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Big Sur Trailmap Route Metrics

Calculates along-trail metrics
[distance, net & cumulative up/down elevation gain/loss]
between Start and Finish locations

Default route is shortest distance for selected options,
avoiding closures/roads/usetrails unless selected

(1)  Set:  Start + Finish Locations
using  "via Interactive Trailmap"  OR  "via Menu Input"  section

(2)  Set:  "Route Options"

(3)  Choose: "Display Route on Map"  OR  "Display Route Metrics" 
OR  "Create Route GPX File" OR  "Create Printable PDF Map"

If needed:  "Route Alteration" - To change default route, see "via Interactive Trailmap" section

Optional:  "Route Link" - create link for later re‑display or sharing

Note:  Downloaded PDF map prints on 8½×11" sheet

Mobile users:  note that all functionality except "Route Option" selection is available via a long-press on any marker

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Start+Finish Selection
via Menu Input

Start Location  
Start Trail/Road/Camp/Summit/Locale/...

Start Trailhead/Intersection
(needed only if Start Location is a Trail/Road)

Finish Location  
Finish Trail/Road/Camp/Summit/Locale/...

Finish Trailhead/Intersection
(needed only if Finish Location is a Trail/Road)


Route Options:
 Include Hiking Closures in routes
       (else "Closed to Hikers" Trails/Roads omitted)
 Include Roads in routes
       (but: if Start/Finish Location includes a Road,
        that Road always included)

 Include Usetrails in routes
       (but: if Start/Finish Location includes a Usetrail,
        that Usetrail always included)

 Include Camps/Usecamps in metrics
       (else Camps/Usecamps excluded from metrics)
 For lowest total elevation gain
       (else route gives shortest total distance)


Route Resets


• If unfamiliar with a trail's intersections, use a TRAILHEAD (i.e. North/South/East/West end) for the Start or Finish intersection. 

• For metrics for reverse of displayed route, simply reverse the elevation UP/DN gain/loss numbers. 

For a loop round-trip, three useful ideas are:

 () Use metrics from a "not quite complete loop":  set Start and Finish locations very close together, but not identical, and use "Route Alteration" to eliminate the direct route between them while otherwise matching your desired loop, giving "almost complete" metrics - if you want "complete" metrics, add in the short "missing section" Start-to-Finish metrics.

 () Sum metrics from "out" and "return" routes:  first calculate metrics from the trailhead [Start] to the furthest intersection along your loop [Finish], using "Route Alteration" if needed to match the outbound portion of your loop.  - then obtain metrics for the return portion by (after clearing the previous result) keeping the same Start and Finish locations but now using "Route Alteration" to match the return route and mentally swapping the elevation gain/loss values - add these two results together to get the complete loop metrics. 

 () Use "complex route creation":  use the "complex route creation" method described below to create the desired route and obtain its metrics.

For complex route creation, two methods are: (i.e. with route crossings or duplicated sections)
(But note that for most cases, using the Route Alteration method is much quicker and easier!)

()  combine route links:  create links for each route leg, e.g. for loop an outward bound leg and a return leg, using the above "Create Route Links" section, then use the combine multiple route links webpage.  The resulting link will display and provide metrics for the complete route. 

()  create route URL:  for those with a modicum of technical skills or geekiness, use the method detailed on the creation of URL to display any route webpage, which pieces together route nodes using trail names. 

Technical Notes:

• Calculations use digitized trail location and elevation information, primarily obtained by local GPS tracking.

• Mileages are slightly under-estimated, since the digitized data use straight-line segments which omit smaller wiggles.  They are in good agreement with measuring-wheel-obtained distances in the Sierra Club Trail Guide, but are typically 4-10% smaller than GPS "odometer" mileages (but the latter can include "spidering" around a point while stationary).

• Cumulative upward/downward elevation gain/loss ("ftUP" and "ftDN") calculations use smoothed elevation data for better accuracy and are reasonably consistent with barometric GPS data. 

• Historic ("lost") trails are not included in these calculations. 

These calculations require many software pieces to interact properly.  If an error occurs, please provide the Start & Finish locations, any options checked, and (if necessary) why the computed route is incorrect to either Jack Glendening at AddressImage or post to the Trailmap Forum.