Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I have two:

1) Trail Router (https://trailrouter.com) - This is a running route planner that favours greenery and nature in the routes it generates. It can generate point-to-point or round-trip routes that meet a specified distance. I developed this because I am (or was...) a frequent traveller for work, and want to run in nice areas rather than by horrible busy roads when I'm visiting somewhere new. Naturally, the utility of this tool is limited at the moment for people stuck in lockdown!

2) Fresh Brews (https://twitter.com/FreshBrews_UK) - I've been touring the UK's finest craft beer breweries from my own home in recent weeks. New beer releases sell out very quickly and I was frequently missing out. Fresh Brews is a simple bot that monitors the online shops of my favourite breweries and posts when a new beer is released to the shop, or an item comes back into stock.




Super nice work on trailrouter. The several routes it produced for me in Berlin look quite nice, being familiar with the surroundings.

Would be cool to see how you built it, if you put it on github.

I’m curios about building a similar thing for cycling – crazily neither Komoot nor Google Maps let you filter by type of road, and I’d like to select only bicycle paths and roads where cars can‘t go. Even if it means cycling much longer, I’d simply like to avoid cars and in Berlin it’s possible 90% of the time.


I wrote a long reply to someone on the Graphhopper forum who was trying to do similar to you. This may be helpful: https://discuss.graphhopper.com/t/can-someone-make-a-video-t...

I'll probably write a blog post on how it's built though - there's quite a lot going on under the hood!

Supporting cycling is a possibility for the future. I don't think you'd want to absolutely exclude non-cycleways (as it might make many routes impossible), but you could certainly weight very heavily against them and show on the map which parts of the route were dedicated to cyclists vs which were not.


Congratulations on creating trailrouter! This is one of the most unique and useful side projects I’ve seen in quite a while. I had a lot of fun looking at the various suggestions it offered for my neighbourhood, and I could see how this could help people enjoy their neighborhood a lot more.

If you have the time, I’d also love to read a blog post (or even series) explaining how you built this. Your answer on the Graphhopper forum was very clear and makes me think that a more detailed version could be super useful for a lot of people.

Nice work!


Thanks very much for the kind words! I wasn't sure if others would find the technical details of this topic interesting (it's my first foray into GIS work), but it sounds like they would, so consider a blog post in the works.


Thanks for the link, that’s a very interesting read.

Subscribed to you on twitter to get updated if you publish a post on that!

The thing on absolutely excluding – yes, maybe some things are impossible, but in my planning, it’s really about the journey, so even if I have to go additional hundreds of kilometers, so even in terms of extra days, but via cycling ways and tiny country-side streets (without max speeds over 30km ideally or similar) and not see fast moving cars almost at all, which in Berlin/Brandenburg area, for example, seems to really be possible if you plan it manually. Judging by the success of applying your rules on the trails it surely can be done better than I have seen so far.


I think https://cycle.travel/ might help with your cycling routes


Thanks, I didn”t know about this one, the tiles they have are really nice. But still no control over avoiding larger roads or what to prefer as a fallback. I still get some larger roads selected, but it’s definitely an improvement over google maps.


I also made the mistake of trying Google Maps for bicycle routes early last year. Searching for a better alternative, I found komoot.com; perhaps you might want to try it.

For my region, I'm pretty happy with it (although it has its issues in places where you have to pass along bigger roads for short distances). It's OSM-based, though, so that might vary.


Trail Router is amazing! I just had it suggest a 5k route to me and it suggested my favourite 5k route immediately. Currently, it doesn't seem to care about elevation, that might be something to look at if you are running out of feature ideas. Is is open source?

I'd actually also be willing to donate a little for the development of such a cool tool.


Thanks! There is an option in the settings menu to "Avoid hills", and in the not-too-distant future that will become a slider that allows you to prefer hills or avoid them.

It's not open source yet, but I might open it up in the future. There's a donate link hidden away in the About page. Any donation would be much appreciated, and would help with the server costs (it needs a huge amount of RAM to store the whole planet's data).


Lovely app, I like that a lot.

I for one would positively crave an option to seek out hills. I've always found London far too flat for my taste.


I just had the exact same experience! It nailed the “close to home” routes I do perfectly. Will definitely use this when I want to change it up and run somewhere else in the city.


Trail Router is great! Tested it out for a few cities I know like Stockholm, Gothenburg, Las Palmas and Hanoi and it's really good.

The only thing I noticed is that it seems to prefer going next to water over anything else and have a slight tendency to take detours to run next to very small city parks. Running past a small city park for 50 meters might not be worth the detour.


> 1) Trail Router (https://trailrouter.com)

This is great work! I've been doing this manually, so I appreciate you building this. Bookmarked!


Trail Router seems very good, expected it to not work in the small-ish Swedish town I live in (Malmö) but it actually did a great job!


I tried out Trail Router and found a trail hidden in the woods within 3 miles of my house that I never knew about in the several years I have lived here. Can't wait to check it out. Nice tool!


Just wanted to drop by saying that trailrouter looks great. One small suggestion. I'd add an option to avoid cemeteries as (at least in some cultures) running through one could be considered ill-mannered.

Here's a link to an example route that I got that includes one: https://trailrouter.com/#wps=52.32928,20.94020%7C52.32805,20... Here's a link to that cemetery on OSM: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/60865696


Re Trail Router: Really nice work! Two thoughts:

1. Would it be possible to add an undo button for when changing a route goes wrong?

2. I think this would also work really well for planning routes and/or measuring their precise length. In fact, I have been looking for such a tool for ages! One like yours which also allows taking small tracks and paths and not just roads! Unfortunately, currently it's still somewhat difficult to select the precise route as changing it in some place might suddenly change it almost entirely. (Again, an undo button would be nice.) I assume this happens because Trail Router still tries to minimize a certain loss function? Would it be possible to disable that entirely, so that one could "free-draw" routes?

[UPDATE]: Just noticed that one can actually disable all routing preferences. This seems to be doing the trick – very nice!


An undo button will be added soon, you're not the first to ask.


Undo button is now live!


Trail router is awesome. My "side project" for quarantine was picking up running, so this is a great help.


More love for TrailRouter here. Especially love that you can export a GPX for a watch. I get stuck running the same unimaginative routes so even the ability to be able to have it plan a round trip from my house is amazing. Even more so that it finds out green space. Thanks for this!


Trail Router is incredibly well done. I've had the exact problem that you're describing. I'm currently training for my first 100 miler and I'm getting bored of my regular routes (which hurts motivation) so I'm really excited to try it out.

Really great work!


Trail Router works great! I love that you can just drag the dot and it auto-generates a new route.


Trail Router - nice project. Please remember about adding OpenStreetMap credit to your map (More info here: https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright)


Oops, that was broken in a recent base map layer update. Fixed now. Sorry!


Trail router looks great. I put my location in and the first three routes were already regular routes of mine , and the next one was one I'll probably have to incorporate. Bookmarking it for when I travel next.


Trail Router is great for my use-case during lockdown. I've been trying to walk different ~3mi round-trip routes during quarantine so as to not get bored and this is very helpful to give me more ideas. Thanks!


https://trailrouter.com/#wps=45.08019,-70.30203%7C45.05981,-...

19 miles and over 3000 feet of elevation climb. Nice! :)


Trail Router is wonderful. I’m getting back into running after having moved and it’s great for discovering new routes in the area. Thank you!


TR worked pretty well. Since coming home from e. Europe two months ago, I’ve been exploring the nearby trails on an almost daily basis. Your website suggested the exact 6 mi hiking route that I enjoyed yesterday! When i cycled through the options for other 6 mile options it became less imaginative and more urban street centric. Still, a good interface and helpful as a reference tool. Thanks!


Trailrouter is well done! It almost finds my local 5k, but picks a traffic light that requires crossing 3 times instead of one.

when I run, I sometimes pick an entirely different route midway, just to avoid waiting at a light regulated intersection.

being able to filter those out would be a real winner for me, I dont know if traffic lights are indexed anywhere though.


Trail Router looks fantastic! In light of the shutdowns, I've restarted my running / training and I'm planning for a 10 miler in October. This will be a fun way to plan runs and keep me interested. That's always been my big issue - I get bored easily if I see the same thing over and over.


Excellent work with Trail Router - looks super nifty!

Wanted to +1 others request for learning more about how its built!

Kudos and stay safe :+1:


Hi! I love the Trail Router. How did you get the data to create a Strava heatmap? I see the API can download routes by ID, but I'm curious how to do it based on geographic area. Thanks :)


On trailrouter how do you determine safety levels of roads? I had on one of my generated routes a 45mph road and then a few other times it had me cross I-95 (an 8 lane highway here). Overall very neat though. I'd been using mile meter to draw out manually my routes.


Detailed answer here: https://trailrouter.com/about/#the-route-being-suggested-inc...

There is a setting in Trail Router to "Avoid Potentially Unsafe Roads" which makes it much more conservative about road choices.

It uses OSM data for routing information, but this is quite poor for pedestrian safety (particularly in the US it seems, where some 'secondary' roads are very safe, and others are death traps). There are specific tags for foot access and sidewalks, but they are rarely used outside of cities. Crossing the I-95 should only be done if there's a bridge going over it, it should never take you across the lanes of traffic (!). If it does, please do email me a link to the route if you don't mind.


Allow users to rate the safety/quality/busy-ness of each segment?


Number of users who finish a route divided by number of users who start.


Number of users that finish crossing the road divided by the number of users that start crossing.


The joke is there, but it's not actually quite that macabre -- if a route feels unsafe, more users will abandom it midway through.

The Triborough bridge had a pedestrian walkway; I've never made it across because the rail is below my center of mass, and nope.


Trail router figured out my usual neighborhood walk at 3 miles and my prepandemic commute at 15! Glad I am already close to optimal, and neat algo.


Trail router is very nice. I see that you're using Mapbox. May i know how much it costs you? Even a ballpark figure would be great.


So far I'm still within the free tier, so nothing at all.


Trail Router look awesome! Good luck with it.


Have you got a github on how your tracking the craft beers? I would like to do something similar for Irish breweries.


I'll publish the source on Github later today and will reply here. It's a very simple Java app, which scrapes and extracts page content using Jsoup.


I'm leaving a comment here as a reminder too! I've been playing with open street map data to learn routing algorithms, I would love to compare notes : D


Untappd has this feature with the largest beer + venue database in the world.


TrailRouter is amazing. It looks fully featured, but curious if you have a roadmap of feature additions?


Thanks! In rough order of priority:

* Add sliders for setting greenery and hills preferences (so you can _prefer_ hills, rather than just avoid them)

* Add support for preferring particular surfaces (e.g. tarmac vs trail)

* Add support for creating distance-specific round-trip routes that pass through one or more waypoints (at the moment you can only specify a start/stop location for round-trip)

* Sometimes round-trip routing suggests some very complex routes which would be hard to follow when running. Some work could go into simplifying such cases.

* Improve the UI/UX, it's still quite fiddly, especially on mobile

More distant:

* Cycling support

* Native mobile apps (there are already mobile apps for Trail Router, but they're basically WebViews)

* Offline routing support in the mobile app?!

* Direct sync'ing of routes to watches/Strava would be nice, but there's no open APIs for this yet.

If you have any other suggestions feel free to chip in!


I would easily pay US$30 for that.


I really like Trail Router. Can you add functionality on it to export as a GPX file?


Thanks! It's already supported. On the left-hand menu, click on the share/forward icon, and there's an export to GPX and KML option there.


Sounds like at least #1 is a hit.


How does the Twitter bot work?


Thank you so for much for #1!


Trail Router ftw!




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: