Did your bikeplanner.org trip not reflect the world as you know it?
Since we launched bikeplanner.org and cibi.me, users have alerted us to bike infrastructure that exists in the real world but isn’t showing up on the map. They’ve noted locations where the map lacks on-street bike paths, trails and other features. OpenTripPlanner’s routing engine is powerful and fast, but it can’t plan trips on routes that it doesn’t know about. If you’ve noted such discrepancies, here’s how you can take matters into your own hands and make updates.
Both sites use OpenStreetMap for street and bike route data. As an open, community driven project, any one can sign up to submit changes. OpenStreetMap is already fantastically documented, but dedicated mapper Chris Slatt went beyond — he made updates, and then created detailed documentation about the required steps.
Chris alerted us to some gaps in his neighborhood with both on-street lanes and recreational trails. He made the necessary additions to OSM and wrote two blog posts that detail how to add on street bike paths and to add off-road bike trails. This data will be incorporated into OSM’s base map and then become available to cibi.me and bikeplanner.org and any other site using OSM. Chris Slatt is a software developer, cyclist, transportation hobbyist and civic activist in Arlington, VA who writes a local blog, AlongThePike.com
I strongly believe that the best way to increase safety for all cyclists is to get more people to ride. A key part of winning over new riders is giving them the tools to find routes that they are comfortable with – BikePlanner seems like it has a lot of potential as that tool. Editing OpenStreetMap’s data doesn’t just improve BikePlanner, it improves every website and application that uses OpenStreetMap – even ones that don’t exist yet. The data is either there in OpenStreetMap or is waiting to be added by a motivated volunteer or paid intern.
We want to extend a very appreciative thank-you to Chris improving OpenStreetMap and BikePlanner.org.