Map & Routing Software

I’m planning a driving trip and want to set up my itinerary. I have multiple stops to make, each of which will last from a few minutes to a couple of hours. And then there are overnight stops. I recently ‘discovered’ Google Maps and have used it to locate and “pin” all my stops. It’s great for that! Now I’m ready to plan each day of driving. The routing feature allows me to string stops together, and happily gives me driving time and directions. But alas, it seems to have no facility for including time spent at each stop. So the route plan requires me selecting a certain number of stops and letting the route planner give me total drive time. Then I have to manually (like on <shudder> a piece of paper) list the stops and append a layover time to each. Then (still on paper) add the total of layovers to the driving time, and see if it sums to more than a comfortable day. Then adjust by adding or removing waypoints and seeing how they affect total time. Lather, rinse, repeat. What a pain!

My old Microsoft Streets and Trips, although no longer supported, and not web based, allowed me to set up a route and assign layover times to individual stops. Its directions and trip time then includes the total time. You can even include gas stops after X miles, meal stops, overnights, and other happy features. So you could build each day’s route, stop by stop, and end the day whenever you choose. Then build another day from that point on.

Is there a way to get this facility in Google Maps, or in MapQuest, or another web-based map and route planner? I’ve looked, but perhaps my google-fu is too weak. Other route planning folks, please help!

Should have kept your old MS&T disks.

I have mine.

:smiley: Oh, don’t worry, the program is still fully functional on several of my computers! But I thought that in today’s wifi age I could get away with not carrying a laptop on my trip. Google Maps is of course accessible from my smart-devices. It just doesn’t have real-world trip routing.

But unless there’s another way to skin this particular cat, I’ll be lugging one or another laptop along. :frowning:

Free is nice, but I’ll even be willing to buy something that does this.

Map data becomes stale. If you plan a route using two-year-old mapping information (if not older), you run the risk of being routed directly into construction, or onto non-existent roads, or at least into lower capacity roads than a modern map would use.

I suppose I don’t see the problem with Google Maps. It gives you a route. You drive on that route for x hours. You stop for y hours. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I understand the problems inherent in old maps and I would love to avoid it by using Google Maps or equivalent. But since you say you don’t see the routing problem, I’ll try to explain more clearly.

My route will cover a number of states and last perhaps 8 or 10 days. In that time I’ll visit roughly 35 places of interest. This is NOT including restaurants, hotels, gas, pee breaks, and other miscellaneous stops. Lets hypothecate the first day. I leave work and drive to point A.

ETA hit Post too soon! Continued…

The thing is, Google Maps publishes an ‘API’, computer code pieces that can be used to plug GM into code written by any ol’ web programmer. Code that accommodates the OP’s ideas, which are completely reasonable. So if there isn’t an app for it yet, there should be.

Me, I’m just a hobbyist, and I can’t make any promises…

To point A - Maps says that drive is X miles and takes (say) 95 minutes. I continue on to B, and Maps says the total time is now 3 hours 40 minutes. Now C, totaling 6 hours 20 minutes. Can I add another stop? I’ve only driven 6-plus hours, seems like I could get in another one or two in the day. But I need to spend an hour at A, 90 minutes at B and another hour at C. So I have to keep track outside of maps because my actual “day” is 6:20 plus 1:00 plus 1:30 plus 1:00. So I’ve actually spent 9 hours 50 minutes. Not including meals or gas stops. This is a pain in the ass, and is worse than my example because each day can include long driving stretches and short ones, long stops and short ones, and may include a dozen stops in a day. Deciding exactly when to break each day is an exercise in trial and error, half in Maps (the driving times) and half on paper or a spreadsheet (the time spent at stops).

I might not bitch, but there is a better way. The aforesaid Streets & Trips allows one to assign layover times to each stop. It incorporates these into the Route Time. It becomes trivial to see exactly how long each “day” will be, and to build a day’s route from breakfast through waypoint stops, and end at a motel at a chosen hour. Simple, neat, clean.

Frankly I’m amazed that such facility is not included in the popular map apps. I’m so used to having that ability, I’ll gladly pay for a “pro” version of some routing app to get it. But I can’t find one! Help!

I’m unamazed. Your level of planning seems insanely detailed and unrealistic to me. Out in the world people will agree with either of us to varying degrees, but app developers are obviously more on my side and if the population at large contain many people on your side the developers are unaware of them.

That said, googling “road trip planner” brings up a few possible tools, but maybe you’ve already checked them all.

ditto naita. are you really so sure that you’ll spend 90 minutes at point A, and not 75 or 120?

Why does this sound like a plot point from a Chevy Chase movie?

Who needs this level of detail in their mapping program? Can’t you just take the route times and add 2 hours to that in your head?

I would program all the destinations into my satnav(GPS) and treat each one as a separate journey.

The overall plan, maybe for booking hotels etc, I would calculate manually a reasonable days driving, coupled with finding suitable overnight accommodation. It would be neccessary to build in a good deal of latitude as traffic holdups can throw everything out. It is usually good practice to try to stay overnight somewhere near your first call of the next day.

As soon as you hit your first traffic jam or construction restrictions your carefully laid out plan will be out the window.

That’s littering, and your trip will be further delayed by your talk with the highway patrol.

Geez, I posted this in GQ because I hoped there was some piece of software I’d overlooked that fulfilled my wishes, and someone could point me in the right direction. Had I wanted condemnation or affirmation of my planning style, I’d have posted in IMHO. Snark is fun, but I was hoping for a few substantive posts first.

Yes, I can “ballpark” length of time at stops. And I’m quite familiar with traffic delays and all the other stumbling blocks the real world throws out to interfere with carefully laid plans. So I can definitely make use of, say, Google Maps to make a general itinerary. Had I never planned a complex trip before, perhaps I’d not feel the lack. I’m not asking for a novel and esoteric feature nobody’s ever dreamed of, made out of whole cloth or pulled from my ass. I’m asking for a feature that I’ve used for years. Granted, it was part of software that is now “legacy”, but not because it had no utility. Rather, Microsoft (in its infinite wisdom) has made a marketing choice to drop desktop based routing programs in favor of web based. And apparently they haven’t thought of, or haven’t gotten around to, incorporating this feature in Bing. Or if they have, I haven’t found it.

I guess most current users just pull up directions to their next stop, rather than planning a lengthy and complex itinerary. For casual driving around, a vacation seeing the sights, that probably works fine. “Here we are at Whistling Rock. Next, let’s go to Giant Cliff!” Punch up directions and go.

But I have to make appointments at each (or most) of my stops. At work we’re building a new nature center. Accommodating the public is done in a variety of ways. So I’m touring other facilities to see how they’ve handled their own spaces. Some stops it’s just shake the Director’s hand and look around the converted farmhouse. Other places have facilities that can serve a retreat and conference for hundreds of people. How they handle room set-ups, kitchen and catering, parking, and other issues is more complex and takes more time. Some are quite flexible (“Oh, come any time that week!”) but many are busy people and can grant me “30 minutes starting at 2pm on Tuesday the 9th”. So planning an itinerary that can get me to more than three dozen places, some at quite specific times and for specific durations, isn’t just me being compulsive.

And I repeat, the software to do this already exists. Sadly, it is desktop based, and still using maps from 2013. I hope to find a current, web based, app with similar functions. I do think that, if understood, it will have broad application. Civil Guy, are you up for the challenge? :wink:

If you’re planning on a Garmin GPS then you can use their Basecamp mapping program. I’m pretty sure they do exactly it does the planning that you’re looking for. I also know people who are still using S&T for the same reasons you want to.

FTR I get what you’re trying to do, I used to plan my trips like that, nothing worse then thinking you’ll make it some place on time four days from now only to find you screwed up the second day time wise. Big, long trips often require one to know if you can make it somewhere in a reasonable time or not.

I thought I had posted the same advice earlier. Hope the hamsters ate it instead of putting it into a different thread.

BaseCamp is free and one can import OpenStreetMap data, so a Garmin device isn’t even required as far as I know. However BaseCamp is geared for outdoor activities more than vehicular travel, but it should do the job, and for free it’s worth evaluating.

Thanks to Edward and to Balthisar, I’ll look into those suggestions.

While we’re on this topic, do any of the mapping programs/products account for roads that are HOV-only? I’m going to be driving solo in DC soon and 66 is HOV-only at certain times of the day.