The next big test of man and machine together came in the form of a boys weekend in Yorkshire. The loose idea was to drive somewhere with interesting roads nearby, with time for a fun drive and lunch on the way to the destination. Then stay overnight and enjoy pie and a few pints, and then following morning have a spectacular blat with a nice lunch before heading home. Its a format thats worked well since the Romans and their chariots.
So we settled on the North Yorkshire Moors as our target area, The Inn at Hawnsby as our overnight stay, a route planned a week or two in advance to grab lunch on day 1 at the highest point in the Moors at The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge.
The Technology in use
After years of fiddling with Sat Nav devices like TomTom and Garmin, more recently I have switched completely over to smart phone software. Specifically an amazing app (available across device platform) called “Waze”
It is brilliant, free, works the world over, provides traffic updates via upload data feed live from its users and is a world class app. Originally developed by two Polish brothers, Google acquired Waze a few years back and its continued to be amazing. But its online, doesn’t store maps (with the exception of a temp download of the route to destination you request). Waze is for every day driving.
There is another app that is equally amazing but for a completely different reason. It does offline maps AND it accepts itinerary files. It’s called “Sygic”
Which would be OK if you could build routes easily (for example on a PC or Mac using Google map overlays) and the simply send to the sat nav app without needing to be an astrophysicist?
And that’s where My-RouteAPP comes in. And this is REALLY clever. For those that are in the know, this is the updated and overhauled Tyre app which was originally aimed at the motorbike touring market.
MyRouteAPP is a web application, that allows you to build routes from web map services, and export them into any format. It comes with a companion app for your iOS or Android phone. This app shows the routes that you have created online in your myrouteapp web account on a big computer screen and with two finger presses can send these routes to Sygic. It opens Sygic automatically, presents the route and I normally save this as a favourite in Sygic.
You then simply use Sygic with this route. This workflow is so simple it’s genius, and other friends that I blat with also use this method. We have a group in MyRouteAPP (where the magic happens) and if any of us build a route worthy of sharing, we can send it to our blat group, the others can pick it up and use it.
The companion app to MyRouteAPP (the software on your smart phone) can also act as a route recorder. Simply go out and drive, and it logs where you have been for route conversion later back to your group.
Here is a screen shot of our group route for the NY Moors weekend:
It was a great driving weekend and some of the roads were very special. The challenge with this part of the country is that there aren’t many road options across and around the Moors. Which means that there is more traffic than is ideal to really enjoy the driving.