So estimating how far and how long a real trail run is is difficult. I’ve got into loads of trouble for underestimating the time I figured I’d be out. Partly it was ego (surely I’m fast enough to knock that out in a couple of hours!), but partly is was the poor quality maps and tools at hand. The best solution I found was on GPSies which was based on Open Street Map (OSM), which was accompanied by autorouting, meaning no more hand tracing, and included elevation profiles to boot.
Unfortunately the quality/completeness of the OSM data wasn’t always up to task and autorouting only gets updated infrequently. This really became evident when I tried to help Mal Law plan his High Five-O Challenge. Tracks weren’t there for the autorouting (ie. OSM based maps), and hand tracing LINZ maps gives a margin of error of 20% (and the displayed tracks aren’t even current). Initially, I thought, I can do better than that for Mal, then I thought if I’m going to do it for him, I’ll/we’ll do it for everyone.
That’s where you all come in. I’ve figured out the process to convert OSM data and LINZ Contours into Garmin maps which you can use on you PC/Mac/Garmin GPS (for free unless you want to feed me beer). I’m updating OSM tracks/trails and other features as best I can but I only run so many trails. So what I need you all to do is install the maps on your PC/Mac/Garmin, tell me if it works (esp. autorouting and elevation profiles), and then give me your GPX traces of trails where the map is rubbish. I can then update the maps and republish as frequently as I can be arsed.
You can also grab yourself an account at http://www.openstreetmap.org and start editing the tracks and features directly if you are keen but be sure to observe convention and good editing practice (starting here is a good idea http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Hiking).
Anyway you can install my maps following the rubbish instructions here:
Garmin and Basecamp Map and instruction