Bay Area Bike Rides Deck unveils new routes in the 5th edition

New Bay Area Bike Rides Deck will ship in February.

Chronicle Books is taking orders for my new edition of Bay Area Bike Rides Deck. It will ship in late February. Also from Amazon.

What started as a book in 1990, morphed into a card deck in 2008, modeled after a Chronicle Books series dedicated to big-city walking tours.

This 5th edition maps resemble the previous, but now have “3D” terrain. It’s mostly for aesthetics, but required some sophisticated software.

I had always wanted to produce maps showing terrain. I looked long and hard at QGIS open-source map software, but every time I tried using it, I couldn’t figure it out.

I continued looking and finally found something promising. It’s called 3D Map Generator — Terrain, a plug-in for Photoshop developed by a programmer based in Germany. His company is called Orange Box.

Terrain can be created using his software and height maps. I hadn’t heard of height maps, but after looking into it, I found out that the United States Geological Survey (USGS) maintained a website with height map files for California and the Bay Area, and beyond. (The website shut down, but that’s another story.)

I had help with the maps. A Chronicle Books graphic artist worked her magic and showed me how to make them better. She has Illustrator skills way beyond mine. Thanks to her, the maps look the way they do — awesome.

This edition is my coda, the culmination of 40 years of cycling in the Bay Area and just as long working on maps, learning all about Adobe Illustrator and mastering 3D Map making.

I hope you enjoy the maps and the places they take you.

Contents of all five editions are listed. If you click on the route name in the 5th edition, it takes you to Ride With GPS, where you can download the course for use in a bike computer with navigation.

2 Responses to “Bay Area Bike Rides Deck unveils new routes in the 5th edition”

  1. aefitzhugh Says:

    Congrats on the latest edition. For reference, USGS elevation data (and much more) is available via their Earth Explorer web interface: https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/. I have used this to create 3D printed terrain models with overlaid maps and Strava tracks as demos for our HP color 3D printing technology (coincidentally, developed in the same area in HP Labs where Jobst used to work).

  2. Ray Hosler Says:

    Yes, I’ve been on that site. It has a lot. I’m more accustomed to using something like Tangram. Interesting name. https://tangrams.github.io/heightmapper/

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