I would like to do the following:

  • Create a route in Google Maps on the PC and save it under my account

Set Start and Target and let google maps create a route for my bicycle. Change the route and insert via-points to optimize the route. (Avoid ways with a lot of cars)

Save the route under my account

  • Open the route on my Android Device (Google Maps App?) and navigate with the route. The route should have the via-points.

I only managed to create the map on the PC and opened it in a special app called 'Google Maps Engine' on my Android device, which only shows the route. I can't navigate.

Is this possible?

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because software is off topic for this stack. Please ask your question on softwarerecs.stackexchange.com and use the Cycling tag.
    – Criggie
    Mar 18, 2016 at 2:11

7 Answers 7


I don't know that you can do this with the apps you are talking about.

However there is hope. Going back to first principles, you have a pc on which you want to create your route, and you have an android device which you want to stick on your bike and use for navigation. Correct?

If you accept that you need to abandon Google Maps altogether, there are whole companies such as RideWithGps who offer this kind of thing. You create your map through their site (as it happens one of the options is to use Google mapping, but there are other options too - including bike path mapping which may be useful for avoiding cars). You save your routes on their site, under an account that you create.

I use this part of their service a lot and I know it works well.

As regards tracking, they offer an Android app designed for exactly that. I have not tried it.

I have a pay subscription with these guys and it didn't cost a lot. But I know they also offer a free account so you might be able to do what I've said for free. I know the Android app is available through the Google App Store but have no idea whether it costs.

Probably worth saying that there are a bunch of known issues with using phones for this kind of thing. Two that immediately spring to mind are battery life (GPS and screen are always on) and a way of securing the phone to the bike without the risk of it flying off.

In the interest of fairness, other companies which offer this kind of thing include MapMyRide and Strava but I only really know of these in passing - in particular I'm not sure how they handle the tracking side. Also Garmin Connect, which I know quite well (and you don't need a Garmin computer to use), and which also has a complementary Android app. Any of these might be better than RWGps in doing what you're looking for.

  • Thanks very much for your detailed answer and I will try that. I still be interested to know if this is also possible with pure google maps. Mar 24, 2014 at 5:38
  • www.endomondo.com is another app that does all this as well. It even breaks up cycling into its three main types: sport, commuting, and mountain, and handles other exercises. It uses Google maps and allows you to create a route before with turn by turn or after your ride if you found a cool one you want to do again.
    – BPugh
    Mar 24, 2014 at 12:10

If you are planning your tour for Europe, you can give komoot a try. It offers exactly that: Planning a route on PC, synchronizing it with your Android or iOS device, and letting your mobile device navigate you along your route - even with voice navigation.

However, you have to pay for voice navigation and offline maps. You pay for each "region" where you want to enable these features. They full package costs €30. In my opinion, it is worth the money, but you have to decide for yourself. The first region (your home region) is free, so you can try it before buying.

One advantage of komoot is that planning a route for your bicycle already takes bicycle paths, bike lanes and roads with few cars into account. It allows you even to select if you want to go by a racing bike, road bike or mountainbike, and picks the appropriate paths.

  • Great hint with komoot. Thats exacly what I searched. Is there a way to see all public routes from other users on the map in Komoot ? I did not manage to do that. Mar 28, 2014 at 9:20
  • @user1344545 Unfortunately not. There is a feature request (german) for this, but it does not seem that it will be implemented soon. However, you can take a look at bikemap.net, which shows routes on a map made by other people.
    – Uooo
    Mar 28, 2014 at 9:30

If you are willing to use slightly different tools I think I can help. You can plot a route with the excellent BikeHike which uses Google Maps data and shows you OS maps alongside. You can then use the route on your phone with the OsmAnd (Android) app - which offers turn-by-turn voice navigation with offline maps and with your display disabled, saving battery.

Getting the route out of BikeHike and into OsmAnd is the main problem I think. So far I have found the best approach is:

  1. In BikeHike save the route to your PC (GPX track format I think)
  2. Transfer the saved track to your phone (I use Google Drive for this)
  3. Move the track to the phone's local storage at /osmand/tracks (install the OsmAnd app first of course)
  4. Finally open the track in Osmand by switching to bike mode, hitting the bike icon bottom right, select GPX route, then your route should be displayed.

You may have to fiddle about downloading offline maps and voice as well to get OsmAnd setup just right.

Unfortunately I don't have enough reputation to post all the links I used to work this out - they have more detailed instructions but can be found with Google. Hopefully this is enough to get you going.


The short answer is, unfortunatly, no. It used to be possible to fudge it - you could save your routes on the computer, and apply them as a layer on the phone, highlighting the roads. However, this functionality was removed a couple of years back. There are several groups calling for it to be reintroduced, so with some luck it'll be back as a feature one day!


The thing with Google Maps is this: you can design the route with every internal route point in between on the web and then copy/paste the URL and send it to yourself. For example: via email and click the link on an Android device.

What you will get is a navigation of the route, not exactly of the same route you designed on the desktop (web), but rather a similar one that will pass through every point you added.

The mobile device recalculates the optimal route and quite often that route is not identical to the one calculated on the web.

Google Maps does have navigation (for some countries).

  • 1
    One thing I would say from experience is that you have to be careful how much routing you want the software to do for you. For example its no good if the route takes you along motorways. I have found you do need to be quite "hands-on".
    – PeteH
    Mar 24, 2014 at 12:21

I know this is probably outdated, but you actually can do it with google maps. You have to create route on your pc copy the link from the browser with the route and send it over to your android (for example you can do it by sending an email to yourself). On your android open said link with google maps app and voila - the route is there.


I have yet another option that uses GoogleMaps or Google Earth in the route designing phase, but another app in the Android.

I Use Wikiloc for that (Just search the term "Wikiloc"). Wikiloc is a service for tracking sport routes and shraring them. You install the app in your phone for tracking and navigating. You can upload the routes that you record or keep them localy.

If you want to import a route that was designed in other application, like Google Earth, just save the path as a .gpx file and copy it to your Android's device storage, then use your device's file browser to open the file. If Wikiloc is the default app for opening GPX files, it will automatically import the track, and allow you to follow it later.

I have used it for mountain biking, and it has allowed me to follow routes traced by somebody else. I just have to import them into my phone. Remember tracks are saved with a tag that indicates the sport on wich the route was recorded. In your case you would use "Cycling Transport" (There are also "Cycling" meant for Road Cycling and "Mountain Biking").

Once you have your account and trace (or upload?) your first route, Wikiloc will send a notification to your email when other people post routes that that are close to yours, and that is why I recommend it. You can also browse their website for routes previously uploaded.

Besides Wikiloc I use another app called Endomondo to keep a record of my rides and commutes. It is also sports based but oriented to training, so it saves a history that you can review later to analyze your performance or simply have an online registry of how much you have ridden, walked, ran, etc. A couple of times I have copied a path from Endomondo to Wikiloc by using the method described above, I just export a gpx file from the Endomondo's web site and open it with Wikiloc. (If done from the phone, use a browser, I haven't yet foud a way of exporting the gpx from within the app).




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