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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default RoadTripper MG writes...

    A new member posted this comment and then edited his post to render it unreadable. It's posted here again for clarity:
    I found this experience to be entirely too frustrating.

    I want to create a road trip that takes me from Dallas Tx, to Fresno Ca, then to Salt Lake City Ut, then back to Dallas. I muddled around and created the 3 places. I couldn't see any way to create a round trip, so I guessed at making a trip where the start and end were my house. Then i would add the waypoints (Fresno, and SLC). That was impossible.

    I gave up.

    I'll try Streets and whatever from M$. Hopefully it will have a UI that comes close to making sense.
    MG: First of all, thanks for the post. We're continuing to make changes in the UI and we might be closer to rolling out a new version of the waypoints that will be more intuitive. We make round trips all of the time. Here's one such route using the waypoint system:


    This was created in about six minutes... I'll put a similar map in your folder, (look at your "My Maps" that you can edit and then save exactly the way you want it. You can remove any of the RTA library attractions by clicking on the flag and clicking remove...
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-28-2011 at 03:59 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    A new member posted this comment and then edited his post to render is unreadable. It's posted here again for clarity:
    MG: First of all, thanks for the post. We're continuing to make changes in the UI and we might be closer to rolling out a new version of the waypoints that will be more intuitive. We make round trips all of the time. Here's one such route using the waypoint system:
    I didn't see the link you referenced.

    Thanks for your post. I tried to delete it, and couldn't, so I edited out my comments, but you found them anyway. I apologize if they were harsh. Thanks for responding so quickly.

    It's been an interesting evening. I feel like I had a taste and I now I want the whole meal. Before I gave up, I was able to, in the map wizard, create a simple trip, a-to-z, and see the coolest feature EVER, which was the ability to quickly see points of interest on the trip that include the stupid stuff I want to see (cadillac farm, the corner of winslow arizona) on my road trips. That's the first time I EVER had that ability. Even so, I had to give up.

    Here's the evenings journey.
    Download demo of M$ S&T and in 10 minutes had my map completly built in tool I had never experienced. I easily added waypoints and adjusted the map. It gave me the critical info I needed, running totals of distance travelled.

    It did not give me the cool POIs RTA gives me. Desparate, I came back and tried again. I even showed the easy cool map to my wife. She loves it too.

    Perhaps I'm just being stupid. Here's what I tried:
    1. Map Center Full Service
    2. Create automatic Route
    2a. Entered my home address as start and end
    3. Tried to select to include waypoints (have 4 saved, my home, my dad's house, Napa CA, SLC UT), but the waypoints buttons are grayed out.
    4. fail

    2nd Attempt:
    1. Cleared map
    2. Chose Select Marker
    2a. Selected home, Dad's, SLC
    2b. waypoints displaying in "My Current Waypoints" on right side
    3. Create route between all waypoints.......
    3a. ..... (how? can't figure it out. This is where I'm stuck.)
    3b. I go ahead and put in 6504 Texana Way in start and end under Create an Automatic Route, and it works! Well, kind of works. The route is really funky (Dad is in Fresno, I'm in Dallas. The route to Dad's matches all the other map generators, but it's the route from Fresno to SLC that is weird (it makes me go back down through Los Angeles).

    holy crud... I finally noodled it out. what a goober, please someone take away my computer.

    Create Custom Locations
    Click on them to add them to the map
    Add them as waypoints
    Put my home as start and finish
    then click Find route from addresses

    now the magic of finding stuff along my route works. AWESOME!

    Just taking the time to write out my problem, and reproduce my steps helped me. (FWIW: this should be easier, if the other tools had your POI db, it would be well worth the $40 for the UI alone.)

    Thanks again for getting back to me.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Now I can see what you created for me. (I've been using two browsers with your site, both IE9 and Chrome. I guess I was posting in Chrome. I couldn't see the map, now I can).
    How did you get it to route north of Fresno, without the Napa connection? As I said, my map went to LA to SLC from Fresnol

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default You're growing smarter by the second!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Green View Post
    I didn't see the link you referenced.
    I see from your message above that at least one of the browsers is not opening the map. Which one was it? Also you need to enable pop-up windows or none of the mapping application will work for you.
    Thanks for your post. I tried to delete it, and couldn't, so I edited out my comments, but you found them anyway. I apologize if they were harsh. Thanks for responding so quickly.
    Luck of the draw, I've got this section of the forum set up so I receive an e-mail alert when someone posts in the support forum. Your comments were fine -- new technology is often a source of frustration. But once you get the hang of our system, I think you'll be favorable impressed. We don't have the prettiest design and UI could be improved, but it works. I should tell you that just by trying the Map Center tools, you're already in the upper 12% of mappers. Most folks are not eager to learn new things. Streets and Trips and other such software has it's place, but the RTA Custom Mapping program is the only one I've tried that really lets you be as creative as you want to be!

    Before I gave up, I was able to, in the map wizard, create a simple trip, a-to-z, and see the coolest feature EVER, which was the ability to quickly see points of interest on the trip that include the stupid stuff I want to see (cadillac farm, the corner of winslow arizona) on my road trips. That's the first time I EVER had that ability. Even so, I had to give up
    . That was a mere appetizer of what we've built. About 15% of the active programming is available to users of the Map Wizard application.

    Here's the evenings journey.
    Download demo of M$ S&T and in 10 minutes had my map completly built in tool I had never experienced. I easily added waypoints and adjusted the map. It gave me the critical info I needed, running totals of distance traveled.
    I'd be willing to wager that with 20 minutes of practice you can build any mapping program on the RTA Custom Maps application about twice as fast as you can on the S&T software... And our program is 100% free and you can build thousands and thousands of maps and routes.
    I even showed the easy cool map to my wife. She loves it too.
    Map Wizard is cool! We've got another version of the Map Wizard under development that will enable one-day road trips from any spot in North America ... Still got some testing to do on that one.

    Perhaps I'm just being stupid. Here's what I tried:
    1. Map Center Full Service
    2. Create automatic Route
    2a. Entered my home address as start and end
    3. Tried to select to include waypoints (have 4 saved, my home, my dad's house, Napa CA, SLC UT), but the waypoints buttons are grayed out.
    4. fail
    Wow, you were so close (in the description). Once you create the Custom Places, you need select each custom places as waypoint (ideally in the order you want to go).

    a. Enter the start and ending location
    b. Create and name and save the custom places
    c. click "Select Marker"
    d. click on the Custom place flag and do c and do over and over and over until you've got them done
    e. Click "Find Route from Addresses"
    f. Save and name route, add any details you want, there are dozens of fields.
    g. If you want to add some of the RTA Library of attractions, you can either add them by Search Along the Route, (you can specify the radius distance from your route from 1 mile to 100 miles)
    h. Remove any of the RTA Library attractions by clicking remove
    i. You can also use the keyword search tool to further reduce the number of attractions
    j. Name and save the MAP.

    The map will be on your personal mapping page under "My Maps"
    The route (f) will be on the list of "My Routes" that you can continue to customize.

    3b. I go ahead and put in 6504 Texana Way in start and end under Create an Automatic Route, and it works! Well, kind of works. The route is really funky (Dad is in Fresno, I'm in Dallas. The route to Dad's matches all the other map generators, but it's the route from Fresno to SLC that is weird (it makes me go back down through Los Angeles).
    Yeah, you can add up to 8 waypoints on any route and force the mapping app to go on the roads you want.
    holy crud... I finally noodled it out. what a goober, please someone take away my computer.
    Ah ha!

    Create Custom Locations
    Click on them to add them to the map
    Add them as waypoints
    Put my home as start and finish
    then click Find route from addresses

    now the magic of finding stuff along my route works. AWESOME!

    Just taking the time to write out my problem, and reproduce my steps helped me. (FWIW: this should be easier, if the other tools had your POI db, it would be well worth the $40 for the UI alone.)
    Yes, it could be easier, but this is powerful software and you've only seen about 1/2 of it now....

    Actually if you look at the rest of the thread, I have written out the process 2-3 times. Your version is the simplest I've seen. Good work.

    Mark

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default Now, you're on the road!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Green View Post
    Now I can see what you created for me. (I've been using two browsers with your site, both IE9 and Chrome. I guess I was posting in Chrome. I couldn't see the map, now I can).
    So, Chrome was the problem? What version?
    How did you get it to route north of Fresno, without the Napa connection? As I said, my map went to LA to SLC from Fresnol
    That's weird. With this mapping API we're limited to 8 waypoints between the start and finish, on the map I created

    (and displayed for you above) I only used three. Hint: Be sure to scroll in to see the detail on the map!

    But you could take the same MAP and add five more waypoints and resave as a new map to get it go wherever you wanted. And yes, if we had the R&D budget that Microsoft has to improve our UI, that would be awesome. The POI, or as we call them Custom Places/RTA Attractions Library db is unique to RTA. IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE TO CREATE. Every single RTA Attraction is created by a freelance writer, field-checked by a pro road tripper and edited by me. There is a lot of low-value information on the web. Our standards for content are higher....

    Enjoy your time on the forum and most importantly! Thanks for continuing to try to learn this program. It's been carefully thought out -- the logic makes some sense once you understand the concept.... I welcome any improvement suggestions you might have!

    Next you've to check out the "Draw Circles" tool and the Elevation tools!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-28-2011 at 03:58 PM. Reason: new map loaded

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Dallas, Texas, United States
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I'm now not able to reproduce the problem viewing the map in the forum. It shows in IE9 and Chrome (v13.0.782.112 m).

    Things I'm ready to learn:
    1. adding a waypoint in the middle of my route after I've calculated the route.
    2. Seeing the details of my route, including cumulative miles.

    My workflow today is that I took S&T data, figured a 70mph avg, and decided how many hours I would drive on each day of my trip to figure out when I'll be reaching certain waypoints. For example, dad's house is 1500 miles and I'll be starting out with a 5 hour evening drive after work. I'm logging all this in a spreadsheet (labels: date, day, hours driving, Distance/day, CumDistance, target destination).

    Am I in the right tool (RTA) to get there? Am I just an education away? or is the spreadsheet the best tool still?

    I applaud you for supporing your website (and me) so well.

    Thanks,

    Michael

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default Oh my, you deleted those maps,

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Green View Post
    I'm now not able to reproduce the problem viewing the map in the forum. It shows in IE9 and Chrome (v13.0.782.112 m).
    Well, that's good news. I'll be back in a moment, you apparently deleted the maps that were displaying in this thread. I've got to recreate them to keep the thread from crashing.

    Mark

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
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    Default Some tips for you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Green View Post
    Things I'm ready to learn:
    1. adding a waypoint in the middle of my route after I've calculated the route.
    2. Seeing the details of my route, including cumulative miles.
    The good news is that once the Custom Places are saved in your folder, you can recreate the map shown above in less than a minute. So, you could recreate 1000 different maps in a 1000 minutes.... Not that you'd really want to!
    My workflow today is that I took S&T data, figured a 70mph avg, and decided how many hours I would drive on each day of my trip to figure out when I'll be reaching certain waypoints. For example, dad's house is 1500 miles and I'll be starting out with a 5 hour evening drive after work. I'm logging all this in a spreadsheet (labels: date, day, hours driving, Distance/day, CumDistance, target destination).
    Part of the fun of any road trip is the planning, so I guess if you like creating spreadsheets this is as good a plan as any. My approach is a lot simpler. I've done about 1/2 million miles in the last couple of decades, but any approach is fine for this stage.

    Mark's simple ways:
    East of the Mississippi River, over the course of 8 hours on the road, you can average about 53 mph. West of the Mississippi over the same hours on the road you can average 57 mph (This assumes that you'll mostly be traveling between 63 mph and 70+ mph), and includes fuel, food stops and the normal traffic flow.

    If you use the "Draw Circles" tool on Map Center, you can see how far 500 miles is on a radius from any given point. Or you can look at increments of 100 to 500 miles. 500 miles is about 10 hours of travel on, dry pavement. You can look at lots of circles and figure what are reasonable driving distances from any one point, or series of points.

    If you click on the Route number on any of your maps, you'll see the cumulative total each route. (on the pop-up information window) and on the information bar at the bottom of the map. MAKE SURE POP-UPS ARE ENABLED.... OR YOU WON'T SEE ANY OF THE COOL STUFF THIS APP DOES FOR YOU. All of our support hints are in the information bar as you work along!

    To add a waypoint, you need to open the associated route, "My Routes" add it, re-save it and add the RAs and CPs you want.

    Does this help?

    Mark

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default RTA's Drag and Drop is still pending

    One of the things that would make adding a waypoint to an existing map would be the drag and drop technique found on several mapping applications. Thus far, we've been unable to make it work. It's a pretty funky bit of code that we have to use. I've pulled our programming staff off this task for now. If we upgrade to a more expensive version of the Google Maps application I think we can get this to work better, but it makes it real tough for us to continue to offer the RTA Custom Maps for free for use. So, it's one of the things that I still need to think about.

    Mark

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,056

    Default Using the Draw Circles tool

    If you open your route or the map (by the way, a "map" is a collection of a route and markers either custom places for RTA's Library Attractions) and then open the Draw Circles tool, you can see how far is a reasonable drive for a day. Use several circles and you can place CPs (custom places) wherever you want the route to go. Zoom in and drop in a CP and then re-do the route... Etc.

    OK, the Draw Circles is working correctly. Once you draw a circle, you'll see a "Cancel" button, clicking that ends the Draw Circle mode and allows you to enter a new CP. The circle display will remain on the page as long as you want it too (or until you reload the page).

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-28-2011 at 08:04 PM. Reason: updated info

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