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Ride Planning & Live Route Collaboration: Reviewing the MapMagic Mapping App


MapMagic is a powerful and collaborative route planning tool for discovering, creating, and organizing routes all over the world. We've been testing MapMagic during our winter adventure planning and have a review ready to share.

To learn more and start mapping with a free account, visit MapMagic. This review is part of a sponsored partnership with MapMagic.


Initial Thoughts About MapMagic

During winter months, mapping becomes a major hobby of mine. I would categorize my interest in mapping two ways: discovery and collecting. A huge interest of mine is discovering new places to ride such as gravel routes, fat bike adventures, and bikepacking planning. I want to aggregate as many sources of information to come up with great places to bike.




I've been playing around MapMagic for the last several weeks and really love how intuitive it is. About a year ago I was curious about another mapping app and after spending a few hours I quickly realized that it would take a prohibitive amount of time getting used to the interface. MapMagic was easy to learn without tutorials and user forms which got me right into using the 50+ layers to uncover places to ride. I really liked that the Strava global heatmap is one of the layers and that you can filter it out to just cycling heatmaps since it's the #1 app for cycling.


The other big way I use mapping apps is collecting ideas for future rides. MapMagic gives you several ways to organize and pull in saved routes. While mapping, you can add as many different routes as you'd like, along with color coding. But you can also divide individual routes into segments for multi-day adventures. It's nice to have a few different ways to organize routes both for separating the information as well as creating a way to customize the visualization of your plans.


Using MapMagic to Plan Multi-Day Bikepacking Adventures

Planning a great new bikepacking route is challenging. The perfect route hits some really great highlights while also getting off the beaten path. Because you're out for several days, you want your map dialed in with a daily plan, clearly marked points-of-interest, and backup route options in case things go murky.


Multiple Segments & Layered Routes

As mentioned there are a few ways to organize a multi-day route and which one you choose depends on your own style. You can layer multiple routes or you turn a single route into multiple segments. Each segment is independently customizable and exportable for planning, organizing, and sharing.


205 POI Types with Color-Customization

I've often been frustrated with the lack of POI options on other map apps. Planning a multi-day trip usually includes wanting to mark camping, cabins, groceries, waterfalls, train stations, drinks, shelters, water sources, and a LOT more.


Ride With GPS, for example, has 39 POI options where MapMagic has 205. Then you can also color code with 8 color options. Sure, you could just use a generic 'info' POI whenever you want to mark something that isn't an available option in Ride With GPS but to me, how the information on a map is visualized matters a lot and MapMagic gives the most options of any app I'ved used.



Live Group Collaboration for Trips with Friends

This is by far the coolest feature and I haven't seen any other map apps that can do this.


I've had many fruitless route planning experiences where friends share map screenshots or endless route links back and forth.



Live group collaboration completely removes that and puts everybody in the same live map conversation at the same time. Everyone can see each other's mouse movements while you're discussing plans and anybody can make edits to the route and it's instantly reflected on the shared map.


The learning curve is extremely low and it quickly becomes like discussing the bikepacking version of a live Google Doc.


Our 4 Favorite Features of MapMagic

The simple interface combined with some really powerful features make this a great tool for casual ride planning as well as in-depth and highly detailed route creation.


After playing around it for a while, here are our favorite things.


1. 50+ map layers

This opens up a lot of customization options and is just a lot of fun to explore.



2. Massive amount of POI types

I like to add a lot of detail to my maps. The 205 POIs with 8 color choices is a great feature for planning and visualization.


3. Live collaboration

I love mapping sessions and I love group adventures and this really makes a big difference with group planning.


4. Simple and beautiful interface

Map Magic feels great and isn't a burden to learn a new app. The features make it worth it and it's a simple curve to get up to speed.


MapMagic Conclusion

MapMagic is a user-friendly mapping tool with over 50 layers, making it easy to discover and plan cycling routes. Its standout features include multi-day trip organization, a vast list of 205 POI types, and live group collaboration for real-time planning with friends. MapMagic's simplicity and powerful features make it an excellent choice for both casual and detailed ride planning.


To learn more and start mapping, visit MapMagic.

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