Camden Cycling Campaign
Contributing to the maps
The information on the maps is extensible and editable by registered users. You can be registered for adding and editing data in one or more of the four categories: Routes, Hazards, Shops, Stands.
(since v2.4, released August 2007)
The version of the map at http://maps.camdencyclists.org.uk/editingplace/ incorporates editing facilities and has a login box that is used to obtain editing access.
Getting a login
With a shared information resource such as these maps it's important for us to maintain a record of who is entitled to update the information. We have chosen to do so by exploiting the user registration scheme already available in the Forum attached to our mapping site. The procedure for getting a login is:
- Register for the Forum. Registration is open to all. Please choose a Forum Id that helps us to identify you, e.g. by concatenating your names: JoeBoggs.
- Send a short note to
saying what editing privileges you would like and a word or two about your plan for adding to the maps. The available editing privileges are currently:
- To add and edit Hazard markers and their associated textual information. There are three types:
Danger Spots, Roadworks and Closures. You can add them anywhere on the map. Your Forum id is stored in each marker you create. You can subsequently delete them, change their position and modify the descriptions and other text that they contain. You can't modify the markers created by others.
- To add and edit Shop markers and their associated information (name, contact details, short description). As for Hazards, you can delete or modify only the shop markers you have created.
- To add and edit Stand markers and their associated information (number of stands, short description). As for Hazards, you can delete or modify only the stand markers you have created.
- To add and edit Route information. This refers to the textual information that pops up when you click on a route icon. You can add to or modify the description, menu name and other details associated with any route that you have contributed. Installing the 'path' representing the route itself still requires administrator intervention at present. (But there are plans for this to change to allow users to do it soon). The current procedure is detailed below.
- To add and edit RouteMarkers giving additional location-specific information associated with a route. The dialogue for creating these is provisional at present (v2.5) and will eventually be made simpler and more direct. (Everyone with any editing privileges also has the the necessary privileges to add these markers).
- To add and edit Consultation markers. These are rather specialised. They are intend for use by those responsible for consulting local LCC members and other cyclists about proposed changes to the cycle network and other road features.
Once your are registered and have been allocated some editing privileges you can login to the editable version of the map and start adding and editing markers.
Possible login problems
Typing your name and password into the login box and clicking on Login will normally be sufficient to get you to a map page showing your editing privileges. But a glitch in the Forum software sometimes throws you to a page showing the Forum instead. If this happens and you appear to be logged in to the Forum, click on the Logout tab on the Forum page and then use your browser's Back button to go back to the map editing page where a second click on Login will normally succeed.
Adding and Editing all the above types of marker
Once you are logged in you will see a box showing which editing privileges you have. You must select one of them in order to start editing. Then:
- Adding a new marker:
- Before adding any marker, zoom the map to a high resolution so that you can position the marker precisely. This is particularly important for Stands, where you should also use the Hybrid view to help you identify the stand's position.
- A double click on the map starts the process of adding a marker. A form will pop up ready for you to fill in the information required for the type of marker you are creating. The image on the right shows the empty Hazard form. After entering the relevant details click OK and your new marker should appear on the map.
- Setting the Street View:
- A Street View tab is now displayed for each marker. When you create a new marker the tab shows a Google Street View near to the location of the marker. You must adjust the Street View to show more precisely the feature your marker refers to. There are instructions for doing that in the tab.
- Modifying a marker:
- A single click on a marker for which you were the creator opens a similar form with the fields filled in showing the information currently stored in the marker. Edit the information as you please and click OK to change the information.
- Moving a marker:
- You can reposition the markers that you have created. Click on the icon and drag with the mouse button down. You'll see a cross marking the new location that will be assigned when you release the mouse button. A form for editing the marker information will be displayed when you release the button; change it if you wish, then click OK to finalise the new position.
- Deleting a marker:
- Click on the marker (as for Modifying a marker). The form for modifying the marker appears and includes a button. Click that button to delete the marker. You will be asked to confirm before the marker is deleted.
To add a marker, select the 'RouteMarkers' editing option then double-click at the position for the new marker. A form similar to the one above should appear. There is a field that requires the 'text_id' of the route with which the marker is a to be associated.
The text_id is a short name of the route which you will find in the Details tab of the information box for the route. E.g. on the Regents Park Broadwalk route, there is a line in the details that reads 'Route #1027:RegentsPark [Park:Camden]' and the text_id that you should enter is 'RegentsPark' (no quotes). This procedure will be made much simpler in a future version.
Adding and Editing Routes
To add a route you need do the following:
- Use Google My Maps to draw a path representing the route:
- Google My Maps is now the best choice by far - it's flexible and very easy to use. A description of the procedure is given below. The routes you draw are saved at Google for you to access and modify whenever you want to. Transfer of the route from Google My Maps and installation on the CCC Maps is currently done by the CCC map administrators - we're working on a more direct installation procedure. You can update the route at Google My Maps and it email us requesting it to be re-installed.
- Add a menu title and a 4-5 line description for the route:
- Once we have installed the route we'll email you asking you to add a description. You do this by logging in to the editable version of the map and clicking on the Route marker to access the editing form as described above for the other types of marker. The description should state whether the route is signed and for LCN+ routes whether it is possible to ride the whole way (with explanations). For utility routes give comments about the ease or difficulty and other qualities of the route if possible. You can subsequently alter the route title and description using the usual technique for editing markers, but note that to see changes you have made to a Route marker you must first Reload the map.
Drawing the route
For routes that include one-way sections, follow the detailed instructions under Google MyMaps below.
Using Google My Maps to draw the path
(Google's documentation is here.)
- Go to Google Maps. (For a cool way to go there, click on the logo in the bottom left corner of any of our maps - you'll get a Google Maps view similar to the one you were looking at.
- Click on the sign in link.
- Log in using your Google id and password , or if you don't have a Google account, use the Create an account now link to create one.
- Click on the tab.
- Type a full or partial postcode (e.g. NW3) or a street name (e.g. Camden High Street) into the search box and click on the Search Maps button to move the map and zoom it to a point near the start of your route.
- Click on the Create new map link and fill in a short title for the new route.
- The icons at the top left of the map are drawing tools. Only the Line tool is relevant to our task. Use this to draw one or more 'lines' to represent your route. A 'line' is a part of a route. By using more than one line, the route can be broken into sections (see below). If there are no one-way sections on your route, you only need one line.
- The drawing procedure is to click at each point where there is a direction change and terminate each line with a click inside the last point. You should work at high resolution so that the data is accurate: it's particularly helpful to have routes done accurately with every twist and turn as it means the distance is right. Once a line has been drawn points can be changed: they can be moved by dragging or deleted using a a context menu which offers some other useful options too (see image right; access the menu with right-click or CTRL-click).
- Make sure that you start a separate map for each route that you contribute (by clicking on Create new map). A route can have several lines, e.g. for separate one-way sections or to show a collection of routes displayed from a single menu entry on our map. When you have finished drawing give a name to each line and follow the instructions below for one-way sections, but don't fill in the description boxes for the lines - the route description will be added later. Then use one of the links above the map email or link to this page to send a link (URL) to the map to:
- One-way sections: You will need to break the route wherever there is a change from two-way to one-way or vice-versa.You can encode tags in the names of the lines to indicate (a) sections that shouldn't be counted in distance calculations, and (b) sections that should have arrows superimposed to show that they are one-way. These tags are appended to the line names and are separated from the name proper by a '|' character. Tags are:
- xx Do not count this section in distance calculations
- -> Add an arrow in the direction in which this line was drawn.
- <- Add an arrow in the opposite direction to the drawn direction of the line.
- Here is an example of a route with such tags included. (Of course the arrows don't appear in the Google MyMaps page, they are generated when the route is installed in the Camden Cyclists maps).
Other ways to draw or create routes
We can accept routes in two file formats - KML (used by Google my Maps and Bikely) and GPX (used by GMap Pedometer). If you send us a file in either format we'll try to install it. There are other web sites offering route sketching in these formats but we no longer recommend them.
- Bikely.com is easy to use. The routes that you draw will be stored and included in the shared library at Bikely. But we don't recommend using it because you can only draw a single line for each route, so you can't easily generate a route that has one-way sections or breaks in it. If you have already got a route in Bikely that you want to include, go to MyRoutes and select the route, then copy its link (URL) from your browser's address bar and email it to:
- GMap Pedometer was one of the first map sketching tools available but it is now getting long in the tooth and has several limitations - we don't recommend using it. If you have one or two routes made with it we can accept them.
- GPS Logs: In principle you can ride a route with a GPS tracking device and upload the resulting file to your computer. But we have found that the results obtained by using a raw GPS log are lacking in accuracy and include many redundant points. A better approach is to import the log to Google My Maps and then re-draw the route over the GPS track.
Editing results in changes to the database that holds the routes and other data. All the changes to the database are logged, with the date and the name of the person making the change. You can view this log.