quick update on our preparations for this year’s TWIKE adventure.

as a few readers of this blog have correctly guessed, TDB2015 stands for “Tour du Baltique” 2015. we’ve decided to take TW560 to the baltic states and cross russian territory when visiting kalinigrad.

as usual, i started out by drawing our direct line and then started by defining the start and end point of our trip on a map. later on, whilst driving, this map will be synched to our phone which then shows us the way.

one evening i invite jc over to go over the rough plan. as soon as we agree, i will start planning the details.

even jc has embraced the digital age
even jc has embraced the digital age

whilst we’re on the topic of mapping: i think it is in order to rant about google’s mapping offerings for a little moment, although i know i am the product and what google giveth, google (can, and if it doesn’t make/generate money or interesting user data, most probably will) taketh!


google maps once had a wonderful feature called “my places” where one could “draw” lines along roads, save these maps and then display them on a mobile phone using – you guessed it – the google maps app and a layer called “my maps”. displaying them was as intuitive as easy: just add the map as an additional layer to the current map. the line was rendered as a vector: this meant that even if maps on the mobile phone was unable to load the map because there was no mobile signal and we had left the pre-cached tiles behind us, the line remained visible.

for some unknown reason, things had to change. first of all: maps on mobile plattforms lost the ability to display additional mymaps/my places layers. then classic mapping services were forcefully migrated to “new maps” which does no longer support “drawing” – only planning of trips from a to b. furthermore, when embedding the maps at a later stage, there is no functionality to tailor the view to be displayed – see below… you will most definitely have to zoom into the map to actually see TDB2015 on the map! after lots of backlash, google published an app called my maps. essentially another google maps app, it renders the maps as bitmaps, thus requiring constant data connectivity, but has no additional functionality – looking for something whilst travelling requires me to change back to google maps. furthermore, the new app only can show three items from any given mymaps map list – any change requires all layers to be reloaded – if you’re on a foreign network and want to save on mobile data, this is not the application for you. (i’ll not go on lamenting about the demise of latitude and location badges… otherwise this blog entry would be double the size!)

dear readers: if you know of any mapping application with similar functionality (drawing, synching, sharing, collaborative mapping and possibly selective gps tracking), please let me know – if google’s current mapping strategy continues, i’ll be unable to finish planning TDA2016!


whew. with that off my heart let’s go back to TDB2015.

TDB2015 goals:

we’re really looking forward to travelling to the baltic states – jc hasn’t been yet, and for me it’s been 20+ years. rural poland promises to be interesting and we’re also facing interesting obstacles getting into kaliningrad with TW560, since my vehicle insurance explicitly mentions this territory as not being covered.

it's not easy to agree on a route!
it’s not easy to agree on a route!

after some discussions, we agree on a hockey stick like route taking us through some very beautiful parts of europe – see current planning in the interactive map below.

back to detailed route planning
back to detailed route planning

should you know any POI’s along our route – let us know!

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