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For the next summer I'm planning to drive to some countries that aren't covered by the route planning tool of Google Maps. What other possibilities do I have to calculate the route approximately in advance?

Especially, Russia, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.

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Well, you can go old-shool: buy a decent road atlas. Usually there is a table with distances between larger cities (either at the beginning or at the end) - so using it you can have an idea about the scale. Moreover, on every decent road map you will have distances on the actual map - however these are usually between junctions etc., so you will have to sum up quite a few of them to get the distance for a longer route.

  • +1 since it is a good and valid solution. Nevertheless I'm looking for something from the 21. century ;) – RoflcoptrException Oct 9 '11 at 15:15
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    wait a few years until 21. century tools are available for these countries? :-P – Grzenio Oct 9 '11 at 15:57
  • It's pretty hard to estimate the driving distance of a windy road. – hippietrail Oct 9 '11 at 21:46
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    @hippietrail, the point is that the actual distances are written on the map (a number), so you don't have to estimate them. The issue is that usually the map gives you only the short distances between junctions - so you have to add them up. – Grzenio Oct 10 '11 at 7:17
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    Whats wrong with maps? They work without internet access and don't need a battery charge after looking at them for 4h...? – iHaveacomputer Oct 11 '11 at 8:23
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You could try locally made maps, such as OpenStreetMap, it might cover the area you want to go on.

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    I love OpenStreetMaps but it doesn't do routes. If it does tell me how! – hippietrail Oct 18 '11 at 9:54
  • OpenStreetMap.org doesn't do routes, but people use OSM data to write routing websites. Here's one: maps.cloudmade.com – Rory Oct 18 '11 at 10:14
  • And apps such as NavDroyd (Android app) let you do routing within it, despite using OpenStreetMaps as a source. Truly fantastic :) – Mark Mayo Oct 19 '11 at 11:23
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On my question about a particular route in Albania that Google Maps gave weird results for, I was recommended that a site that had better route information in East Europe is "Tomtom".

Then again I just tried it with the Albanian city I'm now in, Sarandë, and it's not so great after all, so maybe trying multiple sites and comparing is your best bet when you think your destinations might not have full coverage.

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    There are several mapping/satnav companies. TomTom is one of them, TeleAtlas (which Google Maps use) is another one. – Rory Oct 18 '11 at 9:21
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For my recent trip through the 'stans, Tom Tom's Route Planner worked fantastically.

In addition, I used NavDroyd, an app for my Android phone. It uses OpenStreetMaps, which you can choose within the app to download maps for the regions and subregions of your choice beforehand. That way you have the maps with you all the time, and yes, it supports routing. Really fantastic little app - it cost me a few Euros, but was totally worth it.

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to calculate the road you will go with google map is very difficult, but not not do it, I think you should ask friends about the distance you will pass, because google only the distance between locations, and the problem problem you will encounter when involved in traffic on the road, then no. Wish you a good journey!

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    Incorrect because Google Maps gives road distance, not direct distance between two locations. It is true however that traffic data isn't available in all countries. – Ankur Banerjee Oct 10 '11 at 8:56

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