Looks like graphserver (the back end of badhill) doesn't have a built-in mechanism for weighting route segments by elevation or slope any more. I'm going to put together a sandbox and play with ideas for adding it back in, though, because that should totally exist.
posted by hades at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2008

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