Route Distance Chart

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The Trail Finder Spreadsheet (Recreational Route Generator)

Produced by Alex Goodey, the Trail Finder Spreadsheet is a tool in Excel to allow you to produce customised distance charts for a long distance trail or any network of routes that you may wish to promote.

The spreadsheet is split on to five worksheets:

Chart

This is the output page, which you shouldn't need to edit directly. Designed to squeeze on to an A4 page in landscape mode, you can change the formatting to suit whatever branding you need to use.

Bonus_tools

With all this lovely information generated, you can create some great extra tools, including

  • Distance look-up, using drop-down boxes
  • Days calculator, which works out how many days walk your trip will take based on how many miles or km you want to cover each day
  • Speed planner, aimed at faster travellers who want to complete their journey in a particular time or speed, perhaps if they're training for an event
  • Speed analyser, the opposite of the planner. Select the journey and your completion time and it'll work out how fast you travelled.

Chart_metric

If you only know your distances in km and don't care about bonus tools, this will auto-complete a chart for you based on the numbers you have and convert them to miles.

Source

This should be the only part of the spreadsheet you'll need to update. Type your place-names and the distances between them into the table and the rest of the spreadsheet will update automatically.

Read_me

Some extra information on updates, how to use. Hopefully there is enough information here to allow anyone to use this suite of tools

How to use

You will need:

  • Microsoft Excel 2007 (or later) the spreadsheet loses functionality in earlier versions
  • A list of place names
  • The distance between them in miles or kilometres.

Then:

  1. Download the Recreational Route Chart Generator
  2. De-compress the file by double clicking and save the spreadsheet file (with extension .xslx) to your computer.
  3. Open the spreadsheet, you'll see the demonstration data (from the North Downs Way)
  4. Click on the worksheet named 'Source'
  5. Fill in the table between B7 and B32 with locations along your route
  6. Fill in the distance between each location, accurate to one decimal place (this is to balance accuracy versus available space), into the corresponding columns C and D. There's a distance unit conversion tool on the page to help you fill in the second column if you only have distances in one unit.
  7. If you've used exactly 26 locations then the 'Bonus tools' and 'Chart' will work perfectly and look brilliant on screen, any fewer and you will see some formatting errors. If you have fewer than 26 locations, make sure that the rest of the table in the 'Source' worksheet is blank.
  8. Publish! You can tweak your design so it fits your needs, change the table formatting or drop in your route's logo or website details. One neat automatic function is to add conditional formatting, which can add an icon or change the background colour to indicate at a glance which journeys are shortest or longest.