How do you cover a town?


Mansfield Ohio has a population of 40.000. They have a place I like to eat on Sundays. To get the best deal I must get there at 10;30 in the morning. This gives me about 2,5 hours of daylight this time of year before I get to eat on Sundays. I spend that time mapping the town. Ive been covering Mansfield Ohio for about 3 months
The town still has plenty of unmapped roads and roads I’ve only gotten going one direction.
How do others systemsticly cover a town?
I have also been working on Kenton, Mount Vernon Marrion and even Columbus Ohio

The only town I feel I’ve completely mapped going both ways on all streets is Mount Gilead where I live and where I’m stuck when I have no wheels.
I talked to someone at the State of the map in Detroit. They said they try to take every other right. Then when they complete a town that way they start taking every other left.
How do you map a town?
Completing a town is not easy.


too many things to consider. if you are doing it on your own, and at this time of the year, can’t really do it fast


I use routing apps like to plan crazy and extensive bike rides. There’s no obvious right answer to figuring out the optimal route unless your town is a perfect grid with no inconsistencies (which I think is impossible). If you’re so lucky, I figured out how to get both directions of a 4×4 grid (except for the outer counter-clockwise path) in one go.

Here’s an example:

Basically, you start at the corner, going clockwise. Go Right, Straight, RRRS, RS (2×), RRRS (3×), RS (2×), RRRS (3×), RS (2×), RRRS (3×), RS (2×), RRRS, R.

So essentially, it’s four times RRRS (3×), RX (2×), and you could start anywhere in that sequence. However, if you start at the corner, when you come back to the same corner, you could start fresh at the next 4×4, giving you a total possible unbroken route of 8×8 blocks (which in my example is 24 mind-numbing miles).

That’s the ideal, I guess. In reality, I try to do similar clover-leaf loops of stupidly non-square blocks, usually in groups of three, not four, so I can usually get about 5 or 6 blocks unbroken without repeats. I spend a lot more time planning routes and processing photos than I do collecting them…


I do this mapping year round.
I’ve always worked alone. I’m sure there must be others like myself.


The city of Mansfield, like many Ohio towns was laid out by a drunk cow.


It still looks a bit easier to cover than european towns.
I too map by myself, sometimes getting a ride with someone. Not going for speed, so just trying to capture things when I am out. With snow covering most things the last couple of weeks, not even thinking of doing a dedicated mapping run


@JBTheMilker this is a good issue. I don’t have some of my old info available right now. I know some others have mentioned some tools. I haven’t looked at them yet but I’d like to. Getting a street both ways is the tricky part.


Once a road is covered one direction it turns green. You are right, getting everything going both ways is very hard.


I’d like a formula that would insure my hitting all roads in both directions.
Ive been eorking on this this morning as I work on some of the sub divisions of northern Columbus.


I start by car. When there is a choice between a one direction and a two direction street, take the one direction. For simplicity I take long streets and drive them to the end. I also try not to cross busy roads.
Then I can start the keep right (or left) strategy.
In most towns it is best to finish by bicycle, or you will reiterite the same stroke.
And by car you cannot catch everything anyway.