Site Update – 29th Jan 22

A fairly big update today.

It may look like not a lot happens on here, but behind the scenes there is frequently a lot of work in progress.

There’s a few big changes in the pipeline, but today’s release is more concerned with fixing up some glaring issues, and standardising the locations of all the climbs.

Standard Addressing

For each climb on the site, I get given some geographic co-ordinates and have to figure out where in the world that actually is.

This is a process called ‘reverse geolocation’.

That information then allows me to put the climb in the correct country > region > town / city, etc.

For the first ~500,000 climbs I used an online service to do the reverse geocode which was restricted to 10,000 lookups per day. When you have millions of addresses to check, that isn’t exactly a viable long term option.

So, I switched to a service called nominatim which has no such daily restrictions.

However, it does return addresses in a different format to what I had. That meant re-doing all the address lookups for every climb in the database… which took ages.

Anyway, here we are. Now all the climbs use the same format, so we should be in a lovely place.

Crazy Gradients

The other big ‘fix’ in this release is the removal of some wild climbs.

Here’s an example:

That gradient wouldn’t look out of place on Ninja Warrior. How one is expected to traverse such an incline on a bicycle… well, who knows.

However, of course, that segment is utter nonsense. Somewhere, somehow, the data is corrupt.

Previously, nonsense like this would find its way into the listed climbs.

Now, they should be removed.

The parameters I’ve set now remove any climb that jumps 15 metres in ascent over any 10 meters of distance. Or, any climb that has any average gradient of > 50%. Even this may be too loose, and on the surface of it, a 50% gradient sounds… well, bonkers. But due to some data discrepancies, some valid climbs do occasionally throw out some wild numbers.

Hopefully this has cleaned up the data significantly.

More To Come

As above, I have plenty on my todo list. Primarily this is around finding climbs more easily when you are in locations you may not normally ride in.

An example of this is when I go away with work, or on holiday (less so with Covid around), I want to know where to ride by being able to do like a ‘find my location’ then show me some good looking hills.

That’s the aim.

As I have a full time job and this is an absolute labour of love, when or how quickly such functionality will arrive is to be determined 🙂

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