Searching a route
Table of contents
Selecting the route type
The first decision to make is how you’d like to travel your route, whether it’s on foot, by bike, motorised transport, on horseback, by boat, or via one of several other options. Click the icon to display a dropdown list that will allow you to customise your selection per category, e.g. cycling includes recreational cycling routes, road bike routes, mountain bike routes, as well as several other options. Click here for more detailed information about route types.
Search by location, author, or search term
You can enter search terms below the route type icons in the search field. A list of items will appear based on the keyword entered. The system automatically provides you with location and author options, but you can always use keywords for a generalised search. If you use the latter method, the engine will look for matches in route names and descriptions.
Even before you start typing, simply clicking the search field will generate a ‘My location’ and ‘My routes’ prompt. That way, you can either zoom in on your map location or immediately configure your search for only your routes. Those are just two handy shortcuts for speeding up and simplifying your searches.
That said, to zoom to your current position, you do need to grant RouteYou access to your location data. For RouteYou smartphone users, there’s a chance that your phone’s settings will prevent you from retrieving your GPS location data. As a result, you’ll see the ‘An error has occurred while trying to detect your location’ error message. Discover a few tips for solving that issue here.
If you select a specific spot on the map, it will zoom in on that location. Then you can use the search field again to enter a particular author or search term. Basically, the approach is cumulative and ordered to reflect your thought process. Please note that if you’d like to enter a specific address, you’ll need to use the map’s search field (see below).
TIP: An indication of how many routes have been found in the selected map area will always display below the search field.
The Filters button leads to even more options for customising your route search. Click the button to open a new window on the left. An overview of active filters and the option to remove some or all filters remains displayed at the top.
TIP: A red dot will appear next to the button and the active filters to signal any new filters activated.
- Route type
You can also customise route types in detail. Click here for more information.
The range slider can be used to set the length of your route or limit the distance to a certain range. In other words, the range filter is always based on a minimum and maximum distance. To adjust, drag the pointer at the start or end of the slider to set your distance.
Do you want to set a distance greater than the maximum shown on the range slider? No problem. Just slide the second pointer all the way to the end. Use the first pointer to set the minimum distance you wish to apply to your route selection.
This is where to enter a minimum and maximum score. Watch out, though! Just because a route gets a lower score doesn’t mean it’s a bad route. Find out more about the route score and how it’s calculated here.
Locations can also be separately filtered to a specific location or your current one. See above.
Apart from the general search field, you can also filter by a specific author, whether that’s you or someone else. As soon as you start typing in the search field, the system automatically generates a list that matches your search term.
- Search term
This is a separate field where you can enter one or more specific search terms. Once entered, the system will search for matches in route names and descriptions.
- Characteristics and themes
Characteristics allow you to customise and filter your route’s properties, e.g. car-free, unpaved, child-friendly, and so on. With themes, you can select a route that corresponds with a certain theme, e.g. architecture, heritage, beer, water, and so on. The top five popular routes will display for both options; however, you can expand those lists with the ‘Show more’ button. The options are almost endless. Read more about characteristics and themes here.
TIP: If you select multiple characteristics and themes, the system will apply a Boolean ‘or’ operator. That means the results will satisfy at least one of the conditions, but not necessarily both.
Groups are collections of routes, sights and attractions, and/or users. Click here for more information about groups.
As soon as you start typing in the related search field, the system automatically generates a list to match your search term.
This filter lets you display routes available only in a specific language.
Every route is assigned a level of difficulty based on three variables: total slope, max. slope, and length. Click here for more information.
- My favourites
This filter is only available if you are logged in. That makes sense since you need an account to save your favourites. Read more about favourites and how to save them here.
- Route activity
You can decide only to show routes with registered activity. Find out what activities are all about here.
This filter is only available if you are logged in. Naturally, you only have access to private (invisible) routes where you are the author. Click here for more information. In plain terms, this filter allows you to limit your route search to private or public only.
Activating clusters will cause a set of grey squares to appear on the map. A cluster is a visual expression of how routes sharing certain search criteria are grouped. Only a cluster’s best routes are displayed. Why? That preserves a clear overview and ensures that the map functions at its best. Clusters also always list how many routes they contain. If you click a cluster and then zoom in, new clusters will appear. The more you zoom in, the more details you get.
TIP: Once you’ve set all your filters, click the ‘View results’ button to see your recommended routes.
If the filter module is not active, an indication of how many routes were found in the selected map area will display under the search field at the top of the search module, followed by a list of routes.
These routes can be sorted according to several different criteria:
- Relevance: this is a combination of settings such as recency, score, and views that we combine from RouteYou.
- Name: routes are sorted by name, alphabetically.
- Most viewed total: routes are sorted by the number of views since their creation.
- Most viewed this month: routes are sorted by the number of views in the past month.
- Most recently created or modified: routes are sorted based on their creation or modification date.
- Score: routes are sorted by score.
- Length: routes are sorted from long to short.
As a rule, the map only displays a selection of clickable routes. Displaying all routes would produce too much visual clutter and significantly reduce the map’s performance. The best routes are always prioritised. Other routes will appear as soon as you zoom in on a specific area.
The new routes shown in the map view include partial and whole routes. That means that the route displayed in the visible map selection may only represent part of that route.
Search as I move the map
This option can be turned off or on at the top left corner of the map:
- ON: Whenever you move the map, a new selection of routes will appear based on the map view displayed.
- OFF: the selection of routes displayed when you deactivate the option will remain intact, even if you move the area selection. This can come in handy, for instance, when viewing routes passing through the map view but that originate a significant distance from it. You can always turn the ‘Search this area’ option back on.
Read more about the map icons and their associated functionalities here.
You can get a brief route description from the list by clicking the info button on the route picture. Alternatively, you could also click one of the map route icons and then click the info button on the route picture.
Clicking a route icon in the list or on the map will always provide you with a good supply of practical information at a glance, such as:
- the route name
- the author
- the route score
- the length (distance)
- the total slope (in m)
- the average duration
- the level of difficulty
The map’s route icons also automatically display the route type, score, and difficulty level based on the colour code displayed in the tip. Blue means ‘Easy’, yellow is ‘Medium’, red is ‘Hard’, and black is ‘Extremely Hard’.
Desktop versus smartphone
The map and search module are side by side in desktop mode. Tablet and smartphone screens, which are smaller, don’t provide enough space for that. For that reason, small screens display a ‘Show map’ button at the top of the search module and route list below the search field and next to the filter button. Use it to activate the map. On the map, the ‘Show list’ button is displayed on the top left. You can use this to return to the search module and route list. The map also displays an additional icon above the map feature icons; it can be used to turn on the filter module from the map without having to display the route list. Aside from these differences, all other features are the same.
Frequently asked questions
How do I find nearby routes?
The quickest way to get a list of nearby routes is to zoom in to your location. Click the ‘My location’ icon at the top right of the map or enter your current position in the search module’s search field. That will cause the map to recentre and zoom in on your location, which is marked on the map with a blue dot. Now, your list will only display routes that pass through all or part of the map area.
You can also enter your address with the icon at the top right of the map, but that involves slightly more work.
The shortcuts search menu at the top of the homepage also allows you to start your search with routes ‘nearby’.
How do I search for a specific route?
You probably already know a search term in the route’s name or description.
Suppose the search term is ‘Blossom’.
- Go to the RouteFinder.
- Enter ‘Blossom’ in the search field at the top of the search module.
- Select the correct route type.
- Make sure to zoom far enough out on the map.
I can’t find my route
The most common cause of this problem is usually not having zoomed far enough out on the map.
But it could also be a clustering issue. We only display some routes on the map and list for two reasons:
- The first reason we don’t share all routes at once is that your browser or internet connection is likely to have difficulty processing that information sent in bulk, causing the map to glitch or experience noticeable lag.
- The second is that it prevents a cluttered, confusing view.
To solve this issue, we developed clustering. Put simply, we grouped all routes sharing the same search criteria. Routes with the best scores are shown first. Your route selection will change when you zoom or switch filters on or off.
However, there’s also a chance that you may not be able to find your route because you posted it privately. Find out more about that here.
Quickly finding your own routes is easy. Just log in and:
- go to the RouteFinder, click the author field, and select My routes.
- expand your personal dropdown menu from the main menu and select My routes.
- click your profile icon, expand your personal dropdown menu, and select My routes.
- go to your MyRouteYou homepage and select Routes next to your profile image in the top left corner.
How do I find ‘child-friendly routes’?
- Go to the RouteFinder.
- Click Filters.
- Select the Child friendly option under Characteristics.
This will display a list of child-friendly routes in the selected area. Now you can move the area or combine ‘child friendly’ with all kinds of other criteria, e.g. route type, difficulty level, etc.
Find wheelchair-accessible routes
- Go to the RouteFinder.
- Click Filters.
- Select the Wheelchair accessible option under Characteristics.
This will display a list of wheelchair-accessible routes in the selected area. Now you can move the area or combine ‘Wheelchair accessible’ with all kinds of other criteria, e.g. route type, difficulty level, etc.
Read more about ‘wheelchair accessibility’ here.