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Tool for the third dimension - mapping route altitude


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48 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:15 PM

I hadn't seen anything much on route altitude here, so let me point you all to a little tool called GPSvis. I found it looking for a way to assess altitude changes on various commuting routes. Turns out the bicyle community has this sussed.

Start by plotting your route on Google Maps

Above the start/end entry area you'll see a link icon. Click and copy the resulting URL


Open GPSvis to the input page linked above. In the lower right, above "Draw the Profile" is a a box labeled "Provide the URL of data on the web"

Enter the Google link into GPSvis URL input box and "Draw the Profile". You get this:

Attached File  GPSvis%20490_590_104.png   41.92KB   42 downloads

This is for my expressway commuter route. The dip is a bridge over a canyon-style bay. As to "what does this all mean?" On another thread, I developed this chart showing the relative energy content in an operating hybrid.
(link to that thread)

In my commute path shown above, I drop about 30 feet from home to office parking lot. That's about 10m, which I've estimated at 0.16MJ under "Potential Energy" in the diagram. I also realized tonight that 1MJ (megajoule) is the energy contained in 0.99 ounces of gasoline. My ~10m altitude change is "worth" 1/6 oz. of fuel. Going to Mammoth may be worth more...

What can you do with altitude data? Pick a route with fewer steep hills, perhaps? Nahhh....

I think the value is in understanding your route, where your low and high spots are, so you know when it's OK to be on the ICE longer and harder. My rural commuter route's high spot is a gentle crest on a fairly flat road, not the steepest hill. The lowest spot is a dip over a culvert on a state highway, not the 1-lane railroad underpass around the corner.

Someone like Jus may find some of his routes have a pattern that fits well with the C-Max's energy storage/discharge capabilities. After some more baselining, I may try different altitude-profile routes to see if more up/down makes a difference (betting it does; re-gen's only like 90% efficient if you score 100?).

HAve fun with the toy,
Frank

PS I should have noted that it's inaccurate to treat energy in gas as if it were as accessible as energy in the battery, or due to hilltop location. ICE efficiency is in the 60-70% range, with only about 20% reaching the road (where it's dissipated by rolling resistance and drag).

My -10m altitude change is worth more like 1 oz. of gas in terms of energy to the road, not 1/6 oz.

Attached Files


Edited by fbov, 05 February 2014 - 04:39 PM.

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#2 OFFLINE   Bill-N

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

For those who may not be aware, the "Where an I" MFT screen gives altitude, and will display changes as one drives.


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#3 OFFLINE   HannahWCU

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

When I try it, I get the message "No valis GPS Data Detected".  Must be doing something wrong.

 

Figured it out, for me, I need to save the Map first, then use the kml file to get the profile.  Here is my drive from work to home:

 

MyDrivingProfile2.png

 

No wonder I get better mileage going to work vs. coming home.  There is a 300' evelation change between the two places!  I usually get 43-47 coming home, but can get as high as 53 going to work. From the 1 mile point to the 22 mile point is interstate.  Thanks for the links!


Edited by HannahWCU, 04 September 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:40 PM

Glad you figured it out; any idea what's different? I haven't seen associated kml files, and I'll update the first post if there are other ways to get there.

300' is ~100m elevation change, equivalent to about 1.7MJ or about 6-8 oz. of gas (@ 20-25% ICE efficiency)... the difference in fuel consumed over 25 miles between 47 and 53 MPG is about 0.05 gal, or 6.4 oz.

It would appear you're doing a great job of managing the powertrain through the hills, as the difference in fuel consumption is of similar magnitude to the energy gained going down the hill in the first place.

HAve fun,
Frank

Edited by fbov, 04 September 2013 - 02:46 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   HannahWCU

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

Thanks!!  Great to know that the math backs up my what I am seeing in my driving!  I NEVER could have figured that out myself. :worship:

 

And I have NO idea what I did differently.  But I just couldn't get it to work with just pasting the url from link on google maps.

 

Glad you figured it out; any idea what's different? I haven't seen associated kml files, and I'll update the first post if there are other ways to get there.

300' is ~100m elevation change, equivalent to about 1.7MJ or about 6-8 oz. of gas (@ 20-25% ICE efficiency)... the difference in fuel consumed over 25 miles between 47 and 53 MPG is about 0.05 gal, or 6.4 oz.

It would appear you're doing a great job of managing the powertrain through the hills, as the difference in fuel consumption is of similar magnitude to the energy gained going down the hill in the first place.

HAve fun,
Frank


Edited by HannahWCU, 04 September 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 03:25 PM

Whoa - that's sweet fbov.  Thanks.

 

Might want to add to directions may need to change from metric to US.



#7 OFFLINE   DaveofDurham

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:16 PM

So cool.  Thanks.

 

I checked out a drive I do several times a week and was surprised to find that my destination is almost 300 feet higher than my home.



#8 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:33 PM

This is BRILLIANT :rockon:  - I am going to pin it. Been playing around with some routes and it's very surprising... :drop:



#9 OFFLINE   salsaguy

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:16 AM

this topic was discussed previously in another thread where someone mentioned the app for their phone to use to plot a profile. many are out there for bicyclists. one aop mentioned was GPS Essentials. not sure if it works on iOS but it does for Android. you record "tracks" and can then view the charts/profile. it's also compatible with Google Earth/maps. check it out.

i agree understanding your altitude change during your drive is very important to optimize your mpg.



#10 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:31 AM

Hannah, as long as you got there, I'm happy!

 

obob, I didn't give directions because I'm no more qualified that you to do so. We're all learning by doing, like HannahWCU

 

salsa, I expect this to be ubiquitous in the app world; smart phones are the right device (size, weight) for cycling apps. Altitude is far more important in an organic hybrid; cars communicate but muscles get your attention.

 

Dave, given you see a similar level difference to Hannah, do you also see a similar difference in MPG?

 

Jus, I'll be very interested in what you find, given your results... is there logical explanation for you and Recumpence (or are you Aliens)?

 

Have fun,

Frank



#11 OFFLINE   frbill

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:17 AM

I have validated a route change that I made a couple of months ago. The change in altitude is less drastic even with the hills I have to climb. Thanks for the info on GPSvis!



#12 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:29 AM

1 Result: I was playing with like 10+ different route options last night and I ended up picking the most smoothest gradient with little or not hill peak climb. Today I tried it and brought in: 82.7 MPG (20.8 miles with 16.7EV and 4 regen) and most of all, instead of 0.28 gas used, it was 0.25 and I still felt a few squirts too many due to traffic.

 

Now I need to check if my route back is the most optimized or not...thats the killer one. However, if I end up > 62MPG noverall for the 40+ miles, I am happy.

 

Good stuff, thanks for the thread fbov  :)


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 05 September 2013 - 10:29 AM.

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#13 OFFLINE   C-MaxSea

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 04:21 PM

SCIENCE RULES!  Love how the eyes roll when I tell people I'm driving a physics experiment.  PE, KE, ..... elevation, gravity...............Newton...................

 

Hypersmiling,

 

Nick

 

PS  Actually it's a little frustrating when their eyes roll.

 

PSS  I guess our physics exp. is really just a little more sophisticated than theirs.


Edited by C-MaxSea, 05 September 2013 - 04:25 PM.

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#14 OFFLINE   salsaguy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

great science results Jus. hope you can find those extra few "squirts"...

:lol2: . :lol:  :thumbsup: 



#15 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:11 AM

....why do I sense this is going to  :twister:


Edited by Jus-A-CMax, 06 September 2013 - 12:29 AM.


#16 OFFLINE   salsaguy

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:52 AM

for those trying to do this on your tablet or mobile phone it seems like it doesn't work ...at first. you have to click on the "turn by turn list" icon which looks like a paper with 3 lines of a to-do list on it, then scroll down to the bottom of the page to use "classic" view instead of the mobile version view. it's still very hard to copy the url though as the pop up box keeps wanting to disappear. i had to try 4 different tablet browsers before i found one that worked. bottom line, better to try this task using your laptop or pc instead to avoid the frustrations. very cool tool though for sure.



#17 OFFLINE   LizM

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 08:33 AM

Ya'll are just amazing.... :clapping:



#18 OFFLINE   joe

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:36 AM

Bill-N.  You said, 

"For those who may not be aware, the "Where an I" MFT screen gives altitude, and will display changes as one drives."

I can't find this option.  Which screen does the altitude appear?



#19 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:47 AM

I wondered, too... per 3rd printing of the manual:

 

"Help

Press the Settings icon > Help, then select from the following:"

 

And "Where am I" is in the list that follows, if you have MFT. I've got to look tonight.

 

HAve fun,

Frank



#20 OFFLINE   Jus-A-CMax

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:51 AM

I don't think the "ft" is the altitude, its the distance to the next and previous street from where you are...








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