Author Topic: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet  (Read 740 times)

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Offline HikeBikeCook

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Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« on: January 06, 2022, 11:17:56 am »
We are riding cross country this spring (COVID permitting >:() and I have almost the entire route mapped with Ride with GPS. I have the days routes starting and ending at planned lodging, but all plans tend to go out the window in the first week, with a cascading result over the remaining weeks.

I want to be able to update my Ride with GPS routes on the trip. However, I want to save 2 pounds over my MS Surface Pro and carry a Samsung A7 with a Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad to edit along the way.

Anyone use this setup to edit routes? Fat fingers and old eyes keeps me from wanting to edit routes on my phone. :)
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2022, 12:39:21 pm »
I have not used that set up.  However, I do my routes in various segments (including lodging) and it is no big deal to just load the next route even if it is mid-day.  I just have to be alert to know that I was supposed to stop in Town A and load the next route there.

All I am saying is that you might be trying to make something too perfect when in reality it won't matter much at all where the route is loaded.

Regardless of what you do, I hope you have a wonderful trip!

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2022, 08:40:47 pm »
Disclaimer: I only use the free version of RWGPS

The first thing to be aware of is that the app interface is different to the browser interface (and the browser interface may be different again between mobile and PC versions).

It's not fully clear to me what you want to edit?
Are you expecting to go off your planned route completely and need to be able to plan alternatives on the fly?
Or is it more likely that you'll shorten a planned day, take a slight detour to accommodation and then resume the pre-planned route the next day?

Also are you using a standalone gps unit or RWGPS on your phone for navigation?

Sorry, but I'm going to be "that guy" and not answer your question by going off on a tangent....

Try Osmand. A route planner and navigator. You can mark off (as favourites) your accommodation options in advance. And backups. Then if you need to change plans simply plot a route to your new location.

You can import your gpx files from RWGPS (so you can still do your "big planning" at home in a format you know.
For "on the fly" changes you can create a gpx file in Osmand and send wirelessly to a gps unit (depends on unit) or import into your RWGPS app (I can't test that - please check for yourself).
If you use your phone to navigate Osmand does that too with TBT directions and voice commands.

Osmand works offline (for planning and navigation) a huge advantage in my book. It shows road surfaces and gradients and is incredibly useful. I've used it all through Central & Southern America.

Note: It's not the "best" route planner out there in terms of quality of route but for short diversions it is fantastic - quick, accurate and offline.

To actually answer your question I rarely use the "big apps" on the road. They have a tendency to do a revamp every now and then and functions move around - frustrating when on the road.
The only way to know for sure is to practice. Get out on your bike (or even your car) and recreate the scenario you envisage.

For what it's worth I cycled from NL to Ireland using one gpx file across the UK. At the end of the day I turned off for accommodation and the next morning cycled back to the route. Ditto in Ireland and again going back a different way across the UK. The basic maps on my gps unit were usually enough or I used Osmand.

By the way I've tried out a couple of bluetooth keyboards for touring. This is all typed out on my phone :)

Good luck

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2022, 08:37:30 am »
I am riding with a Garmin 1030 Plus. I have the routes laid out as daily routes, as that is the way they are provided for the TransAm Eastern Express. I only want to be able to tweak start and stop points to account for a probably increase in our currently planned miles per day. We are a group of 6 who have come together through a Campions Wanted listing and have only had online meetings. As the original organizer and current navigator I am trying to provide as much route detail as possible to facilitate keeping the group together at the end of each day.

While lots of planning is fun in the winter months, the reality is the actual per-day planning will probably go out the window in the first week. The itinerary is also designed to be a guideline and not a live-or-die schedule. This is an adventure and there has to be room for spontaneity, weather, moods, aches and pains, etc.  On the flip side I am a planner and planning allows for contingencies when things go sideways. :)

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nelson

Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2022, 12:18:03 pm »
I agree with John Nettles. Don’t worry about exactly where each route starts and stops. Just load the next route when the previous route is complete, even if that’s in the middle of the day. As long as each rider knows where to end the day (or regroup midday), your group should be able to stay together.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2022, 04:29:48 pm »
Going back to my original question, has anyone used a Samsung Tablet to edit RWGPS routes that could give some feedback as to the usability over the Windows application?
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2022, 07:06:43 pm »
Ok, I tried it with my OLD (like really old Samsung A tablet) and while I could, it was very very slow and a royal PIA to do.  I would not deal with it but again, my unit is OLD.  BTW, I used Firefox to access RWGPS.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2022, 07:40:05 am »
Thanks John, I already own two Surface Pros, so I do not really need another device, but 2 pounds is a big savings. Having lived in IT all my live I feel naked without a computing device, but really can go days with only my phone. I am just not sure I could go weeks without a laptop or tablet of some kind.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2022, 09:07:12 am »
To go back to your original question I had a Samsung tablet and if I used RWGPS on it I used the web interface, not the app. I did not plan or edit routes with that combination.

My Samsung tablet was a PITA for anything unusual. Simple things like file management, clearing cache, cookies etc was far more convoluted than on any other android device I've used.

Usability is a highly subjective concept. What's usable for one is a PITA for another.

I must be a bit thick this morning because I'm still not clear on what you want to do. Increasing or decreasing distance along the same route should not be an issue and editing routes to reflect that seems like creating work.
If the actual route is to change significantly other than distance then that's a different situation. Minor changes could probably be dealt with by a gps unit that can reroute.

Will an edited route need to be distributed to all members of the group allowing people to go at their own pace or is everyone travelling together? If everyone needs a copy then there are more complications. Is everyone using RWGPS? On android? A gps unit?

Planning is all well and good and a great way to pass long winter nights but heading off without practicing what you want to do can be very brave.

My suggestion is to think about exactly what you want to do, then practice it. An early morning huddle in the rain when you're the one responsible for navigation and nothing is working as you'd like is not the way I'd like to start my day. Don't forget that you may be competent at what you're doing but not everyone may be.

In my experience the things that flummox people are a lack of internet access and incompatibility across devices and systems.

Good luck


Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2022, 09:26:30 am »
Thanks Hobbes -

I am only providing the RWGPS files as a courtesy. As the original poster of the Companions Wanted listing I already had a route planned the differs from that traditional TransAM. The eastern section is using the TransAM Eastern Express route, where RWGPS files are provided, but we have modified the route slightly to totally skip Pittsburgh. Then from Missoula onwards west we are totally departing from the ACA route and heading north then west on roads and rail trails.

I have encouraged everyone to use a Garmin on bike GPS unit, or something compatible with RWGPS. I they have a compatible device they can simply "pin" the maps to their device and sync. I am not a tour leader, or a babysitter - getting to camp at night is up to the individual. We are not running a sweep rider or SAG service. Everyone is self-supported, no planned group cooking or sharing of equipment. We are planning on "map meetings" every evening to keep everyone on the same page. We picked evenings since everyone is usually done by dark, but people's definition of morning varies greatly - mine starts at 4:30 am but I am not a big conversationalist at that hour. :)

Route modification is only one of the things that I plan to use the tablet for, I will probably keep a trip log, do some accounting and property and portfolio management that needs to be done on rest days (in hotels), etc. Most of this stuff is browser based these days, so with decent wi-fi, which many hotels have, I should be good. Route editing is more of a "nice to have" but part of my decision to buy another device.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2022, 10:04:53 am »
One last point and it may verge on heresy......

You talk of "saving" two pounds in weight by taking the tablet.

I'm a big believer in packing for what makes me comfortable.

I like freedom so always carry extra water and food. I like comfort so always have extra clothes.

If you really think your trip will be more comfortable for you by taking a laptop then why not think about taking it?

It's two pounds. Maybe an incentive to lose a couple of pounds around the waist  :)
Good luck!

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2022, 10:07:21 am »
Thanks John, I already own two Surface Pros, so I do not really need another device, but 2 pounds is a big savings. Having lived in IT all my live I feel naked without a computing device, but really can go days with only my phone. I am just not sure I could go weeks without a laptop or tablet of some kind.
OK, but I was just trying to answer your question if anyone has a Samsung Table to edit RWGPS.  For me, it sucked.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2022, 10:26:31 am »
Thanks John, I already own two Surface Pros, so I do not really need another device, but 2 pounds is a big savings. Having lived in IT all my live I feel naked without a computing device, but really can go days with only my phone. I am just not sure I could go weeks without a laptop or tablet of some kind.
OK, but I was just trying to answer your question if anyone has a Samsung Table to edit RWGPS.  For me, it sucked.

John, I guess my thank you for your answer was clouded by my verbose reply, but I really intended to sincerely thank you for your direct answer to my original post.

As Hobbs said, it may be better to lose 2 extra pounds, and I am on my way to peeling off the COVID 15 right now. As one friend said to me years ago when discussing the cost to peel just another ounce off of my Litespeed; "You fat f#@*, why not just skip a lunch??"
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Editing RidewithGPS Routes with an Android Tablet
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2022, 11:18:18 am »
I do agree about losing body weight.  The classic example I give is I once lugged an 8 pound watermelon and a gallon jug of water to camp for about 10 miles.  I was astonished how much extra 16 pounds of weight seemed. 

I then thought if I just loose some weight, it would be beneficial and have lost (and kept off) about 15 pounds since then.  I still need to lose about 20 more pounds (or what Pete typically carries total on this tours!).

If you want to see the difference, just ride with 1 gallon of water in your pack and that is what it is to carry an 8 pounds of body fat.  I dare say most of us could shed a gallon or two of water.