The Adventure Cycling Association, North America’s largest cycling organization, is embracing GIS to produce their popular cycling maps. The map series that began in 1977 with hand drawing on mylar was migrated to computer illustration software in 1995, and are now being produced with GIS after hiring a GIS specialist in spring of 2008. The group produces maps of 24 routes that span more than 38,000 miles through North America — one of the largest cycling route networks in the world.
The group carefully selects the routes to link rural road for low-traffic bike routes through scenic countryside. The cartographic team has recently completed the conversion of their Great Parks South Bicycle map to a GIS illustration, with added detail, shaded relief and a more accurate scale and scale bar.
“GIS utilizes a database to generate road representations with greater accuracy,” says routes and mapping director Carla Majernik, “and we believe it will permit speedier revisions of our maps in the future. It also keeps our Routes and Mapping Department in step with the latest technologies in cartography.”