Improve your route

Table of contents

Guidelines for making a good route

Of course you wish to make your route as good as possible and possibly share it with others. Here is what you can do to improve your existing route.

Criteria Description
1. Accurate geometry

The route may only deviate 1% (in length) more than 10 m from the real position of the route (i.e. 99% correct at 10 m). In other words, if you would take 100 points on the track and you would know their real position, and you measure that distance each time, 99 points would be a distance smaller than 10 m. The route can be partly digitized manually, or recorded with a GPS, but it has to meet this condition.

2. Correct trajectory

The trajectory is legal and possible.

Legal: that means that the trail can be followed in the direction indicated (no violations against driving directions, prohibited turns, private paths, area not accessible in breeding season).

Possible: according to the route type indicated, you can pass through it (e.g., no closures, no overgrown trails, no soggy paths that are impassable, no life-threatening maneuvers). If there are periods where the route should not or cannot be followed it is best to mention this in the description.

3. Correct and detailed route type

Provide a correct and detailed route type.

Correct/incorrect: E.g. You give a beautiful MTB route the type of road bike. This is incorrect, because you are putting road cyclists on the wrong track.

Sufficiently detailed: E.g. You give the type "bike" but you don't specify which type of bike: "recreational bike", "MBT", "road bike". Read here why this is important.



4. Traffic/Crowdedness Have your itinerary go along low-traffic or car-free roads and paths as much as possible (if relevant to the selected type). An added bonus is if your route is exclusive to the selected route type (e.g. hiking route with paths only allowed for hikers). Trails that are not busy but are located along or near busy roads are best avoided as much as possible.
5. Beautiful trails/places/landscapes and variety

Let your route cross as many beautiful places and landscapes as possible.

Tip: It is best to indicate these via a POI with a photo of the type "panorama" or "photo stop". This also provides variation in the route.


6. Title with content, "teaser" and originality   In the title of your route, already include something that indicates a very typical feature or theme of the route (e.g. the region, the main attraction of the route, a historical link to the route, a typical feature). The title also invites you to look at the route, without therefore telling everything. After all, it is a title and it should remain short. Good examples are "Along the 10 most beautiful landscapes of Kent", " Chicory Route", "Climbs in the Flemish Ardennes".



7. Informative description  

Make the description (introductory text) to the route as informative as possible. Create text that convinces the reader that this is a route she/he should do.

  • State something about the concept/theme of the route. Make links to known subjects, people, events (e.g. This route follows part of the historical route that Charles V followed..., route visits 10 places with a story from WWI,.... most challenging climbs in Limburg) 
  • State something about the context in which the route was created (e.g. From my experience of 10 years of vacationing in the Ardennes I selected the 3 best routes..., This route was set up for our annual trip with our motorcycle club...)
  • For whom is it intended or not intended at all (e.g. Very suitable as a walk with small children and baby carriages... )
  • Report something about the environment (e.g. Located on the edge of the Flemish Ardennes...)
  • Take into account practical aspects of a route, such as a convenient starting point at a train station or parking lot. Report something about those practical aspects of the route, such as accessibility of the starting point (e.g. Starting point near exit 6 of the E40, You can park the car on the square 100m from the starting point, the route starts at the entrance of the Erasmus metro station). If you know a good stop to eat or drink, be sure to add that info to your route. 

A good route is like a story. Try to convey that story in your description. A good story always has a specific aspect that people remember / a highlight or climax (in the case of a route, that can be a place along the route, a theme or feature). And like a good story, the climax comes not at the beginning but rather at the end (or at least about halfway through).

Read more about how to customize your itinerary here

8. POIs Provide your route with a sufficient number of POIs ( minimum 5, the guideline is 30, 100 is overwhelming) indicating interesting and practical points. Preferably also with your own original information (text, photo or video).



9. Your own / specific POIs

Voorzie de route met foto's (via media) en/of via specifieke, kwalitatieve POIs, bij voorkeur POIs/foto's die je zelf gemaakt hebt:

  • POIs met kwalitatieve afbeeldingen, foto's of video's die een duidelijke link met de plaats hebben.
  • POI met informatieve tekst, maar niet te lang (richtlijn is 100 woorden).
  • POIs hebben een correct en specifiek type
  • Een extra plus is dat de POIs langs je route specifiek zijn voor jouw route ( POIs met een verhaal over de herfst als je een herfstwandeling maakt, POIs relevant voor een racefietser, als je een racefietsroute maakt, POIs over een specifiek thema als je een thematische route maakt...)


10. Characteristics/Themes Indicate via the predefined features as many (correct) characteristics of the route as possible (e.g. unpaved, wheelchair suitable, sporty, car-free...). Read how to do that here. Using the predefined themes, indicate as many (correct) themes that the route has something to do with (e.g. architecture, heritage, nature, geology,...). If you link themes or features that are incorrect or not relevant, you will be penalized.



11. Reference routes Let your route follow parts of reference routes and mention it in the description (e.g. route partly follows GR y, a node network a, the classic route b, pilgrim routes c, Voie Vertes, RaVel ....). Avoid that your route completely follows only one reference route. Rather, try to create something new with a combination of reference routes and your deviations from them. And link it to your chosen theme.
12. References Provide texts and pictures with the correct references and links to the sources.
13. Author info As an author or organization, make sure you have a name/nickname (it is displayed with each of your routes) and tell briefly about you or your organization. Also make sure you have an AVATAR, as it will be displayed with each of your routes.

In addition, the following external factors you have less impact on can also contribute positively such as:

Tips & tricks

How to edit/change your route if you saved it already

Read here how to edit your route when you saved it already.

You route is just one straight line or a few straight lines

If your route is a straight line, it might be due to the following causes:

  1. the routing option was not switched on when planning a route (read here how you can switch the routing option and adapt it)
  2. the routering was done over a large distance (read here how you can solve this)
  3. the routering stopped after 30 sec (read here how to solve this)
  4. the routing option is not (yet) active for this area(read here how you can switch off the routing and draw your track by hand)

Your route has no POIs (Point of interest)

Here you can read how to create POIs along your route.

Add Pictures to your POIs

Here you can read how to add pictures to your route.

Classify your route

By linking your route to specific groups (themes and characteristics), your route can be found back in an easier way. Read here why linking your route to groups is beneficial

Quality of a route

At the end, all of this leads to a (better) quality score, marked by stars. Read here about the effect of getting a higher quality rating for your route and how your route can get more stars

Message about removal of your trial route

What's the problem

RouteYou is a community site where everybody can share the routes with eachother. We try to promote the good quality routes. This is done by marking the routes with quality stars.

If try-outs remain public, users are confronted with these routes, which is not very useful.

You will receive a mail if our software classifies your route as a try-out route, so you can take action before we remove the route.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have a wonderful route but don't get 5 stars. Why not?

The route score on RouteYou is certainly not determined solely by the suitability or beauty of the route alone. And there is often a lot of debate about that. The main argument is, "But it's a nice route anyway." As you can see, that is a very important aspect in determining the route's score. But certainly not the only aspect. We also consider a good title, good description, a good set of places of interest, a good set of photos,.... But why?

The score of a route strikes both suitability, beauty and usability in all its forms. Therefore, many other aspects are taken into account!

The main reason is that we look at the entire Route Cycle. And that starts with the pre-experience, then the execution and finally the post-experience. And in each of those aspects, the criteria described above are also important to get a good result:

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