Most of us use apps on our phones and devices to navigate these days and i know i normally use Googlemaps but there are some other resources that can be even more functional when it comes specifically to cycling. Here is some of our research relating specifically to London. I'm sorry i couldn't be more global in my research but i'm sure that many cities have the equivalents of these types of bike mapping services.
I created this one on a website called bikemap.net where i was able to plot my own route and then share it. Its mapping meets social media where you create a profile and can share routes within an community or group of friends and then rate the routes. All the data such as elevation and distance can be seen an analysed based on your route.
Here is a screen grab of the data connected to the map.
CycleStreets is a UK-wide cycle journey planner system, which lets you plan routes from A to B by bike. It is designed by cyclists, for cyclists, and caters for the needs of both confident and less confident cyclists.
This website was created privately by a couple of guys who are very much into the cycling world using an open platform global street mapping website called Openstreetmap.org
The website Cyclestreets allows users to put in the starting point and the ending point of their cycle ride and choose from thee different options - fastest route, quietest route and balanced route, pretty cool huh. Then you get your journey mapped for you to export or print out etc. Below is one that i did which starts at Hackney and ends at Richmond Park. It told me things like how long it would take, elevation and number of traffic lights on the way.
The main public transportation hub in London, TFL has a lot of info for riding bikes including different types of maps and information on where you can park your bike and even which tube lines you can take your bicycle on (between certain hours) This is the cycle part of their mega website tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/
The TFL website is good because it puts the journey at the forefront and gives you different options for cycling and public transport. It could be that cycling is quicker than catching a bus and this kind of info is really motivating to ride your bike.
Google maps is the obvious and widest used mapping service, and with good reason Its great. The interface is really attractive and there is a lot of information behind the engine that helps with planning your bicycle journey. What it doesn't do is suggest routes if you don't know where you want to go. It works better for if you know exactly where you want to go and it will give you route options to get there. The app you can use with your phone is also probably the best.
Here below is the same route mapped between Hackney and Richmond park.
Here are some cycle mapping websites worth checking out for bike maps and bike routes:
- TFL cycling
- Google maps
If you want, check out these other blog posts
100 Cycling Tips including the weird and wonderful
How to take your pet on a bike ride - some funny pictures
How to join a bike ride - group rides for the more social amongst us