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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 11 Apr 2003
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Route Planning Software & How Much Detail

Hi All,

Just wondered if any one has used or developed any software, either full applications or excel templates or the like that help with route planning i.e. juggling climate, visa and shipping requirements to work out where you should be and when?

I am planning a RTW for Autumn 2004 and am looking for a way to avoid spending weeks cutting and pasting climate data from websites. Also, how much detail to most people go into when planning a route and how far ahead do you think it is useful to plan?

Cheers Andy.

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  #2  
Old 13 Apr 2003
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Hmm. I’m a web developer and I’ve been toying with a similar idea for an online project. Tell me what you have in mind I would appreciate a user’s practical perspective.

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  #3  
Old 13 Apr 2003
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Location: Worcester, UK
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Hiya,

I'm also a s/w developer, freelance, working with .NET mainly.

Initially, I had in mind a quick and dirty excel template where you enter the continents and countries (rows) and months (cols) it downloads the climate info and colours it (red for hot blue for cold etc like a thermal map). I was going to download the climate info by web-scraping. Once I'd got this working, I'd then perhaps extend it to include visa deadlines and shipping time etc.

It struck me that ideally it's kind of a combination of MS Project and MS Excel. If there was something like this available, either online (best because you could use it on the road when your initial planning gets blown out of the water by closed borders / wars / whatever) or as office templates...or even a shareware app I'm sure lots of people on HU would benefit from it.

If you have a similar idea or need perhaps we could do something together, two heads being better than one etc?

Keep in touch, Andy.
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  #4  
Old 14 Apr 2003
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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Sounds like a great idea for an addition to HU! If you guys want to develop it, I - and I'm sure many others as you say - would love to have it available for use on the road.

We have a robust MySQL db available, and with php, should be able to make such an app work well. BUT we don't have the time, or expertise - we have already had to hire someone to do a couple of database apps for us which we hope to release soon, and more to come.

Climate info can be obtained from MS Encarta and on-line at the CIA website.

Please let me know if any of you are interested in working further on this - just email me.

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Grant Johnson

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  #5  
Old 22 Apr 2003
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Hi,
I travelled Lagos, Nigeria to Dublin, Ireland last summer with a friend who was based in Lagos (I'm based in Dublin) and we used an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all our information. It wasn't anything as sophisticated as what you guys are considering (automatic download of climate information etc.) It was essentially a large electronic notebook, but was very useful all the same, principally because it allowed my friend and I to share information about the trip and to see what information we had gathered between us, thus preventing us wasting time finding information the other had already sourced.
We tried mailing the file back and forth, but this had problems, because our two copies would get be updated at either end and then have to be merged. Instead I found a freebie website and simply put the file up on their server so it could be accessed by both of us. If one of us needed to add information we would download it, edit it and upload it onto the site again. Sounds like a pain, but it worked well.
It was good to know that all our information about the trip was in one place, and not scattered across sheets of paper in a file somewhere, or under the bed, which the dog was planning to eat! ;-)

We kept the following information (among other things) in it:
Contact details for Irish embassies abroad
Climate information
Running record of actual and estimated spending
Itinerary of all equipment and luggage that we brought.
Spare part information
Vaccination information
To-do list
Shipping info and shippers' contact details
Route waypoints.

On the road, I could always access the website where the Excel sheet was stored, if I needed to. Instead I copied the relevent information (like embassy phone numbers) onto a handheld device, so that I'd have the really important information with me at all times and didn't have to rely on getting to an Internet café.
If you think our spreadsheet would be useful to you or you'd like some input into
what your application should offer, drop me a mail.
Talk to you later,
Ken.
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