Plotting outdoor tour routes

There are two parts to mapping a route:

  1. Drawing a line that represents the path listeners follow
  2. Adding locations

Let’s start with number one, drawing a line. VoiceMap uses the line to measure distances, and an accurate line gives you accurate talk times and word counts. Listeners also see the line in our mobile apps.

Plotting a basic route #

Drawing Your Route Line

Step by step guide

  1. In the Locations tab, click on Edit Map.
  2. Select the Draw Route tab.
  3. Zoom right in to your route’s starting point. It’s important to be zoomed almost all the way in, because you need to make sure your line goes exactly where you want people to walk.
  4. You can switch over to satellite view if it helps, but don’t use the 45 degree tilt. It isn’t accurate.
  5. Click on the plus icon. A flag tooltip will appear when you hover over the map.
  6. Click on the map to add nodes, connected by a line.
  7. Keep clicking Save as you go, to make sure you don’t lose your work.
  8. If you make a mistake, you can click on Delete (the bin icon) Last, or you can edit the line by dragging the nodes.
  9. You should end up with a route with nice straight lines that stick neatly to roads, or deviates from them wherever you want them to.

If your route is in an area that’s hard to see either on a Google Map or satellite photography, it might be best to use a GPS logger or equivalent mobile app.

Driving Tours #

There are a few options for mapping the route line of a long driving tour, instead of drawing it in the publishing tool, which can be time-consuming and laborious.

One way is to map the route using a GPS logger. If this option is not available, then Google Maps allows you to create a KML file, essentially a file that contains the route line data. Below are instructions on how to do this.

Using Google Maps #

  1. Go to Google Maps
  2. From the drop-down menu, select “Your Places“, then “Maps“. 
  3. Click “Create Map” at the bottom of the page. This will open up a new page. 
    1. Untick the box next to Untitled Layer.
  4. Below the search bar you’ll see a row of icons. Select the “Add Directions” icon. 
    1. A new untitled layer will be created, with A and B tabs. Enter the starting point in the A tab, and the end point in the B tab. You can also add additional points by clicking “Add Destination”.
    2. You’ll now see the route mapped out on the map.
    3. Click on “Untitled map” to change the name of your map.
  5. You can have up to 10 locations per layer. If you need to create more, just create a new layer.
    1. When you’re ready to export, click on the 3 vertical dots icon next to your map’s name and select “Export to KML”.
    2. From the drop-down menu, select “Directions from (your location A) to (your location B)”, and tick the “Export to KML File” box.
    3. Then click “Download”.
    4. Email the KML file to your editor and they’ll upload it for you.

If the route line is very long, and the map is taking a while to load, then might need to reduce the number of points on the route line. You can find more information about that here.

Indoor Tours #

The indoor player does not use an offline map or rely on word counts to work out the time between locations, so when mapping your route, you’ll still need to add in locations but drawing an accurate route line is not necessary, beyond helping your editor with understanding the route.

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