Plan a route: the top 3 mobile applications! – Capcar, My Tracks, the application that records your GPS S routes S offers a complete graphics overhaul

My Tracks, the application that records your GPS routes is available a complete graphic overhaul

This is where you can set a look at the route. But it must be done manually, there is no automatic estimate as in Strava.

Plan a route: the top 3 mobile applications !

Formerly, to plan a trip, you had to annotate a card and note all the roads to take on paper. Today, there are several applications that allow you to plan a route easily and practically. Here are those who caught our attention !

Plan a route: the top 3 mobile applications!

  • Irum, the adaptive route
  • Travelmap, the online travel journal
  • Triplt, the business travel route

Irum, the adaptive route

The Unout application offers to plan routes to make the most of your trip. You can plan short or long journeys according to your desires.
This application advises you to optimize your course. She directs you to be able to bring together the places you want to visit according to their geographic location. It therefore encourages you to opt for such activity such day to reduce the road time between each place.

The plus: Iroutes tells you about the weather (temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed, and serious weather alerts) and hours of day up and nightfall. These features allow you to change your journey if time does not correspond to the planned activities.

All this is available in the free version but there is a more complete paid version !

  • For a “pro” version, it will cost you € 4.49/month. Thanks to this subscription you can plan more than 150 places on your trip.
  • The “Premium” version is € 16.99 for a punctual purchase. With this version you can create routes by choosing 25 places.

Travelmap, the online travel journal

TravelMap allows you to provide all your trips in advance so that you can easily follow your scheduled journey. On the home page of the app, you have an interactive card that shows you the places you have already been and the places you plan to visit later.

The plus: your route is in the form of a travel journal. You can then add photos of yourself and tourist places you visit. These photos will then appear on the card in the exact place where you took them. It’s a kind of digital edge book !

There is a free version but with the paid version you have much more choice to feed your logbook.

  • The “Premium” version at 30 €/year allows you to download 3000 photos and access statistics on your trip.
  • In the “Premium Plus” version at 90 €/year, you have a card of all your trips, you can alert your friends with your trips and aesthetically customize your logbook.

Triplt, the business travel route

Tripit is n ° 1 on the market for mobile management and organization of business travel services. With this application you can plan everything in advance and have access to the road card at any time to follow your trips. Tripit is a known app to have the possibility of classifying everything you have to remember on your trip and in particular your business trip: reservations, appointments ..

The plus: the Tripit mobile application organizes your route to you according to the reservations you send to the following address: [email protected]. You can send your hotels, restaurants, taxis reservations and the application calculates and organizes everything for you.

For people who keep traveling for work, an almost autonomous version of the organization of your trips exists for € 48.99/year.

My Tracks, the application that records your GPS routes is available a complete graphic overhaul

Today, the application My tracks (My journeys) receives a major update.

This application is a tool that will offer you the possibility of saving and sharing your routes thanks to the GPS receiver which is integrated into your Android device.

More specifically, the application has the capacity to record your course but not that, since it can also transcribe the speed, the distance traveled and the altitude during your shopping, bicycle journeys, hikes or any what other outdoor activity. The use is very simple, you can consult your data at any time and live from the application, and thus add benchmarks on your courses and even to be alerted by vocal ads according to your progress.

The My Tracks application (my courses) allows you to share your GPS and statistics online routes:

  • via Google+, Facebook or Twitter
  • via Google Maps, Google Fusion Tables or Google Documents
  • in the form of a GPX, KML, CSV or TCX file

Here are the features added in the last update:

  • Pause and resumption of recording
  • New IU for registration control
  • Home screen widget update
  • Updating the registration code for courses and calculating statistics on the routes

The application is available for free download on the Play Store:

My Tracks is an open source project.
If you wish to participate, go to this address.

She has changed well since Android 1.5 cupcake. ; ))

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8 applications to draw a route for its GPS watch

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Formerly reserved for high -end outdoor GPS watches, the route monitoring has been widely democratized.

So much the better, because personally is the functionality that I could not do without. It’s super practical, whether it is to run or cycle, on vacation or around the house. Suddenly, this would be the first criterion of choice for the purchase of my next GPS watch.

In addition, recently, features have improved. Heatmaps, for example, make the tracing of an easier route easier. And then there is also the automatic route creation. I can tell you that I have been using it a lot for a few months.

Afterwards, you may hesitate between cartography and route follow-up. For the majority of athletes, the monitoring of a simple route is enough to run, hike or roll. In any case, it allows you to find your way and arrive safely.

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Which application to use with my GPS watch ?

As soon as we talk about electronics, the question of compatibility arises.

To start, the easiest way is to use the route creation tool included in the application of the brand of your GPS watch. Ah yes, but the majority of brands have nothing to trace routes. Even big brands like thriller.

There is only Garmin, Suunto and Sigma who have developed a route designer.

Fortunately, all brands use a standard file format. You may have heard of GPX files. This is the extension of files containing GPS traces. And these files, you can download them, exchange them and import them into your GPS watch, whatever its brand and whatever the origin of the file. Finally, your GPS watch must still be compatible with the tracking of the route ..

What is the best application for drawing GPX routes ?

Between applications and websites, there are full. But really full full.

Besides, you can leave in a comment the name of the app you use. It may allow me to discover others that can be valid. I would also be interested in knowing if you prefer the interface of a website or the practical side of a smartphone app.

There are still simpler solutions than others. For example, I will avoid solutions which consist in drawing the route to a site, then transferring the file to another to convert it to the right format (this is for example the solution that must be applied to use Google MAP for trace your route). If you have fun, you will find tutorials with Google. But for today, I will rather look for simple solutions, because we have neither you nor me, want to spend 45 minutes preparing for his release the next day (when it is not preparing the exit from 10 minutes).

So I’m going to compare only a few. But rest assured, I didn’t choose them at random.

GPX Route app comparison

I started by distinguishing online versions via a website and those accessible via an application. Each version has its advantage. The website has the advantage of the larger screen of a computer, which allows you to display a larger portion of card. It is more practical to study in detail the passage points of a route. The application has the advantage of portability, that is to say that you can create an itinerary with a snatch anywhere and then synchronize it in Bluetooth to your GPS watch.

The principle of Heatmap (heat card) is to visualize the frequentation of roads and paths. The larger or dark the line, the more the section is borrowed. This is the 3 userities:

  • It allows you to choose the nicest routes. Basically, the more a route is taken by runners or cyclists, the more like this itinerary is nice.
  • We can even discover paths that do not exist on the map. It is especially valid in trail and mountain biking. Even if there is no way on the map, if there is a heat of heat, it is that people pass by there. So you can go explore.
  • The last advantage is to confirm that “it goes”. Is there a bridge to go to the other side of the highway or the river ? Isn’t it crossed out ? If there is a dash of heat, it is because it passes, because people have already been there.

There are different levels of automatic route creation. The base is to specify the distance and let the app create a route. Afterwards, there is the possibility of also specifying the elevation gain. As masked, these tools use the registered activities database (Heatmaps what). So the more a user A application, the more it has consolidated Heatmaps. The difference, at the end, will be found in the quality of the route that will have been created, for example by avoiding non -tarred roads by bicycle or on the contrary using the most beautiful trail trail.

There are still few applications that allow you to share a route to someone else directly from the app. Most often, you have to go through the export of a GPX file, send it by email and then import it.

Finally, the last criterion not to be overlooked is that of free and paid features.

Strava

Strava is certainly the best known application of connected athletes. But as much to announce it right away: all the tools for creating itinerary are included in the paid version.

Manual creation is from the website. We visualize the card, on which we can activate or not the heat card (the thicker and dark blue line, the more the portion of route is borrowed).

For a semi-manual creation (we mark a few crossing points and let Strava connect them), we can specify some conditions for the creation of the route:

  • The sport for which this route is intended (it allows Strava to use the adequate Heatmap)
  • If we prefer to follow the most popular or direct routes
  • Limit or maximize elevation (useful option to orient the creation to a trail route)
  • Favor tarmac or paths (another option to orient trail routes)

In a headband at the bottom of the screen are displayed the distance, the D+ and the D- of the route under construction. Strava also calculates the estimated time to make this route. It is based on your performance from the past 4 weeks.

Just below, you can also see the detail of the distribution according to the different types of coating and display the elevation profile of the route.

From the Strava application on smartphone, you can also draw a route by pointing to different crossing points.

But the most interesting is automatic creation. We do not choose any passage point, just the starting point. The idea with the app is to create a route at the last minute, in a few tens of seconds, letting Strava create the entire route, taking advantage of the mobility of the smartphone. The limit is that you can only create curls.

We act on different criteria for this automatic route creation:

  • the starting point: current position or desired position on the map
  • sport
  • distance
  • altitude profile: rather flat, rather hilly or indifferent
  • Surface: tar, earth or indifferent

From that, Strava will create 3 routes, which will meet these criteria roughly. If that doesn’t suit you, you can relaunch a creation of 3 new routes.

Before deciding, we can study the details of each route: distance, elevation, drop profile, estimated duration, surface map, segments on the course.

Strava opened a direct gateway to Garmin. That is to say that a route drawn on Strava will be automatically synchronized on Garmin Connect, without having to go through export/import of GPX file.

Garmin Connect

From the Garmin Connect website, you can freely trace any type of course. We can display different card funds, with level curves or satellite views.

You can trace the route manually, selecting the free drawn option; Or let Garmin Connect Find a route between 2 crossing points following the roads and paths. In the latter case, he will use the heat card (Garmin calls it ‘Popularity Routing’), even if it is not visible on the screen.

And to facilitate tracing, there is a button to create the return automatically, either by taking up the route to go, or by closing the loop until departure.

We can add points of interest anywhere on the route, with a good twenty different icons.

In an insert on the left, we see in real time the distance, the D+ and the D- of the route, but not the altitude profile.

It may seem surprising, but from the Garmin Connect Mobile app on smartphone, we have more possibilities.

We find the personalized route creation tool. It is even more complete than that of the website, since in addition to the type of card, we can this time choose to display heat cards. I find that it is less visual than that of Suunto. It displays a layer with more or less dark purple lines but whose thickness is still fine. But it remains an interesting help to choose the best routes.

We can add waypoints along the way. And to facilitate tracing, there is a button to create the return automatically, either by taking up the route to go, or by closing the loop until departure.

If we want the details, we can display the distance, the D+, the D- and the altitude profile with the minimum and maximum altitudes.

This is where you can set a look at the route. But it must be done manually, there is no automatic estimate as in Strava.

If we are in a hurry, then we can let Garmin Connect take care of everything by creating an automatically.

There are only 2 criteria to specify:

  • the distance
  • The direction (north, south, east, west), it allows the loop to be oriented towards the place where it would be the nicest to go

We cannot set a drop. Nor can we filter trail routes. But if you know the environment, you can influence the presence or not of elevation by orienting the creator of the route in a certain direction.

Afterwards, it only remains to click on the map to define the starting point and the route is created in a few seconds. You can add waypoints before saving it.

Finally, do not forget that the Garmin GPS watches that embark a cartography can create a route on its own, without the help of Garmin Connect. This is the creation of a loop route.

Garmin Explore

This is another application of Garmin (in addition to Connect) specialized in the creation and management of routes and Waypoints. When she got out, I thought it would become a kind of specialized parallel app for outdoor use of GARMIN GPS watches.

There are offline cards, a digital field model (with altitude data) that can be used to have the altitude at a point to then make a manual calibration of a barometric altimeter.

And then I think Garmin abandoned the idea and refocused on Connect.

And then I have 2 reviews on Explore:

  • We can only create routes point by point, the features do not follow the shape of the roads and paths
  • Explore routes are not transferred to Connect and vice versa

SUUNTO APP

Suunto has transferred its excellent heat cards to the smartphone application. It’s just that for some uses, it was very practical to use the big screen of a computer.

We can display various card funds, either the relief card, or the satellite view, or the heat card of the target activity. And there, there is a choice:

  • running
  • trail
  • cycling
  • Mountain biking
  • Ski and roller ski
  • mountaineering
  • descent ski
  • ski hike
  • swimming (well yes, for free water)
  • All Ramen activities
  • surf
  • golf

If you never like the semi-automatic creation (it is sometimes not very relevant, for a ski touring route for example), then you can switch to free drawing and create all the sections manually. This is also where the app must be forced to use paved roads for the creation of a bicycle route.

A banner at the bottom of the screen displays the distance, the elevation and the estimated duration of the journey time.

The creation of a point of interest on the route is very simple, it is enough to make a long support on the map.

Komoot

Komoot is defined as the most powerful tool in the world to create outdoor itineraries of bicycle, mountain biking and hiking. It is certain, Komoot offers the richest cards. Its user base is very oriented bike and mountain bike. Of 8 million users, 50% are cyclists, half of which practice mountain biking. But it can be used for hiking or trail.

In its operating mode, Komoot is rather thought of to create routes between a point A and a point B, in roaming or in return. It takes a little contortion to create curls.

At the registration, a card area is offered, roughly the size of a department. To be able to trace your route, the starting point must be located in this area. If you want to trace a route elsewhere, then you will have to buy the corresponding card zone. An area costs 3 €, while the card of the whole of France costs 30 €. Finally, technically, you can draw your route to an area that you have not purchased, but you will not be able to transfer it to your GPS watch.

You can choose between different card games (Komoot, OpenStreetMap, OpenCycleMap, Google Roads) and a satellite view. What is nice is that cartography is enriched with lots of points of interest, such as: for example:

  • natural places
  • essential sites
  • parks
  • fountains
  • public toilets
  • electric bicycle charging stations (I didn’t even know that it existed)
  • shelters

Interests can be created by users of the Komoot app. We therefore sometimes find passages entitled ‘beautiful track’, probably informed by a mountain biker.

The paths borrowable from mountain bike are recognizable on the map at their part, which goes from S0 (easy) to S5 (difficult).

We define the starting point either from your current position, or with an address, or with a right click on the map.

Then we build the route by adding crossing points one after the other. Or we point to departure and arrival, then we add intermediate crossing points. It is also very easy to modify any part of the route then it is enough to drag and drop to adjust the route. We can add passing points as long as we want.

The problem is that Komot tends to create back and forth rather than curls. So if you define a starting point and a distant point, it will make you come back by the same route as the first leg. You have to place 3 triangle points so that Komoot deigns to make the effort to create a loop.

From there, Komoot draws heavy artillery as to the data characterizing the route.

The altitude profile displays a gradient of colors as a function of the slope: dark red for portions at more than 15%, orange between 10 and 15, etc.

The level of detail on the coatings is impressive: asphalt, non -tarred path, earth trail, alpine path, etc. And as for the slope, each portion is visualized by gray or brown segments.

With these tools, it is possible to optimize your routes by avoiding, for example, too steep trails or tarmac road portions. Or the opposite.

Last nice little detail, you can share your itinerary with friends who use Komoot. Cool.

Komoot opened direct bridges to Garmin, Polar, Wahoo and Suunto. That is to say that a route drawn on Komoot will be automatically synchronized on Garmin Connect, Polar Flow, Suunto App and Wahoo, without having to go through the export/import of GPX file.

On the application, we find exactly the same thing, the same mapping quality, so many points of interest, the same tools to draw the route and the same richness of information.

Plotaroute

Compared to the other 7 route creation applications of this comparison, Plotaroute, that’s … how to say ? It’s like comparing 7 car dashboards and 1 plane cockpit.

On the interface of the Plotaroute website, there is on the left a toolbar which includes no less than … 20 tools that can be used to create a route ! It’s so impressive that it would deserve that I make you a full tutorial.

We start with the top toolbar:

  • Choice of the method to trace: manual (straight line from one point to the other), on the roads (car), on the paths practicable by bike, on the paths practicable on foot
  • Choice of the card: from OpenStreetMap to World Topo Map via satellite view, there are 9 in all (including 1 paid: Google Street Map)
  • Choice of a layer (to be put on the map, adding information): 5 in all, all paying, cycle paths to the density of traffic

Then these are the tools available to create a route:

  • Add an annotation to the card
  • Back at the start, minimizing the distance
  • Back on the same route as the outward
  • back passing through a point
  • drag and drop
  • Trace a section of the route
  • Cut the start or end of a race
  • reverse the direction of the route
  • Do more laps (for example, do 3 laps on the route route)
  • Create a loop on the route (for example, do 3 laps on a loop in the middle of the route)
  • Delete a section of the route
  • Move the start/arrival point of a loop
  • Draw a detour anywhere on the route
  • Delete the superfluous points
  • Measure a section of the route
  • draw a radius around a point
  • Cut a route into several routes
  • Combine several routes

You can create a route from passing points. We can intervene the order of crossing points. Once you have drawn a very complicated route, there is a tool to move a point along the route, from start to finish. It’s a bit of a religious before you have done the activity.

If you are afraid that all of this is a little too complicated for you, then you can also let it make a route automatically. This is the latest tool for the toolbar. It costs credits.

For 1 credit, you can define:

  • Activity: walking, running, cycling
  • Distance: from 2 to 200km
  • Type: loop or round trip
  • with or without an intermediate passage point

For 2 credits, we have more options:

  • Roads to avoid
  • With or without elevation (only by bike, I do not understand why)

And with the right toolbar (hey yes, the 3rd), we can: can:

  • Define the average speed for each of the activities, with an automatic taking into account elevation
  • Display the altitude profile
  • Display the list of navigation information (basically, each time there is an alert for the turn by turn)
  • Share the route (send the link)
  • Download the route (GPX, KML, Fit, TCX)

I will come back to the possibility of drawing a radius around a point. What is interesting is that there are 2 options, we can either draw a circle as the crow flies, or an isochronous form (that is to say, taking into account the roads and paths to browse the distance specified).

For example, on my point B, I traced an isochronous form of 1km. And you see that by taking the paths present in this mountainous area, it is no longer a circle of 1km of radius.

With the paid version, we can even draw isos in duration. For example, how far we can go, in all directions, running 1 hour at a pace of 6: 00/km. Huge !

The icing on the cake, with the paid version, is the automatic synchronization of Plotaroute routes to Garmin Connect.

Open

OpenRunner, it is a simple tool to use. The main interest is the variety and quality of card funds. For example, IGN cards can be used for free, including the TOP 25 (the 1/25,000 IGN cards series for hiking). It allows you to immediately identify the GR.

We can make a layout manually by designating all the points or semi-automatically and letting Openrunner look for the paths to join the points. For this last way to do, it is necessary to define the activity targeted, among:

  • walk
  • road bike
  • gravel
  • car (yeah …)

And I assure you that in the mountainous region, the resulting routes can be radically different.

On the smartphone application, the OpenStreetMap card is free, but the others are paid. And the creation of itinerary also requires the paid version.

Mapyrun

Mapmyrun’s interface is rather simple. What is fun is that the sections of the route route change color according to that you have traced it following the roads (blue) or in manual (red).

You can place a little guy on the card to switch directly to Street View.

You can also open the altitude graphic, with the representation of the slopes in different colors, in purple and yellow tones.

To go faster, you can count on Genius to automatically create a route. The little problem that we encounter quickly is that the starting point is either our current position, or an address. You can’t point a place on the map. You can choose the starting direction and even the direction of rotation (timetable or anti-clock, it can be useful on a large bike outing to finish with the wind in the back). Then we simply choose the distance and simply launch the creation of the course.

Well, to be honest, this is the worst automatic creation engine. He sometimes creates a 19km route when I asked him 8 (it’s still not the same) and in addition he does not always make beautiful curls, he sometimes plays 1 or 2 points of turn around.

On the Mapmyrun app for smartphone, the Genius tracer is included in the paid version (with a 14 -day trial version).

64 comments

Hi Jérôme, thank you for the article.
I did not know platoroute! You talk about making a tutorial and I encourage you.
For my part, I mainly use the Suunto app which meets 95% to my need and with a watch synchro it is fast and efficient.
I also use OpenRunner as a data basis to grab new routes.
Strava seems to offer something complete but I am not premium.
HAS+

Hello, I have not seen on the Suunto app how we can transfer the routes to the watch. As much as I do it with MovesCount, as much with the app, I did not find this possibility. I am interested if you know how to do

It is possible, or not, depending on the watch model that you have … basically this functionality is not possible with the “old” models (Ambit 3 series for example) … the online manual in the app says it very laconically (and without apologizing)