SF Bike Map + Google
December 23, 2005 9:39 PM   Subscribe

I have no coding skills, but I have an idea for a really usefull san francisco based google maps hack...

I think it would be great if someone could mash google maps with the SF Bike Coalitions bike map pdf but I have no idea how to do it myself or where I could find someone who would be interested in doing it. Anyone have any ideas? I don't have a car and finding the best way to ride without having to deal with hills would be an amazing resource for a lot of people around here.
posted by atom128 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Well, the most time consuming part of such an undertaking would be to get the lat,long of each point on the route. This doesn't take any technical know-how... simply go to google maps, click a point to center in on it, and the "link to this page" url will have lat=XXXXX and lon=XXXXX in there....

I just opened up the PDF, and woah... that would be a TON of work... BUT, it is surmountable.... here's what you would need to do:

open up an excel spreadsheet in one window, google maps in another, and the pdf in a third window.

In the spreadsheet, make these columns:

  • Description
  • Route Type (probably make a legend, so route type 1 = Bike Path, route type 2 = Bike Lane, etc)
  • Start Latitude
  • Start Longitude
  • End Latitude
  • End Longitude
  • Notes
  • Meta

    Alright, so... the last two fields you may or may not use, but they'll be helpful if you ever need to add notes to a section.
    Then, go through the map for all of route type 1's.... GMaps can only draw in straight lines, and you don't have actual routes, so order doesn't matter, as long as you get every section covered.... Find the lat and long for the start point, and the lat long of an end point on the same line (curves are tough... you might have to make a bunch of lines to represent a curve...)

    After you have route type 1 done, try to find a developer who will help out. I would love to, but I don't have MySQL 5 on any of my servers, so anything I make wouldn't be able to take advantage of their new Spatial R-Trees.... (I love saying that, it makes me sound like an ├╝bergeek)... if all you want is a throw-it-up-there google map, however, that's something really really simple...

    Anyways, point is, there is a LOT of non-technical labor involved, plotting out the points, but once a large portion is done, you should be able to find a developer (or email me) that can help with the next step.

    Oh, one drawback.... google maps API can't do directions, so any mash-up that would be created would be the same as the .pdf, but powered by gmaps, and you'd be able to type in an address and it'd pop up on the screen....

  • posted by hatsix at 10:12 PM on December 23, 2005

    Response by poster: Thanks. This may be a holiday project for me...
    posted by atom128 at 10:26 PM on December 23, 2005

    Response by poster: Just fired off an email to the SF Bike Coalition seeing if they might send me some raw data I can filter. *cross fingers*
    posted by atom128 at 10:32 PM on December 23, 2005

    Not SF but related - Portland makes their bike maps available for Google Earth from here. Maybe use it as a prodding point.
    posted by azlondon at 9:24 AM on December 24, 2005

    SFGov provides GIS data sets here:


    I imagine they could be processed into a directed weighted graph that one could do shortest-path search on to determine an optimal bike route.
    posted by jcruelty at 1:52 PM on November 21, 2006

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