Testers Needed: Bike Maps for Your I-Phone

Posted by Doug Shidell, September 10th, 2013

I’ve been testing a new service called Avenza Systems, Inc. Avenza converts maps from a vendor, such as Bikeverywhere, into phone apps. Users download the free PDF Maps App from the Apple App Store, then access the Avenza map store to download maps for free or for purchase. The service is currently available only on I-Phones, but an Android App is in Beta testing and should be available by next spring.

The app, according to Avenza, allows you to view, zoom and pan maps using standard touch screen gestures. You can see your location on the map using the phone’s GPS, record your ride, orient yourself using the built in compass and add placemarks, such as favorite restaurants, bike shops or rest areas. And you can do it all offline, which means you will always have the base map even if you don’t have cell service.

It all sounds pretty cool, but now I want to see what you think of it in the real world. For my test map I’ve created the Forest_Lake 100, a 100 mile bike ride that starts on the Gateway Trail, loops through Marine on the St. Croix, then heads north and west on low traffic paved roads to Forest Lake. The route skirts lakes, rolls up and down hills and wanders through the rural landscape north of the Twin Cities.

You don’t have to ride the full 100 miles to test the map. You can see how it works just by riding the Gateway Trail or doing the shorter part of the route that wanders through northern Washington County.

The app is free and I’m offering the Forest_Lake 100 map for free as well. I want as many people as possible to test it and give me feedback. Tell me what you think about the app, the process of downloading it, finding the map, how well the map and app work together, how easy or difficult it is to read and anything else you can think of. Feel free to comment here or to send me a personal email. If I can get this dialed in, I will develop a wide range of bike maps for use on your phone.

Get the app, then get the map. Here are the details:
For I-Phone users only: Use your phone to read the QR codes below.

Avenza PDF Maps App

If you can’t read the QR code, go to the Apple App Store and search for Avenza PDF Maps App.

After you get the App, try this QR code to get the map:

You can also access the map through your phone by typing in the following address:
Or use the search engine to look up Forest_Lake 100.

With your help, this could be a very exciting development for bike riders.

Filed under: Bikeverywhere News