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Questions: Trip Planning to Unfamiliar Territory?

Posted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:13 pm
by djspring
I'm trying to plan a short trip from Philadelphia, PA to Annapolis, MD.
Of course, we want to enjoy the scenary and take the back roads.

I have poured over the Rand McNally map, trying to map of the route, but I'm not sure if this is the best approach.

What tools or websites to you use for planning trips to unfamiliar territory?

~Thanks.

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:05 am
by jaskc78
i like google maps. you can zoom in to see the state routes and back roads and then just drag the route wherever you'd like off the interstate to avoid those. you can also compare it to elevation/terrain maps at home to see where the most scenic routes are likely to be. i actually used it earlier today to find a back roads route to my grandma's house 200 miles away and it worked pretty well.

just click anywhere on the suggested route and drag it to wherever you want and it'll update the directions, distance, and driving time automatically. of course, i also keep a fold-up map in the back of my riding jacket for on-the-fly adjustments and trip-tracking, but that's more of a safety net type thing rather than a before-hand planning thing.

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:37 am
by Johnj
Google maps are ok, but I like Yahoo maps because they show state parks and stuff. Then after you make up a route get some current road maps and check the route again. On my last trip to Colorado we shaved 40 or 50 miles off the trip out by finding some state highways that Google and Yahoo just would't use. Be careful using Google maps satellite images to gauge road conditions as those images can be several years old

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:56 pm
by RocketGirl
jaskc78 wrote:i like google maps. you can zoom in to see the state routes and back roads and then just drag the route wherever you'd like off the interstate to avoid those. you can also compare it to elevation/terrain maps at home to see where the most scenic routes are likely to be.

just click anywhere on the suggested route and drag it to wherever you want and it'll update the directions, distance, and driving time automatically. of course, i also keep a fold-up map in the back of my riding jacket for on-the-fly adjustments and trip-tracking, but that's more of a safety net type thing rather than a before-hand planning thing.
+1
I too am comfortable with Google maps. I switch back and forth between the map and satellite views. I also use the options where I can tell it to avoid toll roads and/or major highways.

Thanks

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:35 pm
by djspring
Thanks for the information!

I mapped out my route using google maps.

It was pretty easy, once you get the hang of the software.

~Thanks Again.

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:50 pm
by jaskc78
glad we could help. don't forget to come back and tell us how the trip goes. looks like you could see quite a bit of nice coastal scenery on that trip, or take it farther inland for some of the rolling hills they have in that area.

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:37 pm
by Dragon on Wheels
I use google maps too. I'm trying to figure out how to do it in a gps too, but it's not at easy as google maps in terms of picking a specific route and not just the fastest, etc. The gps is nice for avoiding certain roads though(like highways if you want to try to stay on the backroads).

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:23 pm
by Lion_Lady
Dragon on Wheels wrote:I use google maps too. I'm trying to figure out how to do it in a gps too, but it's not at easy as google maps in terms of picking a specific route and not just the fastest, etc. The gps is nice for avoiding certain roads though(like highways if you want to try to stay on the backroads).
It is a challenge to create a route on the GPS unit, but much easier on your computer (I've got a Garmin GPS). Funny, but I can create the route I want on the GPS, but have yet to figure out how to create the route I want on Google Maps. :laughing:

What I'll often do for longer trips with my GPS is to load the series of various waypoints and then use the navigate feature to go from point to point.

P