Creating, saving and loading a custom route onto a mobile device: Part 1

I’ve decided to post this here and not on my personal blog, even though this problem arose because of the awesome holiday I had planned. This has turned into a little personal project, so I tried to approach it from an end user point of view, instead of an enterprise GIS point of view. I scheduled several places to visit, and wanted to optimise the routes to these places based on my preferences, not time or traffic etc.

Here+logo+2012 google-maps-logo Bing_Maps_blue20logo ESRI_ARCMAP_transparente

  1. I created a collection on here.com and diligently added each place, along with a note describing which date the place would be visited and in which order.

    Naturally, I forgot that saving a custom route to a collection in Here maps is an absolute pain, and I can’t save it offline anyway.

  2. I then searched if Google Maps can do it. Moving on.
  3. Next, I tried Bing Maps. To my surprise, and similar to how here maps surprised me, Bing Maps allows you to add places, create polys and lines, set styles and export to KML or GPX! Colour me impressed.

    With my Microsoft account signed in, I added two places and selected the route I wanted. I then launched Maps on my Windows Phone to see the fruit of my labours. Of course, nothing happened.

    A quick Google search (sorry Bing, but it’s really never going to happen for me) confirmed that places would synchronise between Windows devices, which I can verify as places I added in the Windows 8 Maps app do appear on my phone. However, they do not synchronise with places added through the web interface, even though it’s the same Microsoft account. Sigh.

  4. This is how I ended up back in ArcMap, using the Find Route functionality, and converting the route graphic to a feature class so I can GIS it up nicely. However, generating each route and converting for each feature class did not appeal to me, even by writing a script to do it for me. Ultimately, it would still leave me with pretty jpegs, and I am not setting up an ArcGIS Online trial to load in my phone just for this.
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