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Sustrans National Cycle Network edition of Memory-Map

BouncypeteBouncypete Posts: 5
I’m very disappointed with the Sustrans National Cycle Network edition of Memory-Map.

Unlike other Memory-Map products you cannot send the routes supplied on the disc to your GPS in a practical and useable manner.

The routes are grouped as “On Road Routes", "Traffic Free Routes" and "Future Routes". Whilst it is useful to know which parts of the National Cycle Network is “traffic free” and which parts are “on road” you end up with dozens of short routes to travel form A to B. For example, to travel between two nearby towns, Milton Keynes and Bedford I'd have to send 18 files to my GPS. This is hardly user friendly or practical. Had the disc contained a folder with each National Cycle Route in its entire length you could have simply send the part of the route you wanted to ride by using the right click command and select > Operations > Split Track. You could then simply delete the section of Cycleway that you did not wish to ride and export the section of Cycleway that you did intend to ride. This would be quick, simple and logical.

Some of the tracks on the CD are as short as 169 feet. It would be ridiculous to stop after 169 feet just to select the next route. For some reason it is not possible to consolidate several tracks into a single file to send to a GPS as the right click> Operations > Join Track refuses to actually join together the supplied routes. The command does work with routes that you create yourself but not with the supplied routes.

For reasons I've yet to fathom, the routes do not have the correct name either. National Cycle Route 51 appears on the disc as Track 49. Additionally, the file names of each track do not follow each other sequentially. For example, going west to east you have "Track 49_11" then "Track 49_9" then "Track 49_13" If I were to send these tracks to my GPS I wouldn't know which track to select next once out on the road.

Memory-Map sell other products such as "Best Rides of Britain - 100 of the best rides in Britain from MBR and Cycling Weekly” and “150 of the best walks in Britain from Country Walking magazine”. Both of these are really good and have routes that you can overlay on the map, and then you simply select the route you want to follow and send it to your GPS. With the Sustrans National Cycle Network edition of Memory-Map you can only send the route to the GPS in small fragments.
It appears that Memory-Map intend the person buying this product is to create their own route by tracing over the supplied Sustrans tracks. If you were to do this with the supplied 1:250,000 scale map you would almost certainly have substantial errors in towns or cites. On a paper 1:250,000 scale map, a 1mm error produces a ¼ km error on the ground. If the supplied routes were useable, a 1:250,000 scale map would be perfectly adequate as most handheld GPS devices cannot use the OS map itself.
Sustrans have done a fantastic job creating the National Cycle Network however, if a sign post was to become vandalised or if you just didn’t see a sign, you could easily get lost in built up areas. This is one reason why I want the ability to follow the routes using a GPS. The basic Memory-Map software appears to be excellent however; I bought this version specifically to follow the National Cycle Network with ease. This it appears it cannot do. Despite several emails to Memory-Map support I’ve been unable to find a solution or work round to this problem. They have also resisted my requests for a refund.
Overall I’m bitterly disappointed with this edition of Memory-Map. If anyone out there knows how I can get this software to work better, I’d love to know.

Posts

  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    Not familiar with the mapping software in question but it doesn't surprise me that something with a Sustrans connection doesn't work! It's about time we stopped these jokers being the primary point of contact between cyclists and the authorities, along the way spending comparatively vast amounts of money on farcical "facilities".

    Neither I, or anyone I know, would consider using a Sustrans route for fear of getting lost, massively detoured or seriously injured.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • BouncypeteBouncypete Posts: 5
    Last summer my (then) nine year old son and I rode several sections of a nearby Sustrans route and had a fantastic time.

    I worked out a route whereby if he got tired we could either take a short cut home or catch a train. In the end he rode all the way back to the house, almost 23 miles!

    The only problems we had was working out where the cycleway went through the towns so that's why I bought the disc. Trouble is I'm no better of now I've bought the disc. :(
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    I use Memory Map to create and transfer routes to my GPS - it works really well.

    I had no idea there was a Sustrans specific set of maps and routes. Routes can be exported by memory map in a load of different ways, eg .GPX is a text file with fairly obvious XML tags. If you can't get MM to join routes you could do it manually by exporting two files, merging them (eg in Notepad) and reimporting them, though you'll get waypoint which goes directly from the end of one Sustrans route to the start of the next.

    Alternatively, click the Route button to start making a new route and trace over the waypoints of the Sustrans routes as required. Your new route contains everything you need.

    I'm no fan of Sustrans either, if you want to get from the Severn bridge to my house you can either follow the Sustrans route, NCN4 which goes up a ridiculous barely rideable hill - and I'm a light, fittish rider on a triple road bike btw - or the B road adjacent to it.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    mr_si wrote:
    I'm no fan of Sustrans either, if you want to get from the Severn bridge to my house you can either follow the Sustrans route, NCN4 which goes up a ridiculous barely rideable hill - and I'm a light, fittish rider on a triple road bike btw - or the B road adjacent to it.
    What hill is that Si?
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Sustrans :roll:

    It took a movement of unpaid volunteers as part of the open mapping movement to sort out a free map of Britain which just happens to include the National Cycle Network. They also put this all online and it makes a mockery of Sustrans' online effort :roll:

    http://www.opencyclemap.org/

    If you scout around, you will find downloadable versions of these maps that will work on Garmin Edge GPSs and others.

    Sorry you wasted your money.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    alfablue wrote:
    What hill is that Si?

    if you're going to Shirenewton from Chepstow, NCN4 takes you down to Mounton and then climbs sharply back up

    or ST50950 93265 (actually NCN42 isn't it) , about 60m vertically over the kilometre from the roundabout

    http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.635759,-2.707915&spn=0.019524,0.038238&z=15

    or there's the B4235, a much more reasonable gradient throughout.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Ah yes, that hill from the small roundabout amidst the woods, I actually like that hill :lol:

    A far tougher one is in the Chepstow direction from Usk, here, it is a 16% gradient for about 1km. It is about the limit of what I can ride but it's fun!

    I think the NCN route's are generally good ones, I have ridden the C2C, Lon Las Cymru, and the Celtic Trail, and much of route 4. They are not necessarily easy, but generally they take you through beautiful countryside on reasonably quiet roads.

    The Memory Map thing would be annoying, though, had I invested the money.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    Yes I've ridden that recently... down to Usk :D

    I'm not suggesting these routes _are_ unrideable, like you say some of the hills are a challenge. For anyone trying to get from A to B on a bike I don't think this is the best route.

    I think I have bad memories of the climb up to Shirenewton from a ride a couple of years back that was longer than my legs were prepared for. A jogger ran past me as I climbed this particular stretch and it was a mile or so before I caught up with him. Problem with living at the top of a hill is that the last few miles of a long ride are always up :shock:
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    edited May 2009
    mr_si wrote:
    Yes I've ridden that recently... down to Usk :D
    yes, its a fantastic descent, smooth road, nice bends, 40mph without trying :lol: I just pay the price on my return to Bristol!
    I'm not suggesting these routes _are_ unrideable, like you say some of the hills are a challenge. For anyone trying to get from A to B on a bike I don't think this is the best route.
    I would agree, it would be a rubbish utility or commuter route. I suppose the NCN routes serve different purposes in different areas.
    I think I have bad memories of the climb up to Shirenewton from a ride a couple of years back that was longer than my legs were prepared for. A jogger ran past me as I climbed this particular stretch and it was a mile or so before I caught up with him. Problem with living at the top of a hill is that the last few miles of a long ride are always up :shock:
    Well, at least you got up it, I expect I am down to 3mph on these hills.

    My g/f and I have been using Pilning to Usk as a training ride prior to our tour of Tuscany a fortnight ago. My g/f has only been riding less than a year but she measures her improvement on these hills. She can now cycle all the way to Usk and just gets off for the steepest part on the return. It is a great ride though, very little traffic, nice countryside.
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    Bouncypete - sorry to hijack your thread :)

    Alfablue - have you ridden the NCN down to Raglan? Get on the Devauden to Monmouth road, luvverly views etc, go left down the hill just before you get to Llanishen. It's a 50mph hill that one, a proper rollercoaster. censored to climb up though.

    http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=51.710624,-2.767653&spn=0.019492,0.038238&z=15

    From Raglan, pop into the garden centre at Mitchel Troy for a big helping of cake, ride back up to Llanishen (not too bad from this angle) or into Monouth and the Wye Valley or the Forest of Dean of you're hard enough.

    It _is_ nice around here, we only live in these parts by accident as well. (one job in Cardiff, one in Bristol, somewhere inbetween to live then...)
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    That looks like a good route for us, we can graduate to that this summer after we have exhausted the thrills of the Usk ride. Good tip on the cake, a key aspect to incentivise my g/f :D
  • BouncypeteBouncypete Posts: 5
    mr_si wrote:
    I use Memory Map to create and transfer routes to my GPS - it works really well.

    I had no idea there was a Sustrans specific set of maps and routes. Routes can be exported by memory map in a load of different ways, eg .GPX is a text file with fairly obvious XML tags. If you can't get MM to join routes you could do it manually by exporting two files, merging them (eg in Notepad) and reimporting them, though you'll get waypoint which goes directly from the end of one Sustrans route to the start of the next.

    Alternatively, click the Route button to start making a new route and trace over the waypoints of the Sustrans routes as required. Your new route contains everything you need.

    I appreciate your reply but i was expecting to the software to be useable without having to do the above. In any case, I'd have to merge 18 routes in notepad just to ride between two town. :(

    As for thread hi-jacking I don't mind at all. If anything to more this thread is read or replied to high more prominent it will be to google. This will hopefully stop others wasting their money too.
  • triptixtriptix Posts: 3
    Many thanks Dodgy for the link- sure it will come in useful :D
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    There is also an issue with compatibility.

    I stopped using these Memory Map because of this.

    This set requires the latest version and is totally incompatible with any other. Equally if I upgrade then my present maps are incompatible with the new programme!

    As above, use th Open Source mapping or any of the excellent route planning sites.

    All we need to do is get Sustrans to put the GPX files online for the routes.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
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