I do seem to become involved regularly in the planning of running routes. I find that I have the time, enjoy maps, and it is fun, for me, at least.
I do not usually involve myself in social networks, but Strava does appear to work. They have now added a splendid resource, the heatmap,. And the heat map is a an online map which shows the Paths and trails taken bye local athletes. It is just nice.
What it does is 2 you confidence that a path you might wish to take is in fact open. There are many paths were you really do wonder whether the landowner has blocked the path off, or that it has become so overgrown has to be impossible. Who within 5 minutes, looking at the map, I was able to identify several routes which I had considered taking. Which I reckoned might not actually work resulting comma as usual, in an additional 10 minute round trip to find another way through. Within that short period of time I had identified several new ways of constructing local roots and will happily make use of it full stop for anybody undertaking a similar exercise, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The map is a heat map. It shows where Athletic activity is at its most intense. Unsurprisingly, but convincingly comma a quick check shows that the local park run routes, in Huddersfield Halifax and Brighouse all show the clear path of the root full stop the Huddersfield parkrun,Buy a long way the most popular, is sufficiently popular to have acquired a different colour on the heat map.
Today’s world has better mapping resources than ever before. There still comes that sometimes vague but aghast look over people’s faces when you ask them to look at a map. We live in a world of SatNavs, and, perversely perhaps, such resources have the effect of creating a whole generation of people who seem to have no idea where they are.
I do have a little sympathy. When young, I was at university in London. I went everywhere by the tube. When going anywhere you worked out where you were going by its nearest tube station. My vision of London, therefore, was that it was shaped in accordance with the underground map (not strictly a map, but . .)
In any event, here in the UK, we have the Ordnance Survey Map system. Over the globe we now additionally have Open Source Mapping.
This will build to be a list of resources helpful to those planning running routes. Some plan, some wander, and some explore. I like to mix them all.
- Google Maps – biggest and best coverage.
- Streetview – I am regularly amazed at the extent of streetmap’s coverage. It is particularly useful when planning to leave a road onto a trail, to have a look so that the turn will later be recognised.
- Bing Maps – (https://www.bing.com/maps) Very well worth a visit. It has particular assets
- OS Map – Ordnance Survey – we are very fortunate to have one of the very best mapping systems in the world in the UK – the Ordnance Survey. Bing Maps has the option of see the OS map and at the necessary best 1:25,000 scale. The ordnance survey system is reliableand definitive. That said, I can list several local
- Lat/Long – Latitude and Longitude are thefigures which guarantee to let you know exat where you are anywhere on the planet. Just two numbers are all you need. Right click anywhere on a Bing Map screen to produce a box which, at the bottom shows the two figures with a button for you to copy them to memory.
- OSM – Open Source Mapping
- Open Source maps are ones created by lay cartographers across the world to agreed standards. The coverage can be patchy, but when it has been done thoroughly, it can be very effective. It is particularly good when footpaths are identified in a way which allows automatice routing sytems to use them. This faciliy is not available
Run planning sites