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Designing your own itinerary on a map --- Websites or Programs?

Designing your own itinerary on a map --- Websites or Programs?

Jul 19th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 212
Designing your own itinerary on a map --- Websites or Programs?

I've been doing a ton of research on an upcoming trip to Paris with my husband & 4 year old.

I'm not sure if this exists, but I want to create a "map" of each arrondissement that has a specific Jardin or kid-friendly site that I don't want to miss. Then I want to map out nearby cafes, bakeries, toy stores, specialty shops, etc.

It's been my experience that I can do tons of research before the trip (with my many books & fodors) but once I'm on the trip, I need a simple map to look at.

I'm thinking mapquest can't do this because it would be about 10-15 "spots" in a given area. Can it?

Does anyone else know of a website or program that would let me do this in a map format?

psy_dr is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I like to use maps.google.com for exactly this purpose. You need to have a google account to save "my maps" but it's easy enough to set up if you don't have one.
J62 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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I've been using MSAutoroute for years. I've added and added over the years and trips.

With the software, you can save everything to one file/map, then print areas with all your annotations. I use the buses in Paris, so print the same area of the bus routes map on the reverse.

You can download a free 60-day trial from the Microsoft website.

If you have a Smartphone and with document capability, you can send maps to your device.
djkbooks is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 10:16 AM
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I will try both suggestions...thank you very much...I was quite lost "searching" for a website/program. Thanks again!
psy_dr is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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psy_dr - I have just completed my second 'Personal Guide to Paris'. The reason I started this, was a way of getting the most out of the Paris I wanted to see, in one single book.

This is how I did it: I colour photocopied the wonderful maps in the EyeWitness Guide To Paris. I enlarged them slightly. I also copied the index.
Putting pages 1 & 2 opposite each other I continued this vein until I had plenty of writing & glueing space on either side of each page.
Now the fun started! I photocopied pieces from books on Paris, I printed out things off the internet, sticking them in appropriate pages. I wrote in RED ink on the maps marking restaurants, places of interest, etc.
Besides my special book I got hold of a Michelin Map 1/1000, and marked various places on it that did not reflect on the map from EyeWitness - it only goes so far.

I have enough interesting new sights to see on my 11th trip - (leaving tomorrow)!, that I could easily stay in Paris for 3 months at least!

I wish you good luck and lots of fun compiling your 'special book'!
tod is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 12:23 PM
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tod - Wow, what an endeavor! I know it will be a challenge, but I hope to be rewarded in the end by NOT having to carry around 1-2 heavy travel books with me in my purse each day. I'm also thinking about laminating the pages when I'm done (I'll be there late Dec - early Jan, which I've been told = RAIN!) Safe travels!!!
psy_dr is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 11:29 PM
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Yes, it's been a labour of love for sure!
I had the pages professionally bound with a hard plastic cover but purposely did not laminate the pages so that I could add more scribbles. Also that adds to the weight.
My first book lasted 3 trips before I had used up all or most of the info so needed to make this new one.
You can add loads of things to one single page by glueing them in a sort of tier order - front page with several pages stuck in layers. Gosh I hope you see what I mean!

You will be rewarded believe me - guides are great but far to heavy. I know folks are now counting on info from their I-Phones/computers but I am not good at that kind of thing.
With my book I even have small pictures of very special things I want to look at. And by the way, everything is in black & white except the maps - those have to be in colour for easy reference.

Best of luck - Tod
tod is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I am using Google maps too, but the service is crap, it does not refresh correctly, the navigation is awful. I did not find anything better though, but it is very painful to see a giant like google, providing a that low quality product.

There is also http://www.nomao.com/ which is not bad, with reviews and recommendations from others.
Good luck.
Haoi is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 02:49 AM
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Here's a link to a similar idea on SlowTrav (using Google Maps)


Is that what you're looking for? Here is the link to the instruction page

Elizabeth_S is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 02:57 AM
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Tod sort of took my idea to a larger level, but I do use the Eyewitness maps of quarters for keeping things for a day within a certain area.
I put things in a loose leaf notebook.
I print out a map of where various restaurants are with addresses and Metro stop and take those with us for the day
Gretchen is online now  
Jul 21st, 2010, 04:59 AM
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I'm looking for something similiar but I'd like to be able to number the locations on the map instead of just putting a generic marker on the map so that I'd know that:
1 = Broadway Café
2 = La Brasserie du Theatre
3 = La Flottille

based on a legend that I've added.
joannyc is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 05:14 AM
Join Date: May 2010
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Wow, I think I've been doing things the old fashioned way. This thread is great. I've just been doing a little of my own Paris mapping (Prague and various cities in Germany, too). For Paris I have the very detailed little map book I bought back in 2003, and then I mark it up like crazy with highlighters and Sharpies. I try to color code things - one color for attractions, one for restaurants that I've read about, etc. I've also found that the Access book on Paris is great (although I only browsed it at Borders) because it shows just about every "thing" in an area - hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc. In general, DK books are wonderful if you want to get great detail and like a lot of pictures. (As a photographer, I DO.) Google Earth is helpful in seeing what an actual location looks like. I found a picture or two of the top of the RER stop near Tour Eiffel that way - helps me know where I need to walk to get to the hotel. It also sometimes gives you a better idea of distances, and most of the public transportation stops are marked, although sometimes not that precisely or accurately.

In any case, it's fun to see that I'm not the only person who puts so much time into the planning! My husband is always afraid that I'll move to the next stage, which is to write out a timetable that specifies where we'll be every 10 minutes, and how to get there!
ruthruthruth is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 05:22 AM
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Oh, I also meant to add that I browse all books at the library (and sometimes Borders!)and keep a Word document with the info that interests me. I don't have all the detail of the books (for example, historical info) but it's enough to allow me to take only one book (in this case, my Prague DK book it will be, plus the small Paris map book). I'm now at the point where I've accumulated almost as much info as I think I want (and certainly more than I need!) and I'm going through my stuffed one inch notebook and marking stuff onto my maps. I AM, however, going to check out the software programs suggested above. Thanks, everyone, and thanks, psy_dr, for starting this interesting and helpful thread!
ruthruthruth is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 06:23 AM
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Thanks for starting this fun thread.

I've accumulated info about a lot of places throughout France (and I can't stop!). I made an Excel document listing each item in order of its Michelin road atlas page/section number. That wasn't enough. I found I needed to be able to see all these sites on a map, so I xeroxed relevant map pages from the road atlas in a reduced size and taped them together in horizontal sections. I've done maps only for the area we travel in, which luckily is only the northwest part of France. Then I used a highlighter over each town name where there's an Excel listing for an attraction, restaurant, or B&B. These pages roll up into an 8.5" high tube. Because they're xeroxed in black and white, we can't see the green roads, but we can see panoramas, churches, and so on.

I would like to do this with Google maps because you can mark your spot more exactly when you use the zoom-in view. However, I can't figure out how to re-alphabetize my list each time I add new towns/attractions. Also, I could only access this when there's wifi nearby, which means it's no good while we're driving.

We turn the Excel file into a WordPerfect file, but the info is also in our netbook which we take along.
Coquelicot is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Just reread original post; one comment: If you use a small notebook like I do, you can get hole-punched, lightweight plastic sleeves in which to insert your maps/info if you get to Paris and it's raining. (I take out the pages, and sleeves if necessary, when I get to my destination - don't take the whole notebook with me while out and about.)

There's also a mapping service on Michelin, but I don't know if you can add stuff to it, or personalize it. It's best for planning driving trips when you want to figure out times, costs, etc. - similar to our randmcnally.com or AAA.com.

Sorry, Coquelicot, can't help you with your dilema!
ruthruthruth is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 07:03 AM
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I have used Google Maps several times in the past (Rome, Venice, Istanbul, and Wesport, RI) and it has worked well. The key is to add any information you want to show in the description field. (With Rome and Venice, I actually used Google Earth as Google Maps would not allow you to reorder items at that time -- 2007 -- nor would it allow for more than 50 markers being displayed at a time.) With Rome and Venice, I used mapbuilder.net and did a large amount of work (including writing some computer scripts and manually copying stuff to a Word file) to convert to something printable with numbers. However, I have since discovered, and used, the Google My-Maps print converter at http://maps.taurich.org/cgi-bin/print-kml.cgi. This will automatically generate a PDF of the map with numbered icons and a index below. The index includes the description text, hence the importance of including this information. I don't have copies of the printed maps online, but you can see the full Rome map at http://www.sanschagrin.com/Italy2007/RomeMap.html and the Istanbul one at http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...1c0c2&t=h&z=13
sanschag is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 07:22 AM
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Have a look at http://communitywalk.com

You can not only plan walking routes and itineraries but there are all kinds of place
markers you can use to highlight the things
you want.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Wow. This is interesting stuff -- right up my alley. I'm going to borrow a lot of these tips. I usually make my own personal booklets on the computer with typing, scanning from other sources, cutting & pasting from the internet, etc; and then add marked-up google maps for each day which detail driving or walking routes. At the end of each day, I toss each little booklet (though it's still on the computer for later reference when I need it for captionining photos, etc.) While I start with a thick batch of papers in my luggage, it's nice to reduce it to zero by the end of the trip. I also like the fact that I only carry around one small section each day, which can fit in my purse.

Hopefully soon, I plan to get an iPhone or other smart phone and just carry my booklets in an even more compact digital form w/ no paper waste.
sap is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 07:42 AM
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Coquelicot: You can "realphabetize" your google locations list by just dragging the letters up or down in the box on the left. I do this constantly: adding, subtracting and moving locations until I come up with the most logical route with the least amount of driving.

I love the fact that they've added the walking choice now, too. I've done daily walking routes for Paris this way, then right-click copied my map into Adobe PhotoShop where I can edit even further before saving it as a jpeg file to add to my daily itinerary booklet.
sap is offline  
Jul 21st, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Oh my goodness! I didn't expect to get so many incredible tips!!! I actually thought that most fodorites might laugh at my attempt to be so meticulous and obsessive!

Thank you so much everyone. I will most certainly look into google maps, msautoroute, nanao, mapbuilder and slowtrav.

I too have gone the old fashioned route in the past and I'm still thinking I may have to use a combination of the old-fashioned way with one of the applications.

I have had an iPhone for years and we have used it so much when traveling - it's great for pin pointing where you are and if you're lost, etc. But you must rely on your battery-life. Also, I want something that is pre-planned / pre-mapped with specialty shops, markets, cafes, museums, parks, etc. that I don't want to miss in each area.

Also, thanks for being so desciptive about your tips and thanks to sanschag for the sample maps..they're great!

Keep them coming! And if you have sample pictures, add them too!
psy_dr is offline  

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