March 2023 at Wandrer

31 March 2023 by Pearl

And we’re back! March kicked off with a long journey from Taipei to Atlanta, as we concluded our bike tour and settled back into life at home. Here’s an overview of what we’ve been up to at Wandrer over the last month.

Super Unique and Never Traveled Roads Feature

Upgraded Wandrers can now view Super Unique and Never Traveled roads on their Big Map. The map layers box has checkboxes to control seeing these layers on your map. By default, they will be visible when you load the map, but you can change the default layers on your settings page. Super Unique roads are the roads that you have completed that no other Wandrer has traveled. The way we calculate “Never Traveled” is all-or-nothing – even if someone has only done a small part of a road, it counts as being traveled on. In the future, we’d like to expand on this concept of Super Unique roads to include more statistics for you about Super Unique distances. We’ve also heard some requests for viewing only your super unique or never traveled roads on the map. Let us know if you’re interested in any of these features – your voice helps us prioritize what to build.

Super Unique and Never Traveled roads are now viewable on the Big Map!

Color selector available for the Big Map

The Settings page now has options to change the color of the Traveled and Untraveled Roads and your GPS track. We hope this makes it easier to visualize where you’ve been and where you’re going!

Change the default colors on your big map.

New Achievements Added

Craig added a new long distance trail to Wandrer, the Katy trail in Missouri (US). He’s also added many, many new achievements in Paraguay, Denmark, Namibia, and China (literally thousands). We can continue to sneak in new long distance trails over the next several months. If you’d like to nominate your favorite trail to add, send us an email.

The Katy Trail in Missouri has been added as an achievement.

Your Feedback Wanted: Map Rule Questions

We have a few map rule questions for your consideration. Your feedback via email is appreciated.

  1. Should access=permit roads be included? Currently they are excluded, but it seems like in many cases it’s easy to obtain access to these roads. Do you have a strong opinion about these roads?
  2. Should we remove highway=trunk roads where sidewalk=no or sidewalk=none in the UK for activities on foot? Other highway=trunk roads would stay in Wandrer for foot activities.

Should we remove highway=trunk roads where sidewalk=no or sidewalk=none in the UK for activities on foot? This map shows trunk roads in London where the sidewalk is tagged with no or none using the Overpass Turbo website

Upgraded Map Tile Server

This month Craig improved the infrastructure that shows map tiles whenever a Wandrer views the Big Map. These tiles show the underlying map of an area with roads, land, rivers, ocean, etc., and the blue lines that indicate traveled roads (untraveled roads are sent from a different server). Our new infrastructure should be more stable and reliably accurate, especially when updating the data for map regions.

Media Wrap-up

Here’s a few recent articles and videos that we found interesting this month.

  • Need more encouragement to get new roads? A recently published article argues that visiting new places increases happiness.
  • For most of us, northern Finland would be a very new place. This month, I wrote up a post for the Wandrer blog highlighting Wandrer Pekka Tahkola’s exploration in the winter cycling capital of the world, Oulu Finland.
  • I wrote up a post describing how we bike toured with an infant
  • This deep dive into the physics of riding a bicycle is fascinating.
  • Not Just Bikes and Foreign Man in a Foreign Land collaborated to show how the main island of the Bahamas is smaller than Amsterdam and yet has constant, crippling motor vehicle traffic and the sociopolitical history (colonialism & slavery) that led to this.

Research proves what we already knew.

Wandrer Sign Appreciation 2023

We’re wrapping up Sign Appreciation month! Receiving pictures of silly and interesting signs from around the world is a dream come true. Next week we’ll announce the winners of the prizes, which include our new Wandrer patches and a gift subscription to Wandrer.

Thank you for sending us so many delightful sign pictures and making our dream come true.

Settling back into life

On a personal note, we settled back into life at home after about a week of transition time. I’ve spent the second half of the month with our baby in central Maine in the northeastern US visiting my parents and one of my sister’s family. We don’t have the bike trailer with us, so the baby and I are finding new roads on stroller walks. Craig took advantage of our absence to take on the Fried Clay 200k, a self-supported endurance gravel ride created by a friend of ours. He completed it in one day despite very muddy conditions, earning 50 mi / 90 km of new roads in the process. I’ll have to try next year, fingers crossed for better conditions!

90 km / 50 mi of new roads for Craig in middle Georgia.

Fried Craig after 12 hours of moving time and 14 hours of elapsed time. Photo credit to our friend Kevin Chatham-Stephens.

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