Release notes

16 August 2020

  • Updated OpenStreetMap, hiking routes and FastestKnownTime datasets with the latest data.

8 July 2020

  • Added an overlay of routes from Fastest Known Time. This overlay provides a really nice at-a-glance way of seeing what FKTs are available in your area, and which ones you might potentially try to steal! This will be updated every couple of weeks.

28 June 2020

  • You can now set a sliding preference for greenery, ranging from 0% (disabled) to 100% (greatest preference for greenery). Default is 80%.
  • You can now prefer hills, as well as avoid them. This is enabled via a new 'Hills preference' slider. The far left slider position sets a 100% preference for avoiding hills (where possible), and the far right slider position sets a 100% preference for preferring hills. The middle position means there is no hill preference one way or the other.
  • Modified the settings screen to notify users that changing settings may result in new routes being generated rather than modifying the existing one. Users can now click a button to edit the existing route, after which all settings will apply to that route (and not cause new suggestions to be generated entirely).
  • Fixed a display wrapping issue with iOS Safari.
  • Switched to Mapbox GL for all mobile browsers too.

22 Juny 2020

  • The calculations behind the 'Avoid Hills' feature have now been simplified to only take into account elevation gain rather than steepness (elevation/distance). The source data (SRTM) isn't accurate enough to give robust steepness calculations, and it was resulting in some strange detours when avoiding hills. This work has been done in preparation for allowing users to prefer hills, not just avoid them.

21 June 2020

  • Strava heatmap overlay is fixed. The Anygis proxy for it has become slow/unreliable, have developed an alternative proxy.

14 June 2020

  • Add ability to reorder waypoints. This is visible on desktop only, in order to save space on mobile browsers.
  • Add alternative map base layers: Light map, Dark map (already existed), Satellite, OpenTopoMap and OpenStreetMap.
  • Update OpenStreetMap data to the planet snapshot published 2020-06-02.

11 June 2020

  • Minor improvement to make the purpose of the buttons clearer when right clicking or long-pressing on the map. 'Add Waypoint' is now 'Set start point' when you have an empty map.

6 June 2020

  • Mapbox are now supporting Trail Router via their community programme! This means we can continue to use Mapbox maps without the fear of large bills if Trail Router continues to grow in popularity. Read more.
  • Switch to using Mapbox GL JS (via the mapbox-gl-leaflet plugin) and add proper attribution and wordmark.

31 May 2020

  • A segement can now be switched between 'direct' (route as the crow flies) and 'indirect' (follow the roads/paths). Right click on a waypoint to switch it.
  • You can now add waypoints to round-trip routes. Right clicking on the map and adding a waypoint will insert a new waypoint between the two closest waypoints to your click.
  • Additional fix for another screen size for GPX/KML buttons being truncated.
  • The context menu that appears for mobile users has been repositioned slightly so that it is not directly under your finger when touching the screen.

30 May 2020

  • Improvements (hopefully) to how waypoints are created, particularly on mobile. These are detailed below.
  • Mobile users now need to touch-and-hold the map, then click a button to add a waypoint. Multiple users reported accidentally touching the screen, causing a waypoint to be added, as previously only a click was required. This is a significant change in behaviour, so a popup alerts mobile users who click on the map that they need to 'touch and hold'.
  • Mobile users now need to touch-and-hold a marker, then click a button to delete a waypoint. Previously they just needed to click on the waypoint, which resulted in users reporting they accidentally deleted waypoints.
  • Desktop users can continue to just click the map to add a waypoint, there is no change here.
  • Desktop users now need to right-click on a waypoint to delete it. Previously, just clicking the waypoint was required, which resulted in users reporting they accidentally deleted waypoints.
  • Both mobile and desktop users can more easily create a 'direct waypoint' now, which does not follow the roads. This is useful when there is clearly an issue with the map data.
  • Waypoint markers are now slightly larger, which should help when users try to click on them.
  • Waypoint markers now have the numeric index shown inside them.
  • Fixed export GPX/KML buttons being truncated on small mobile screens.

27 May 2020

  • Small improvement to routing that simplifies some overly complex routes. We are now more permissive of roads with low speed limits (<=35km/h or <=20mph).
  • Updated OpenStreetMap data to the planet snapshot published 2020-05-14.

26 May 2020

  • Minor bug fix to Avoid Repetition feature.
  • Updated the major hiking routes and lit streets datasets.

19 May 2020

  • Reduced the number of tile requests to Mapbox by 75% - thanks Mapbox support!
  • Fixed an issue with cycling paths not being given any preference since the update 24 hours ago.

18 May 2020

  • Multiple small routing improvements and bug fixes. Credit for helping identify these bugs and test their resolution goes to Daniel Westergren.
  • Trunk roads are now never used.
  • Footpaths, bridleways and tracks are now treated with the same preference as hiking routes. Previously, hiking routes were given higher priority, which meant that in a forest area we'd sometimes detour to join a hiking route when a perfectly nice footpath was available. Note that the greenery index still operates independently of this.
  • Added 'Edit in OSM' link at the top right (desktop only) to allow users to correct the OSM map.
  • Added undo button! Allow a history of ten steps back.

1 May 2020

  • Fixed a bug that resulted in errors exporting GPX files when the "Draw straight lines" option was used.

19 April 2020

  • Significantly improved the 'Avoid Hills' feature. Previously, it was not sensitive enough so would still use hills when alternative (longer but flatter) routes were available. This has been corrected now. Also, hills were not taken into account when presenting the list of possible routes to users. Now, the amount of ascent and descent is used in the scoring algorithm that determines the order of routes shown to users. Note that hilly routes will still be shown, but they will be later in the list of suggestions.

13 April 2020

  • Added an option to 'Avoid potentially unsafe roads'. When selected, the routing algorithm will try very hard to avoid primary, secondary and tertiary roads (as defined by Openstreetmap) unless they explicitly have a sidewalk or are marked as foot=yes. Such roads can still be used, but selecting this option makes it a last resort. Note that whilst this option may seem similar to 'Prefer green areas', they are subtly different (e.g. it is possible to have a secondary road in the countryside, surrounded by greenery).

11 April 2020

  • Added the ability to save routes in the Android and iOS apps. Android supports Google authentication, whilst iOS supports Google and Apple authentication. Also added 'Sign in with Apple' support for the web based version. You can now save routes in all flavours of Trail Router and access them across different devices.

6 April 2020

  • Added the ability to save routes to the web-based version. Authentication is via Google. This is not supported in the Android or iOS apps yet, but will be soon.

19 March 2020

  • Fixed a bug that resulted in saved routes not matching the actual route that was saved in some edge cases.
  • Re-enabled the improved avoid repetition feature introduced on Feb 23rd. This had to be disabled temporarily due to the bug above.

10 March 2020

  • Fixed a bug that meant exported GPX files were incompatible with Garmin Connect.

29 February 2020

  • The Trail Router iOS app is now available on the App Store.

23 February 2020

  • Avoid repetition is now enabled by default, following positive feedback from users. When enabled, it will now also compute routes with both repetition enabled and disabled, and then choose the best. This slows down routing slightly, but seems to result in better suggestions.

18 February 2020

  • The Trail Router Android app is now available on Google Play.

16 February 2020

  • First batch of significant improvements to the 'Avoid unlit streets' filter. We now allow users to create routes if no lit streets are found, rather than throwing an error, and instead show a map overlay for where the lit streets are.
  • Add dark mode maps. Works well in combination with the lit streets layer above. Try enabling dark mode and 'Avoid unlit streets' together.
  • Snap waypoints to the trimmed locations if the <=300m tail trimming is applied to a round-trip route.
  • Add favicon files.

11 February 2020

  • Move GPX and KML generation to server-side; this is a pre-requisite for the upcoming Android client.

9 February 2020

  • Removed requirement to login to Strava before you could add the Strava Heatmap overlay (thanks AnyGIS.ru!).
  • Fix bug that resulted in round-trip routes sometimes being non-editable.

7 February 2020

  • Allow users to specify custom distance. Acceptable values are 1 to 100 (miles or kilometers).

4 February 2020

  • Treat bridleways as traversable, and treat farmland, meadows and commons as green spaces.
  • Update to the latest Openstreetmap Planet file.

27 January 2020

  • Trim the little loose tails on round-trip routes, as long as the tails are less than 300m.
  • Change the vertical scale on the elevation charts to not fix the y-axis at zero.

19 January 2020

  • Report the road types and their relative fractions in the elevation popup.
  • Prevent routing over roads that have sidewalk=no or foot=no set in Openstreetmap.
  • Force the map to jump to the location when a user geocodes an address.
  • Treat landuse=grass as a green area.
  • Add issue reporting into the help menu.

4 January 2020

  • Added option to avoid repetition. Useful for avoiding long out-and-backs.

3 January 2020

  • Significant speed improvements for round-trip routing (2x-4x).

2 January 2020

  • Added two optional layers: major hiking routes (with their names included) and Strava heatmap data. Unfortunately you need to login to Strava to use the heatmap, but I've tried to make the experience as painless as possible.
  • Restyled waypoint markers to make them less prominent, and added a checkered flag for the finish point.
  • Added a 1 mile / 1.6km distance option.
  • Added 'Run mode', which locks the route from UI changes, and sets the GPS to follow you.

31 December 2019

  • Significantly improved round-trip routing algorithm, should give much better results for long distances. We now merge adjacent green spaces, and route around the merged entity (useful on adjacent parks). We snap the green space to the nearest footpath within the space too, which reduces little out-and-backs.
  • Zoom in/out button for desktop users.
  • Ability to export KML.
  • Fixed bug when sharing links to a modified route (the modifications were lost).

14 December 2019

  • Filter out route options that are >80% similar to another option.
  • Allow routing along mountain bike trails.
  • Improve fallback approach for round-trip routing if there's no nature nearby.

9 December 2019

  • Weighting adjustments to bias more heavily against primary/secondary roads, at the expense of distance.
  • Made miles the default for North American visitors.
  • Added exclusion for any hiking routes that run adjacent to motorways/interstates.
  • Prevented bridges/tunnels being used if they are busy roads and do not have an explicit sidewalk/pavement.