We're pleased to announce several enhancements to our popular Route Collections feature, which allows you to create collections of routes that you can display on the same map.
When we first developed this feature, we envisaged that it would be used to display just a small number of routes at a time, for example three routes for a triathlon, but increasingly we've found that people use it to create larger bundles of routes that often share a common theme. However, as all the routes in a Collection were loaded automatically when it was viewed, we had to impose a low limit on the number of routes per Collection. We've now changed it to cater for both small and large collections, allowing us to increase this limit significantly. Now, when you view a Route Collection it will initially load just the first route. For small Collections (those with less than 10 routes) you can click the "toggle all" button to load the rest. For larger Collections, this option isn't available, but you can still select individual routes from the list and display as many as you like at the same time.
Here's a summary of the other main changes:
We hope you find these changes useful. Click of the screenshot below to see an example of a Route Collection or jump straight in and create your own Route Collection
Very nice enhancements, thank you.
Excellent upgrade! The Collections is something that sets PR apart, and these changes really enahnce its usability. Many thanks!A couple of points:
For small Collections (those with less than 10 routes) you can click the "toggle all" button to load the rest. For larger Collections, this option isn't available, but you can still select individual routes from the list and display as many as you like at the same time.
I appreciate that trying to show 200 routes would be a rare case, but I opened my 30 route Collection and found it a right pain to select them individually. Would you consider some improvement in this area, say a way of bulk selecting a number of routes which could then be displayed?
I see that the Collection name still doesn't honour case...... 029, Carlisle To Fort William, Sept 12-16 2014 rather than 029, Carlisle to Fort William, Sept 12-16 2014
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions Mark. Unfortunately this is a bit like open heart surgery - there a lot of prep before the operation and its hard to go back and make changes once the wound has been closed up! We'll bear these in mind for the future though.
I would like to have different colors for some of my routes, but not as part of a collection. Other than having a collection of "one route" is there anyway to have different colors?
I just saw where a collection has to be at least two routes, so my question still stands, can I save individual routes with different colors?
Thanks, really, really great improvment. Both new max 200 and custom colours I find really helpful.
Hi Mike - no, sorry, you can't save individual routes with different colours; you can only assign a colour to a route as part of a Collection.
Thanks Admin. Nice work on the upgrades. Quality!!
A couple more observations, maybe they could be addressed without opening up the patient?!?!Firstly, I added some routes to a Collection and the Collections are presented (it seems) as reverse sorted by ID ....Sorted by Name might be more intuitive and useful?Secondly, I created a new Collection and added 12 routes. In the routes view, they were sorted alphabetically (not sure if that was important). They appear in the Collection in that alphabetical order. When I added a new route, which should have fitted into the list, it is added to the end.
Small point, but imagine 200 routes .... it would be unmanageable unless they were presented in some order other than the in the sequence they were first added. The system will work if all are added in one go, but any future additions cause mayhem.
Food for thought.
Many thanks for the improvement. I find the Collections feature extremely useful for displaying overlapping sections in a cycle event with multiple route options.
I appreciate that it would be too complicated to implement bulk selection of routes as previously suggested, but would it be possible to include a simple 'toggle all' button in the Share/Embed dialog box so that I can choose whether all routes in a small collection are to be displayed when opening the link? Thank you.
Thanks for that feedback Mark and Chris. They may be things we can look at in our future development plans.
Firstly I’d like to say I think Plotaroute is wonderful but the recent upgrade to the way route collections are displayed is a huge retrograde step to the usefulness of Plotaroute as a means of communicating new routes.
As an example, I have been working with the Tatton Estate to develop a new cycle route through estate land and elsewhere to link some existing traffic free routes. The main route or ‘spine’ is shown here.
We then propose other adjacent routes (‘ribs’) to link with local populations and local attractions so as to create a network of routes in the South Manchester/North Cheshire area.
The main spine and ribs were then amalgamated as a collection and the link to this collection has been enormously useful to convey the proposal to the relevant stakeholders eg the National Trust, Sustrans, local councils, Manchester Airport group and many others.
Most of the recipients of the link are not experienced users of Plotaroute but the fact that the main route and other links opened automatically made it very easy for the recipients to be able to see all the proposals in their entirety.
This is no longer possible unless the recipient clicks the toggle button for every route which is really tedious and has been criticised already. Surely there must be another way? Can you not allow collections up to a certain limit (?20-40) open automatically and above that limit be restricted? Or can you include the ‘toggle all’ button for a higher number than 10 (again 20, 30 or 40 say) which would help.
If Plotaroute is to maintain its position as an easy way to communicate routes it has to be easy to view these routes and the recent prevention of automatic opening of route collections makes viewing collections more difficult and in my opinion is not an 'upgrade' but a backwards step.
Please, please do something about this.
BTW as a doctor I don’t accept the analogy that now that you have stitched up the wound you cannot reopen it – if I had done an operation and there were then complications such as internal bleeding, I would have to go back in. To say you could not disturb the stitches would not sound very good in the coroner’s court!
Thanks for that feedback Patrick and the examples you've shared. I understand the point you're making. The main issue from our perspective is that we wanted to respond to the requests we were getting to support more than 30 routes per collection and it simply isn't practical to load all the routes in a collection at the same time when you have large numbers of routes. Each route can have up to 50,000 data points, so if we had 100 people opening a collection with 200 routes, in theory that could mean loading up to 1 billion data points! Even 30 routes is a stretch and we were probably wrong to set the original limit that high. Also, it's quite wasteful, as not everyone will want all the routes loaded when they open the page.
I think what we can do though is raise the limit on what we define as a Small Collection from 10 to 30, so that the Toggle All switch is available for any collection with up to 30 routes. Beyond this the map would probably be impossible to read anyway, as it would be very cluttered even with 30 routes.
Unfortunately it's not a 5 minute job though, as this isn't a parameter that we can easily change, we'd have to open up this area of the site again, hence the medical analogy. To take the analogy further, there's quite a long waiting list, but we'll see if we can fit it in somewhere soon.
I would second that,re-defining "Small" to 30 seems a sensible and practical limit.I'm sure the patient will survive until the next available opening!
Thank you for your prompt, and very helpful, reply.
I can see now that this arose in response to demand for more routes in collections and you then had to limit how much computing power was consumed when a collection is opened.
It does seem like a sensible compromise to redefine small as up to 30 so that they can all be opened with a single toggle switch which should not be too much additional burden on non-plotaroute savvy recipients (I'll just have to add this to the instructions I send out with any links - even I took a while working out where the 'toggle all' switch was).
I realise you can't please all the people all the time but you have certainly made me (and Mark) quite a bit happier!
Will you post in this thread when it has been done?
Finally I'd just like to say again how good Plotaroute is. When I joined the project to create the cycle route mentioned below I compared all the online mapping tools and yours was definitely the best for the job. I suspect you do it for love and not just for money. You can tell it's British as well.
Patrick, that's a wonderful project you are devloping!
Thanks for your kind words about Plotaroute Patrick. Yes, much more love than money!
DESKTOP TABLET MOBILE