Looking for a free mapping service that loves gravel as much as you do? And has free AI route creation? And can help you steer clear of bad weather? Did I mention it’s free?
Sherpa-Map is an upstart from Eric Semianczuk and friends, and it’s a pure passion project. But they say it’s built on the same GraphHopper backend as RideWithGPS and Komoot. Then they add some fun features, the most exciting one being predictive gravel mapping.
By applying AI to satellite imagery, Sherpa-Map figures out which roads are likely gravel or dirt, then lets you add an overlay to the map so you can route through as much as you can. You can even ask it to try to identify unknown surface types in areas you want to explore.
Their route creation tool is unique, too, letting you choose the distance and general direction, then having it generate some options. It cleverly color codes the route line to indicate elevation change, too. Check their demos here.
It can even help you preview the weather (details here), so you can route around rain or storms. It’ll show recent historical weather and a live radar, and can even show the predicted tailwind all along your route. Wanna set a PR or nab that KOM/QOM? Use the wind to your advantage when selecting the day’s conquest.
The project is small for now, but it already supports 28 routing profiles, the ability to automatically generate routes, send routes to Garmin, support Google Maps/MapBox/Open Street map, ChatGPT route insight, get street view/Google directions, and more.
There’s a Buy Me A Coffee donation button if you try it and like it, which will help them grow into their bolder plans of launching iOS/Android apps for live, turn-by-turn routing (already in development). Definitely worth checking out.