Creating The Maps

This page is a simple description of how I created these maps, in case anyone wishes to attempt a similar project in the future.

First, create a map on Google Maps.
  1. Start by getting directions from the start location to the finish location;
  2. Add enough control points - click on the blue route and drag to change route - so that the route actually matches the route you want to use.  Unfortunately, at this time, you must stick with the car route - if you pick a bike route or a walking route, the option to save the route goes away.
  3. Click on "Save to my maps" and save your new route.
  4. Go to "My places" and select your newly saved route.
  5. Look for the line that says "Rate this map, write a comment, KML" and select 'KML'.
  6. This will download a kml file to your computer.
Next, you need to convert the kml file to a gpx file to be able to create the route on the Bike Route Toaster.  I use a unix tool called 'gpsbabel' to do the conversion.

Create a cue sheet on the Bike Route Toaster.
  1. Upload the gpx file for your route. (You'll need to have an account on BRT)
  2. Starting from the start of your route, click on points on your route where you want to have a cue sheet entry.
  3. for this  point, click on "To Course Point" in the right-hand sidebar. This will prompt you for information relating to the course point.
  4. Repect for all points along the route for which you want a cue sheet entry.
  5. On the BRT  'Cue Sheet' tab, click on 'XML' to save the route as an XML file.
Once I have the XML file, I convert that to a csv file with a short python script.  Wondering why I just don't save the route as CSV?  That might work for you; For me, I have some quote and comma characters in the content of the cue sheet that screw up the BRT csv output. I've attached the python script. I'm of course happy with the output, there is more info in the XML you might want to make use of, esp. coordinates and elevation.

From there, just load up the csv files into your spreadsheet, and you're pratically done.

Don Bennett,
Jul 25, 2011, 4:45 PM