>Suggestions and Feature Requests>Idea - wiki map?
Yesterday I was on my long run and midway through had an idea when I got to a water fountain that wasn't working. It would be really, really cool if RA had some sort of "crowdsourced" map that all members could edit. It wouldn't be for routes, but more so everyone could make notes on a map, which would make mapping routes in unfamiliar territory less of a crapshoot. For example, I might have known that that water fountain was out, if someone had made a note on this public map. It would be great for stuff like this, and also to mark stuff like bathrooms, road closures, gates that shut at a certain time, stretches of road with no sidewalk, traffic lights where pedestrians can cross busy streets, parking for trails, trailheads and I'm sure a thousand other things that could be really useful to someone who's never run in an area before.
I have no idea how something like this would actually work but I think the Runner's Map of the World would be awesome.
I've been thinking about this on and off. I really like the idea and there ought to be something like this. The hardest part is to convince everyone to contribute to it. Can I rely on you to make the LA portion of the map?
This discussion actually came up at the bar after our run Monday night. A group of us were talking and it came up that it would be cool to have a map with water fountians and public bathrooms. Someone did make an Iphone app for this purpose but it isn't very useful until people start filling it out.
I think It could be a nice addition.
I'd contribute to it but I don't think you want to know, or I should say, where my "bathrooms" are. Well, porta-johns and good public ones, perhaps...
Eric, perhaps this would be a good one to discuss with Garmin.
Imagine, during the run, quick navigation:
Menu -> waypoints -> new waypoint -> type -> water fountain -> save
It might take a while to catch on but it seems like the sort of thing that once people used, they'd use again and again. It might work best if you could just map your routes on a copy of the wikimap, and it could be cool to have categories to turn on or off--ie, a layer with all the water fountains, a layer with bathrooms, a layer of road closures, a layer of traffic lights (surprisingly important for the urban runner).
And I would totally do the LA part. Well, the parts I know at all.
This already exists!
Since I got a Forerunner recently, I've been logging my mountain biking and running on RA (many thanks eric). I've also been updating OpenStreetMap. I mostly run and ride in the woods, so previously there was no map that showed all the little trails I know. It takes a little effort to get the hang of editing, but now it takes me a couple of minutes to upload a gpx file, add anything that's missing and correct things that are not quite right. After only a couple of months I now have a really good map of my local area.
You can add sources of drinking water, traffic lights, surface, and masses of other stuff.
I'd love it if OSM (and Open Cycle Map - another rendering of the same data) could be added to the map options on RA.
On the road back
I went to the website and I'm pretty web savvy, but I would hope for something a bit easier to view/use. I navigated to the LA area thinking that surely there would be lots of little notations made by users, and saw nothing. What did I do wrong, or is that UI something that we'd make better if there was a similar type functionality here at RA?
BTW: I'd be happy to add notes and stuff for where I run, and I'm sure someday all the RA'ers will find it useful when they run in my town of 7800.
I have a love/hate relationship with running. I do it, but sometimes I love to hate it.
I just zoomed in on LA and I can see traffic lights, museums, restaurants and heliports. I don't see any water fountains yet, but I think that just means LA's helicopter pilots have been more proactive than her runners.
I did warn that editing the data is a bit tricky to start with, but I've never had any problem just viewing. It's pretty standard search, drag, zoom.
Hope that helps.