How to save data usage and battery life with offline maps

How to save data usage and battery life with offline maps

Ever lost your data connection or run out of battery while out on your bike?

Lots of cyclists know this problem just too well. We’ve received countless requests from our users asking for the option to save routes for offline use. After all, you want to enjoy the scenery and that feeling of freedom without worrying about data, roaming charges or battery life.

This is why we have created offline maps and routes. Just in time for cycling peak season, you can now upgrade to Bikemap Premium to download selected map regions and routes to your phone.

Bikemap Premium is a monthly or yearly subscription plan for enthusiastic cyclists who want to benefit from even more cool features – no matter in which corner of this world you happen to be cycling.

 

How can I save my routes offline?
  1. Download the free app for Android or iOS.
  2. Register or sign in if you already have an account.
  3. Upgrade your account to Premium.
  4. In the menu, click on “Offline Regions”. Pick a region and download it by hitting “Store for offline use”.
  5. Search for routes in your selected region and click on “Save for offline use.”
  6. Go out riding and say goodbye to lost data connections and high roaming charges.

Bikemap tip: Set your phone to flight mode to save valuable battery life! 

    blog-offline-phone-premium

 

Download the Bikemap App for Android or iOS and get the full Bikemap experience!

App_Store      google_play

 

Offline maps and routes are only part of our new Premium offer! Curious about what else we’ve got? Discover more about Bikemap Premium here.

Sneak Peek #2: What are you searching for?

Sneak Peek #2: What are you searching for?

From user routes, official bike paths to destinations, there is much to find on Bikemap to plan your cycling tours and make them an unforgettable experience. In light of this we are excited to share another sneak peek into Bikemap Next: the all-new omni-search complemented with an intelligent autocomplete that helps you search for routes and destinations right as you type.

 

Bikemap’s new search will make it easier to find the routes and places you are looking for. By inserting your keyword into the search field and hitting enter you can search for all routes matching that keyword. In comparison to the current search, the new search smartly aggregates results both from a keyword search and a location search. No matter if your keyword matches the location or is included in the name or description of the route, all relevant results will be filtered for you.

If you are searching for destinations the autocomplete comes in and you will instantly receive suggestions for destinations while typing. Click on them to be directed directly to the destination page, where we have collected the best routes for you in this region so that you can get inspired for your next bike tour.

If you got any ideas or suggestions, let us know in the comments!

Bikemap Next

Bikemap Next is the upcoming major relaunch of Bikemap with lots of new features and improvements that is about be released in the upcoming weeks. Learn more about Bikemap Next in our announcement post.

Becoming an early explorer of Bikemap Next

With the Bikemap Next Preview Program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic users to shape Bikemap Next with us – and we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback.

If you do want to participate in the Bikemap Next Preview Program, simply sign up in the form, and we’ll let you know when it’s ready!

 

Up next

Route descriptions, guides, cycling tipps and more – stay tuned for new and stunning content on Bikemap!
Find out more about that in our next sneak peek 🙂

A farewell to Google Maps. Say Hello to Maptoolkit!

Update: Meanwhile Bikemap.net and Tiscover.com have been migrated to the new cartography and API.

The short story:

We do the switch2osm from Google Maps, and from the Google Maps API to Maptoolkit v8 with Openlayers! See the result here.

The long story:

When the Google Maps team announced the introduction of usage fees for high traffic websites such as our Bikemap.net, we were shocked at first. Thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month is far beyond what a free service such as Bikemap can afford.

Cartography: Our own Openstreetmap style

When I first heard of the project Openstreetmap, 2006 at a presentation by OSM founder Steve Coast in Copenhagen, when merely London was mapped, I couldn’t imagine the project going very far. But already in 2008 Peter and I were giving OSM presentations ourselves, at BarCamps and tourism events in Germany and Austria. We mapped the West African city of Ouagadougou almost entirely on our own and persuaded some local authorities to supply their GIS data. It was clear that Openstreetmap would eventually outperform commercial map vendors, due to its simple structure and growing community. So when Google announced the end of the free party (which, by the way, we are endlessly thankful for!), we knew we wouldn’t go anywhere else than the open way.

We opted for the hard (but rewarding) development our own map style, together with our newest team member, OSM aficionado Holger Schöner. Just as many others – e.g. Nestoria, Active.com, GPSies, Fubra – we could have used existing renderings but weren’t fully satisfied with the available options.

As most of our use cases involve outdoor activities, we decided to include a nice digital elevation model (with SRTM data from CIAT and OGD sources). As for cartographic information density, we opted for a light streetmap (in contrast to only marginal streetmap information in renderings such as Google Terrain), while toning down feature density in comparison to full street maps such as the original OSM rendering from Openstreetmap.org.

See the screenshot above or the interactive demo at Maptoolkit.net. Our style will be further developed, both with the objective of high performance and of better, more interactive information quality, that is also adaptable to specific use cases.

By the way: Regardless of our own maps we will continue to offer Google Maps within our mashups. They have set standards in terms of web cartography and continue to do so. Hat tip to the fabulous Google Maps team!

New API: Maptoolkit v8

Map tiles are only half the battle. We also needed a decent Javascript application to display them. There are a couple of alternative APIs out there, most notably Bing, Mapquest and Cloudmade. For various reasons we had already abstracted most of the features Google supplies over the course of the last years, moving a lot of functionality into our own API Maptoolkit (MTK) that resides on top of the Google API. As of Version 7 of MTK the Google API merely is responsible for basic interface features. We now have moved that API foundation to the fabulous opensource project OpenLayers, which as of the new Version 8 of MTK covers not only the basic functionality but also provides us with the richness of functions from a large and active community of developers. To which we will happily be contributing to as well.

Don’t get me wrong: We continue to be huge fans of Google Maps. We have been building some of the map benchmarks of the European tourism industry with Google Maps. And we will continue to do so: The Google Maps API is tightly and well integrated (in alignment with Google’s terms) into MTK and can be used as ever. It is just not preconditional any more. Our customers will be able to decide when to use Google Maps basic, when to use Google Maps Premier, when to use Maptoolkit – and when to use Maptoolkit and Google together, in order to stay below usage limits. And they can throw in third party map tile servers such as Mapquest to the mix as well.

We will deploy both MTK v8 and our new rendering style within the upcoming weeks at Bikemap.net and selected customer projects. Please do get in touch if you are interested in any of our services.

Some notes on our demo:

  • It is for now limited to an alpine section of Tyrol in the alps, around the beautiful city of Innsbruck. We are in the course of providing a worldwide rendering up to a certain zoom level and more zoom levels for our most important markets, as needed.
  • Try switching between Toursprung maps, Google or the official Openstreetmap Mapnik rendering for comparison.
  • Try out displaying some geo content from the menu on the right. We have designed our maps in a way that doesn’t interfere with POIs and clusters, as this is a requirement in most of our use cases.
  • Everything is still beta: We are still working on many aspects of representation, interface controls and behaviour, production process and data quality.

Most importantly: How do you like our new maps? Let us know in the comments or on the Bikemap or Toursprung page on Facebook.

Viel Neues von Bikemap & Co

Kein Blogpost seit Ende des Sommers, Asche auf unsere Häupter. Dabei gibt es aus den letzten Wochen einiges zu berichten!

  • Runmap und Runmap gingen online – und haben es in kürzester Zeit auf ~45.000 Routenkilometer geschafft, das hat uns selbst überrascht.
  • Alle Plattformen haben wunderschöne neue Kartenfunktionen bekommen – siehe den neuen “Mehr”-Button auf jeder Karte. Dahinter steht die Eigenproduktion “Maptoolkit” – darüber später mehr.
  • Ein noch gut verstecktes Feature (das wird sich ändern!): Events. Man kann nun zu jeder Route einen “Event”, also eine Veranstaltung eintragen. Das eignet sich hervorragend für Lauftreffs, Skatenights oder Radtourenfahrten (RTFs). Zu finden über “Route suchen” plus der Checkbox rechts oben.
  • Viele Kleinigkeiten wurden verbessert, am sichtbarsten die Userprofile, die nun die eigenen Routen in einer Karte darstellen.
  • Häufig gestellte Fragen geben Antworten auf selbige. Und ganz neu: Video-Anleitungen.