Printing Routes

At some point I applied my programming habits to my car. I keep it clean now; empty bottles and garbage are long gone. Ironically, this is driven by laziness. Among the things that are still with me and my car is a routing atlas. Its right to exist stems from its independence of battery power and satellites. Occasionally I complement it with printed routes, the single-use atlas mostly useful when driving alone.

Back in the days when Google was only a search engine I used a free (as in beer) service — was it called Map & Guide? — to create these printed routes. Even short routes resulted in four or five pages, quite a mess in a car. Todays services are much better, creating customizable, short printouts. Tomorrow I want Marble to print my routes.

Soon I realized that this feature is easier realizable than expected: Marble already has printing support for maps and Qt’s QTextDocument simplifies creating printable pages with a nice layout. Below is a screenshot from my printing Git branch:

But adding each and every piece of information just because I can is not the goal: I rather have a slick user interface and leave confusing information out. Things that I’d call clutter, however, may be useful to someone else. At which point I thought that collecting some feedback on usefulness and clutter would be a good way forward. Ten questions on a single page, nothing more. Thanks.

8 Replies to “Printing Routes”

  1. I think it’s great to try to think about the best information to include and get it as good as possible however what I think would be really useful to quell any annoyances with the system is:

    To make it easy to edit the instructions before printing them. Perhaps QTextDocument is intended just for printing and is not easy to add input-widget overlays to though.

    (1) Being able to click in the text box of an instruction
    (2) being able to move any one instruction
    (3) being able to add an instruction at any point in the list.

  2. The instructions “drive left”, “drive right” and “drive forward” are a little unnatural and possibly confusing.

    I guess you’ll look into that later but I’m happy to do some sting proofreading if you contact me at this email address.

    For now:

    “Continue on the A774 for 5 miles”
    – for stay on the same road

    “turn right onto the M22”
    – use “turn” for turning onto a new road

    “bear right onto the A1”
    “bear tight and remain on the A44”
    – use “bear” left or right when the road forks (Y-shape).

    “follow the road around to the right”
    – letting the driver know that the road will bend and reassuring them this is part of the route

  3. My apologies:

    (1) I read that you were asking for feedback but somehow missed the link (perhaps I can’t see the colour blue).

    (2) It seems you English is perfect and that is not the reason for the slightly awkward instructions.


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