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    Colin Hoppe   Saturday 03 Oct 2015 09:05:28

    This post refers specifically to road cycling routes

    Personally, I'm wary of taking on someone else's route in case it doesn't work for me for whatever reason.  In any case, it's very easy to plot a new route myself in Plotaroute although I still have to go through the steps to make sure it works properly.  However, that does mean that Plotaroute could become clogged with duff Public routes that no-one want to try.  (Not that I've any evidence for this).

    It might be a good idea to allow the owner / creator of a route to assign statuses to a route and finally, if all works out ok, choose to make it public.  The idea is to help ensure that routes made public work well, so that anyone can go ride them and feel reasonably confident they have been tested, corrected and "perfected".  Alternatively, the public could give them a go, in full knowledge that a route hasn't been fully tested.

    For example, I've created 19 routes on Plotaroute, but only 4 are public.  I can see which are public from My Routes (but not from My Home Page).  What I can't tell is what status the others are in.  OK, I could keep a record off the system but I haven't, so I'll try to remember what's what.

    In fact, most I haven't ridden using the GPS at all.  Of those, some I will ride next week for the first time.  One I rode yesterday, corrected and changed it afterwards, and will ride it again today.  For example, the route told me to turn left at a canal, but access to the towpath was actually on the right of the road, so I could have made an amendment to the directions there.  However, the canal towpath would have been too rough for a lot of tyres, so I replotted that section to avoid the canal, attractive though it is.  Also, some directions were added around short bike paths and corrections elsewhere.  If it works well then I'll make it public.  Some other routes I rode from paper notes in years gone by and have started plotting them for GPS, but not tested the GPS yet.  Will I remember where I am with them all ??  Hopefully.

    The Status and the Public/Private setting should be separate so a route could be made public even if not Confirmed
    (or perhaps Admin would prefer only to allow Confirmed routes to be made Public ...)
    So, statuses could be Draft, Reviewed, Test Ridden, Corrected, Confirmed

    Draft =           knocked up the route
    Reviewed =     checked the route & directions on Plotaroute / Street View
    Test ridden =  ridden it and noted what needs to be amended
    Corrected =    fixed whatever needs to be amended
    Confirmed =    ridden again to ensure all is working well
    These statuses should be allowed to be changed backwards if necessary, in case it needs more work.
    The statuses should be visible to all if made Public, so people have an idea what they are taking on

    Another point ... what if I take on someone else's route and it needs fixing ?  Do I make my own copy, correct it and save it ?  Do I tell the owner ?  How ?
    Should the defective route be marked as such so others should avoid it ?  Should the Find facility have an option to drop "defective" routes ?  Should long term defective routes be cleared off the system ...  ?

    How about a star rating system by users based on ... something.  The something will probably be different for different types of routes so not easy, but could include: duff route, easy to follow directions, attractive etc  How about users comments for each "something", so we understand more ...

    Lots to consider.  In the meantime, I'll probably just be wary of other peoples routes.

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    plotaroute admin   Monday 05 Oct 2015 08:56:09

    Hi Colin - thanks for your comments and suggestions.  I'll add the Route Status idea to our feature request list.

    To answer your questions, if you want to revise someone else's public route you can simpy edit it save a copy to your own account.  If yu want to leave comments on the original route you can do this from the main Route Information page for that route - this will indeed be helpful to anyone else considering doing the route.  It is also possible to rate routes from this page with a star rating.  Once you select a route to view from the route finder you can then get to the Route Information page by clicking the Route Info Page button at the top of the map by by using the link shown when clicking the INFO option in the panel in the bottom right of the map.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    John

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    Colin Hoppe   Tuesday 06 Oct 2015 17:29:25

    Thanks John

    OK - I only added the bit about star rating on the spur of the moment.  I hadn't noticed it before ... but it is there, as you say.

    As other have mentioned ... excellent website

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