GPS

Online Route Planning

Although we are Luddites when it comes to GPS we have noticed in recent months that route planning software has improved greatly.

Route Planning in Belgium

http://www.routeyou.com/route/routeplanner/topo/topoplanner/topographic-planner.en is excellent. Large parts of Belgium use knooppunt signposting. The program will take you to the nearest spot in Belgium if you ask for a foreign destination that is not covered by it.

Route Planning in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

A website of interest for cyclists planning to cycle in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is www.cykloserver.cz.

Route Planning in Denmark

http://cyclistic.dk/en is excellent and available in Danish, German and English.

Route Planning in France

The Michelin Route planner offers cycle route planning: http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/. Just remember to set the app to bicycles.

“Canaux et Véloroutes 1 Le Rhin” available as a download from http:// www.tourisme67.com/pdf/fluvial/le-rhin.pdf (in French, German and English) covers the Rhine Valley from Lauterbourg to Basel. 

At the time of writing it is possible see the routes in France on screen, but cycling directions cannot be prepared. Unlike paper maps the Google maps show only those stretches of route where there is a cyclepath. There appears to be no correspondence between the signposted routes and the Google output on screen.

Route Planning in Germany

Germany is a federal republic and cycle routes are the responsibility of the provinces, so you may need to check a number of sites if you are travelling cross country. However those provinces that have official route planners have got together under the VeRa website: http://www.radroutenplaner-deutschland.de/. Although it is in German, it is easy to use. When you open the website there is a map showing the various provinces. Those that are brightly coloured offer route planners that cover the province and a few kilometres over their borders. Click on the map to use its cycling information systems. These programs also offer the possibility of planning routes into other provinces. Using the Baden Württemberg planner, for example you can work out a route from Basel, Switzerland to Cologne through four different provinces.  

At the time of writing the following provinces offer route planning with GPS download: 

Baden-Württemberg: German only, iPad Android App available.

Bavaria: German only.

Hesse: English available.

North Rhine Westphalia: English available.

Rhineland Palatinate: English available.

Schleswig-Holstein: English available.

Thuringia: English available.

Bremen: Available via VeRa but German only. No GPS. It is a very small area.

Berlin also has a route planning program available, but not via VeRa: The http://www.bbbike.de website offers a German language route planner with the option of Android and iPhone apps. 

Route Planning in the Netherlands

http://www.fietsersbond.nl/fietsrouteplanner/ offers route planning in the Netherlands and slightly over the borders, but not far. 

More recently Google has started to include cycle routes on its maps using the “Get directions” button. It is possible to calculate routes in the Netherlands, but these seem to ignore the knooppunt, the directional nodes.  


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