Ride With GPS: Open Street Maps vs Google Maps

I just saw that the map in the post below actually shows the connection between Trails End Rd and Yeagerville Rd. After a quick conversation with Zack Ham from Ride With GPS, I found out why: Ride With GPS uses Google Maps for routing as a default. However, if you export a jpeg, it is based on Open Street Maps, which differs significantly from Google Maps. You can switch the default routing map in the upper-right-hand corner of the main Ride With GPS screen to RWGPS, which uses Open Street Maps.

Why is this valuable? In comparing Google Maps and Open Street Maps, it appears that the latter includes a lot of back roads that Google Maps does not include. For example, I just found a back road to near the very highest point in the Catskills that appears only in Open Street Maps. So if you’re looking for gravel or the road less traveled, make sure you explore your area using both map bases.

Now, I just have to find someone dumb enough to accompany me on a 3500-ft climb on loose gravel this weekend. Any takers? Think of the bragging rights: The highest bike-navigable point in the Catskills, at 3711 feet! It even has a 27.8% grade just to add to the good times.

And by the way, if you don’t want to pay the $100 or so for Garmin’s map, Ride With GPS now sells an SD card with Open Street Maps preloaded for $25. A good deal. Of course, you can buy an SD card and download the maps yourself, but it looks to me like more time and trouble than it is worth.

John

medicalwriter.net

2 thoughts on “Ride With GPS: Open Street Maps vs Google Maps

  1. Nathan

    The very nice part about open street maps is the ability to easily add content at openstreetmap.org. It’s almost scary how easy it is to map on new roads and correct errors in the current map. In your case, with the multitude of non-mapped roads in your area, you could add them in as you find them. Then whenever ridewithgps updates their maps, your newly added roads would be available for you to use. Even if they wouldn’t be available to load to your gps, you would still have them mapped for planning.

    Unless you want to keep the roads secret, in which case…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s