Ride With GPS added Surface Types to its route designing tool for both desktop and mobile users. The new feature allows users to see which sections of a route are paved, unpaved, or on trails as they design a course.
“Our mission is to help users go on better rides, more often. Knowing the surface type doesn’t just help route planners, it provides a better riding experience for everyone, and encourages folks to discover more places to ride,” said Ride with GPS founder Zack Ham.
Strava has a similar feature in its Route Builder.
When designing a route with the tool, you can specify if you want to only use certain types of surfaces. You can also view surface types of a previously created route.
The Surface Types feature lets you select from three surface options:
- Paved surfaces: shown as a solid line and include asphalt, concrete, and chip-and-seal
- Unpaved surfaces: shown as a dashed line and include gravel, dirt, and natural/unimproved trails
- Unknown surfaces: shown as an outlined white line when insufficient data is available about a surface on a route
User-sourced route info
Ride With GPS claims it is the first route-planning tool that lets users manually edit the type of surface on their routes. The web-based mapping and route creation tool relies on surface type data from OpenStreetMap (“OSM”), a worldwide, open-source mapping service. Where some surface type information in Ride with GPS is incomplete (e.g., “unknown surface”) users will have the option to contribute updates to specify a surface type for segments with the “unknown” label.
On the desktop browser view, the Surface Types feature will display percentages of the total route planned along with a matching visual representation along with the elevation profile and route line.
Mobile users will find Surface Types information when navigating a route with the mobile view. When navigating, surface-type transitions are shown in sections. You can toggle ahead between changing surface sections to explore what’s ahead, and what surfaces are included on a route.
If you don’t find the Surface Types a useful feature, it can be disabled.