This is part of a tutorial that we use to show members how easy it can be to use Waypoints to make Custom RTA maps. After a suggestion by RoadTrip Advisor, Lifemagician, it occurred to me that it might be helpful to post it here....
Here's a sample route that was created for RTA Member, Natalie....
The way this is done is through what we call WAYPOINTS. Imagine that the RTA Map Center page is a paper map on the wall. The electronic Waypoints are like darts that you’ve stuck onto the paper map and when you create the route, the mapping program automatically creates a route using your waypoints. The combination of Waypoints, Custom Places and the Route, when saved creates the map that can be shared via e-mail, printed, etc.
OK, Let’s do a route using the Waypoints….
Let’s do a route from Cleveland to Milwaukee that will be going through Detroit, Rogers City, Chicago, Rockford… (to see how cool this might be… look at the links below!)
A. Add the start and End address: Cleveland as the start and Milwaukee as the end.
****When this program was first created the limit was eight (8) waypoints plus the beginning and ending locations. But as of March, 2018, we have increased this to twenty-three (23) waypoints, plus the beginning and ending location.********
B. We need some Custom Places to coincide with the those cities I referenced above, so let’s add them...
...........1. You can either use Method 2, if you know the address you want to use as Custom place or…
...........2. Method 1. I recommend zooming in so you can see what you’re clicking on
..................a. I’ve named the first one Detroit – Natalia #1 – When you fill out your Custom Places there are all sorts of information fields you can fill in
...........3. You can go ahead and choose all of your Custom Places than make some of the Waypoints, but let’s do them in order..
.................a. So, next to “Add Waypoint” click “select marker” --> And then click on the Detroit - Natalia #1
.................b. As soon as you do that, you’ll see a list of “My Current Waypoints” and that list will grow as we go along.
.................c. Next, type Rogers City into the box for Method 2 (or you could type in an address) –
..............................i. Let’s call this – Rogers City – Natalia #2
.................d. Next, type in Chicago in Method 2 and let’s say that we want this to actually be Millenium Park, so you can put your cursor on the red marker and move it to Millenium Park, save this as Millenium Park
.................e. Next let’s add Rockford, Il
...........4. And then you think………Duh! I forgot to make those darn waypoints. No worries, scroll out on the map so that they are all visible and make them waypoints in order.
.................a. So ………Select Marker and click on each of the three Custom places…
C. So, now you have a start and end and four Wayponts…. You could optimize the route, with that little check box, but you’re smarter than the average computer, and you put them in the order YOU WANTED TO GO IN, so you leave that unchecked.
D. So, now………… click “Find Route from Addresses”
E. And wow… there’s a route connecting those places
F. So for now save this route – let’s call it Natalia -- Cleveland to Milwaukee and you know it is 1036.3 miles, because it is listed on the bottom of the window.
G. So, now this is listed under “My Routes” under the name Natalia -- Cleveland to Milwaukee
H. And maybe this is just what you wanted, but let’s see what RTA recommends for attractions along your route within 50 miles…
I. And the program returns 35 RoadTrip Attractions. – You could save them all or you can look at each one and see which ones appeal to you. You do this by either clicking on the flag or by clicking on the list found on the left-hand column under “RoadTrip Attractions”
J. You can remove any attractions you don’t want on your eventual map… click “Remove” in each information box
K. You can also remove any waypoints if you don’t need that info – so in this case I removed the Rogers City waypoint and one up near the end of the upper peninsula of Michigan. And then when you are happy with the map, you name it and save it Gomez Test Map
L Once saved there are a bunch of options, you can print it, you can share it on e-mail, you can even get a 2-D graphic representation of the elevations of the route.
Here is a link to your shared map:
Here’s a link to your print ready map – you’ll see you have a bunch of ways of customizing this!
***And if you really want to see some cool possibilities for your personal customized maps, click on "Check All" under print options and click on "Print Set-up" -- That resulting list of attractions can be customized just for you....
And you can re-open your maps or your routes and make new version – just remember to save them!
****Now, you can create Custom Maps just about anywhere in the world, using your Custom Places, but if you want to add any of the RTA Library Road Trip Attractions, your maps need to be located in North America!