Mapping of imaginary trips
January 9, 2010 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Simple, online mapping of an imaginary trip via stationary bicycle or treadmill?

I'm trying to help a friend look for something that is kind of the reverse of gmap-pedometer. Instead of mapping where you actually cycled or ran, they want something where you define a route (eg New York to LA, or Paris to Moscow, or swimming across the Atlantic), and then as you log miles exercised the map would update to show your progress each day.

There are a ton of sites for logging walks/runs/etc, but they all seem to be based on logging real miles covered out in the world, rather than incremental progress along a pre-defined route. But this seems like such an obvious thing that someone must have created a site for this, no?

The ideal solution would be free, simple, relatively non-techy (no exporting KML files to or from ArcView, say), and updatable daily over a long period. Bonus points if the map can be linked to a blog or website, to show the daily progress, like with a mashup with Google Maps.
posted by Forktine to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This looks like what you want:

Walking Route Map Planner
This tool allows you to plot a route on a map and see how far along you have got with the distance you walked. You can draw your route anywhere in the world; follow the Great Wall of China, cross a continent, wherever you want to go.
posted by MsMolly at 11:56 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Oh! And I know I had bookmarked this somewhere:
Walk to Rivendell
posted by MsMolly at 11:59 AM on January 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

The first one is close, but not quite. Aside from it being in metric (which is not a total deal-breaker), it doesn't seem to have an ongoing or incremental function, where each day you type in that day's mileage and watch the progress creep forward.

The second would be awesome, if only it had a mapping function. Retracing the Hobbit journey really scratches one's nerd itch in just the right way.
posted by Forktine at 12:25 PM on January 9, 2010

The US Masters swimming people have a virtual swim thing. You can either pick a goal or evaluate how much you swim and match it with a route and they'll give you a spreadsheet that you can fill in that tells you how far you are along. I did, surprise, surprise, Lake Champlain, lengthwise, or I tried. They give you an excel spreadsheet and... something to color in with a marker. I edited this and made my own graph on the spreadsheet that would actually increment and make a thermometer like progress report. However, none of this is online in some sort of snazzy Web 2.0 capability, that I've seen anyhow.

I'm also aware, in hindsight, that you're sort of looking for running/walking, but the spreadsheets basically do the same sort of thing. You might wan tto try googling something like "virtual run" [and then filtering out all the virtual machine balabity blah from your results] because then you'd find people like the Virtual Run Across America guy and I'm sure there are others like these folks [not sure what they have without logging in]. You might also check out the MeFi exercisers [something on the sidebar recently] and ask them directly wherever it is they're hanging out.
posted by jessamyn at 2:04 PM on January 9, 2010

There are (at least) a couple of general personal-data tracking websites: Daytum and Your.flowingdata. I'm pretty sure you can use either to show cumulative progress towards a goal. YFD looks particularly cool, and can be updated over twitter.
posted by adamrice at 3:18 PM on January 9, 2010

Yeah I use daytum right now, for whatever that's worth.
posted by jessamyn at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2010

You should look again at MsMolly's suggested Walking Route Map Planner - I logged in for a free trial, and it does let you save your progress each day and then come back and post another increment which takes you closer to your goal.

Also, I've been playing with the My Maps function of Google maps. It lets you draw a line on a map following a road and mark the start/end points. So, you can use the regular Google maps to get driving directions from one city to another, save that route to My Maps, then use My Maps to draw incremental lines along that route. The line that you draw calculates the distance as you are drawing it, so you can draw as far as you biked that day and place a marker at that point.

Here is the one I made as a sample, walking from Dallas, TX to Atoka, OK: map. You have to be logged in to your Google account to do all this.
posted by CathyG at 9:37 AM on January 11, 2010

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