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Bike Maps

The Register is reporting that some company in Mountain View includes cycling directions in some areas of the world. Old hat, I’d say, as the Dutch national cyclists union has had a really good bike trip mapper for quite some time already which makes use of the cycling infrastructure we have here. Too bad the editor to add data to the system seems to be a Flash app.

Speaking of apps, there’s an app for cycle route planning, which prompted the MOMC to say “I want an iPhone!”. To which my knee-jerk Free Software response was “No, you don’t. Really, you don’t.” But how do I make it a little less knee-jerk and a little more reasoned? Or how do we get pseudo-community organizations like the cyclists union to produce apps in a more open fashion so that they’re easier to port to all the platforms we use? I’d like that cycle mapping app on my n810, for instance.

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8 Responses to “Bike Maps”

  1. Dennis Nienhüser Says:

    Marble will support routing (cars, bikes and pedestrians) soon by integrating In parallel, work is going on to make it run nicely on the N900. Not sure about the N810 though.

  2. Aurélien Gâteau Says:

    I have been doing some mapping of my village for OpenStreetMap lately. OpenStreetMap features cycling infrastructure. There is a really impressive Qt4-based mapping application named Merkaartor (

    For the n810, you can use Maemo Mapper to browse OpenStreetMap. It can’t compute a route, but it connects quite cleverly to… Google Map via (by Mapper authors) which allow you to generate a route in gpx format, which can then be downloaded to the n810 for Mapper to use.

    You can also use osm2go, an n810-based OpenStreetMap editor (

  3. charon Says:

    I and my friend have done CycloGraph: a little app that draws the profile of route. It isn’t of any help if you want something that gives a map, but it’s complementary in the route planning.
    It is important to know where you should go but also how hard it will be.
    It’s a python application with three interfaces: PyQt4, pyGTK and, more limited, CLI.
    I don’t know if it runs on n810.

  4. Ian Monroe Says:

    The only crossplatform environment that could also run on an iPhone would be JavaScript+HTML. Of course thats pretty limiting, which is why the iTunes app store didn’t take off until the objective c api was released.

    …in other words, its the 60s again, a crossplatform dev environment hasn’t been invented yet. And maybe won’t be, given that iPhone etc are more like game consoles then computers when it comes to how locked down they are.

  5. Armijn Says: might be your best shot. The Dutch OSM community is really active. You might even want to join and make the maps better.

  6. summel Says:

    google maps now supports routing information for bikes. there’s also a google maps app for symbian and other phones :)

  7. Thomas Zander Says:

    To get more companies to write software for open devices I suggest to educate them about actual real world market share of the iPhone vs well, everything that Qt runs on ;) Just comparing iPhone vs symbian phones shows single digits percentage for the fruit.

    This kind of blogs help too, probably :)

    So, as a consumer maybe everyone can send emails to their favorite app writers saying they really like their stuff and can’t wait until it becomes available on more than that niche platform called iphone

  8. adridg Says:

    @summel: well, that was the point: it’s not exactly a new feature, there have been specialized bike planners for a long time already. And no, I’d rather not drink the Google cool-aid either. OSM sounds like the best bet here.