June 14, 2012
Whew, the last few weeks in the Routes & Mapping department have been full, full, full! We just sent a batch of maps to the printer for updating last week and this week we are getting started on the next batch due to the printer at the end of the month. Bear in mind both of these events are happening in the midst of finishing up our building expansion and the requisite reshuffling of staff locations that goes along with it.
Many of the updated maps have been converted to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and are now sporting the new style conventions we've adopted. It's been exciting to see established routes refreshed in this way.
One of the new features I haven't talked about is adding convenience stores. In most cases, we are not really adding new information as much as redefining old data. Prior to this change, we've used the service station symbol to denote a gas station. Over time, gas stations have acquired convenience stores as an adjunct to their gas pumps. In those cases, we would also place a grocery symbol with the note that it was a limited selection -- hopefully enough goods available that a hungry cyclist could make a meal in a pinch.
With the changing of times, we've determined gas stations are less important places of refuge and water bottle refills than they used to be. The existence of a convenience store seems to be a more important spot to show since they fulfill those same needs. To acknowledge this, we are replacing the service station symbol with a convenience store symbol where appropriate and deleting those that don't offer food for sale.
Using tools like Google maps in Street View, we are generally able to make this determination if previously unknown. Of course, we welcome confirmation from cyclists about the status of limited grocery stores vs. convenience stores and service stations via Map Correction cards.
Photo: Overhead view of the Routes & Mapping department as we madly finished maps prior to stretching ourselves across the room into the new space afforded by the building remodel. By Greg Siple
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.