Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Boulder Bike Paths Mapplet Accepted!!

Google has created a new feature in Google Maps called mapplets. It is still in preview, but you can see it at http://maps.google.com/preview. It looks almost the same as the regular Google Maps but it has an extra tab called Mapplets. The Google Mapplets are still in development stage and you also need a Google account to use them.

You can add your own Mapplets by clicking on the Mapplets tab and then selecting Add Content. Once the page changes to "Google Mapplets Gallery" you can add one or more mapplets to your Map content. At the top of the page you can "Search Google Map Contents". Search for "Boulder Bike" and you will see that the search result includes "Boulder Bike Paths". Add that to the map and enjoy.

Once the Mapplets hit the mainstream, though, having the Boulder Bike Paths Mapplet will allow a user to overlay the bike path network over any Google Maps search results.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Staying Hydrated

Bikeboy at The Bike Nazi blog has a great article on Hydration. This is my first year cycle-commuting pretty much full-time and now that summer is in full force here in Boulder I am aware that I need to stay hydrated.

Bikeboy has some tips on what he does to stay hydrated on his rides up in Boise. I particularly like the suggestion:

A half-hour or so before I ride, I'll consciously tank up on water (20-32 ounces).

I have always been aware of drinking water while I am riding, but the idea of tanking up before the ride is a great one.


If you get thirsty, it's too late. You have to think about drinking before you get thirsty.

Thanks Bikeboy! I love your blog!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Google Mapplets and some changes to this blog

I decommissioned my cyclinginboulder.googlepages.com site by redirecting its home page back to http://cyclinginboulder.blogspot.com. I did this because of Google Mapplets.

From the Google Mapplets page:
Google Mapplets are mini-applications that you can embed within the Google Maps site. Examples include real estate search, current weather conditions, and distance measurement. Mapplets are Google Gadgets that can manipulate the map using Javascript calls that are derived from the Google Maps API.

Mapplets are currently only available in a special Developer Preview version of Google Maps at: http://maps.google.com/preview

I created a Google Mapplet today for the Boulder Bike Paths. This is a bit cleaner than using My Maps because Google Maps will soon support Mapplet overlays while you are doing a map search. That means you can have the Boulder Bike Paths (with legend) visible on the map while you are doing a search for the location of your cycling destination. The Mapplet references my cyclinginboulder.googlepages.com site because that is where the Mapplet XML definition file is located. But I don't want to maintain that website, so if people try to navigate to that site, they will now be automatically redirected to this blog site.

I have submitted my Boulder Bike Paths mapplet to the Google Mapplets Gallery. Until the mapplet is (hopefully) accepted by Google, you can always add it manually by:
  1. browse to http://maps.google.com/preview
  2. click on the Mapplets tab
  3. click on Add content
  4. Towards the top of the Google Mapplets Gallery page, there is a Add by URL link. Click it.
  5. When prompted, add the following URL: http://cyclinginboulder.googlepages.com/MappletBoulderBikePaths.xml
  6. return Back to Google Maps
  7. Now you should see Boulder Bike Paths in your Bookmarks list. If you select the box immediately to the left of the Boulder Bike Paths, the bike paths should show up on your map and then you can keep that data visible as you proceed to perform additional Google Map searches.

This is one step closer for me in my quest to have Google provide bike transportation maps as part of their network maps offerings.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Management of Bicycle Transportation

[I haven't been able to view the entire video, but what I have seen is very interesting. I will review this later.]

John Forester spoke at Google's headquarters on the occasion of Bike To Work Day, celebrated May 17 2007 in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. He was part of Google's ongoing Tech Talks series of invited guest speakers. His topic was The Management of Bicycle Transportation. You can watch the video here.

[Thanks to ProBicycle for the reference]

Monday, June 4, 2007

Boulder Burley Ride

While doing a search of User-Created content on Google Maps today I noticed that someone had posted a My Maps collection called Boulder Burley Ride. I could not find a web site to credit this map to but if you ever find this information, please let me know.

Anyways, I overlaid the Boulder Burley Ride My Maps onto my Boulder Bike Paths map and the results are here.