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  1. Default Some thoughts about RTA Custom Maps Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Micron View Post
    Did not find anything here that provided the info sought, but apologize in advance if there is already a thread for this. I want to create a route map so that I have a good idea of the route, order and total distance involved. It would be even better if whatever application I use could provide approximate distances between points of interest as well. So I came to RTA after a frustrating attempt to create a route with either Google maps or Google Earth. I was wondering what is the best method for using Advanced Maps in RTA for a round trip, or is it not something that can provide what I'm trying to create?

    For example, should I create a start point and end point (furthest SW point) and fill in the POI somehow, then create another pair of start-end points (from furthest to home) and add the POI again? My concern here is that I'll have another frustrating exercise if I don't get some advice first. I should have researched GM before I tried that. If you're interested, here's the shortcomings I found:

    The max number of POI you can put into GM is 10. After that, you have to create layers, which are a pain in the butt to try to connect. It was great that I could import my spreadsheet with states, cities and attractions but the geographical locations were not always accurate and it cannot deal with merged cells.
    I used Roadtrippers to make this map for my upcoming trip:

    Once you have your locations sorted it's pretty straightforward.

    Hope that helps!

    (Moderator Edit: This post was made originally in the Map Support Forums and not an ideal match for the intent of that section of the site -- but we welcome first-hand thoughts and criticism of our tools -- Hence it is posted here.)
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-26-2016 at 09:34 AM.

  2. #2


    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hi and welcome to RTA !

    Personally speaking, When creating routes with a number of Custom places, I think that creating a few Maps [even daily] is actually easier than trying to get everything on one. I also think it's easiest to start with a simple Map as more of an exercise as it's quite straight forward once you have been 'hands on' and completed a couple.

    Second what Dave said above.

    The RTA mapping experience has been frustrating to me. Kinda took me back to the MS-DOS days ;)

    Two alternatives include
    - and
    - (not sure if you have to be a member to save maps/routes)
    I liked the overall ease of use for the AAA TripTik on-line map planner, its flexibility and features. You will have to play around with it a bit to learn the quirks. You can also print out abbreviated and extensive route plans to PDF.

    Bing Maps is becoming increasingly attractive. Point and shoot buttons for showing gas stations along your route (along with gas station brand and price). I don't believe you can save routes but it is worthwhile exploring.
    Last edited by Tom_H007; 04-23-2023 at 01:26 AM. Reason: updated TripTik link

  3. #3


    Sorry. Next time please move the comment into a relevant forum (not that I see any regarding my comment/reply)! Despite great efforts, and some unique features in the RTA Map Program, it is not without its worts. Nor am I ;)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A word from RTA about these issues

    When a programmer sets out to create a program, any program, they enter the process with a distinct point of view and a checklist of goals. Certainly that was the case with RTA Custom Maps.

    No single mapping program will ever meet all of the goals of every user. There are still a dozen or so goals that I had for this program that have not been met and probably never will be -- given the technology that currently exists.

    There are, at last count, about 164 different mapping programs out there. Here are some of them we have tried.

    No question it would be cool if we could increase the number of POI (Custom Places on RTA Maps) available when members build routes. But we have a contractual limitation with the underlying data source (in this case Google Maps) and while we could purchase additional licenses which would, in theory, allow us to offer 30+ Custom Places in a given route -- there is no way we could offer this as a FREE mapping program.

    Yes, it would be cool if the drag and drop software technology worked better. It is clunky and messy. We had it live for a few weeks -- we didn't like the results.

    I've used and AAA -- yes, their UI is nice than ours. But our content smokes their content (in my view). The Custom Places that we have published as RoadTrip Attractions were chosen because they were determined to be OF UNIQUE AND SPECIAL INTEREST TO ROADTRIPPERS. RTA is the only site that has that particular test for including points of interest. That data is unique to RTA and as members of RTA you have access to it.

    So, is the RTA Custom Maps program perfect? Of course not, but it used by thousands of people every single day. It doesn't break and it does what we designed it to do.

    I always encourage and appreciate your comments.

    Thanks for participating in these road trip advice planning forums!

    RTA Custom Maps Administrator

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