- How do I view and edit an Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) GPS file? Download and extract the GPS files to your computer using the Adventure Cycling Association’s instructions. Go to “actions | upload” and upload the GPS file to TWACA . The route and markers, if any, will display on the Google Map view. The route segments(seg tab), points of interest makers(poi tab) and waypoints(wps tab) will populate the associated lists.
- Can I modify the map? Yes you can modify the maps but it is recommend that you rename the maps when saving them. Keep the originals for reference.
- Can I view more than one map at a time? Yes you can load multiple maps at once or one at a time. The limit depends on your computers available resources.
- Can I change the marker icons? Yes there is a large list (icon libraries) of icon sets to choose from. Edit a marker and you will see a drop down list of the available icon sets to chose a new marker from.
- Why do the POI markers for the ACA GPS files look like they do? The GPX format is used by many Garmin GPS devices and these are the same icon used with many of them. If you are using these files on GPS devices there should be few differences. With the GPX format the symbol name is what is important and the actual icon used is left to the discretion of the end user device.
- Why doesn’t TWACA serve up the ACA files or save my work? First the GPS data is owned by ACA and if you have data on your computer than its assumed you are authorized use it. TWACA unlike other mapping services does not share anything and you are an anonymous user.
- Can I import other mapping files besides ACA? Certainly. Within TWACA limited abilities to accommodate simple GPX and KML formatted files.
- KML versus GPX? Being Google centric it makes sense to support KML as well as GPX. My Google Maps will display KML files stored on My Drive. This is really import considering using your work on mobile devices.
- What is considered the most important feature? The ability to generate, print and store cue sheets. With TWACA you can overlay a Google Directions on to the ACA route dragging the Google Directions result to correspond with the ACA waypoints. When you are done you have a cue-sheet that can be printed and stored. It is nice that the cue sheet can span ACA map panels and even ACA maps. Click on the segment header(small blue box) then “menu | directions.”
- Off road support? Besides the bicycling overlay feature TWACA has the ability to drill down to the very point to point level of editing for single track and bushwhacking travel using the line editing mode.
- Can I see an elevation profile? Yes an elevation profile can be displayed just below the Google Map. You can also track the profile against the route seeing distance and elevation gain.
- ACA GPS data is oriented in one direction. Can I change that? Yes you can reverse directions for an individual segment or the entire map. Although easy enough to do it is suggested that you draw your own route instead overlaying the ACA route. You are not bounded by the ACA panel and map segmentation for your daily planning. Second you get a cue sheet oriented to your direction of travel. You can edit the cue sheet to include your resource information. Then print that cue sheet so it its mobile accessible.
- Routes versus Routes and Services? The ACA services are vetted to some extent. Although touring journals tend to yield some gems too. The Routes and Services are great planning tools. But without the Services using Google Maps “places” you can find what you are looking for and verify the reliability of the information. Then create your own POI and include all of the essential information. Same for Warm Showers.
- Should I plan my entire tour? It is recommended to plan a week or so in advance. Things change. Keep flexible. It is nice to have an overall concept for a tour and what are considered “must see or do'” So a weekly session with TWACA might be the plan to plan.
- How do I use the maps with GPS devices? First the orientation is not towards using a GPS device for bicycle touring. The ACA forums is the best place to seek such an answer. Only GPX and KML file formats are supported to a very limited feature set. There are other tools that do file conversions and device uploads.
- Why use TWACA? Having used many of these other services few if any are oriented to the bicycle tourist and using the ACA maps. TWACA is about planning supporting longer bicycle tours.
- Have you toured? Yes I toured on the ACA Trans American trail using the ACA maps.