Ride with GPS - Surface Types

Eli Post


In New England, we generally take road surface for granted. Our roads are paved, and mostly in good condition. However in planning a route you might encounter a gravel or dirt section, and now Ride With GPS makes it possible to identify those sections in advance. You don’t want to be caught off guard, but always want to be prepared for the road ahead.

The demo route shown below has a stone-dust path between mile 3 and mile 4. It is shown as a dotted red line, and the elevation profile is also marked.



Ride with GPS offers three surface type categories:

  • Paved – Paved surfaces include asphalt, concrete, and chip seal. Paved surfaces are shown as a solid line.
  • Unpaved – Unpaved surfaces include gravel, dirt, and natural/unimproved trails. Unpaved surfaces are shown as a dashed line.
  • Unknown – When there is insufficient data available about a surface it will show up as unknown. Unknown surfaces are shown as an outlined white line.

If you know a surface type to be incorrectly categorized — ex: paved when it is in fact a gravel road — you can manually edit the surface type as you plan your route.

This is a tool only available in the web route planner.

To manually edit surface type on a route:

  • Select the section of the route you’d like to edit in the elevation profile
  • In the Selection Tools menu, click Change Surface
  • Click Paved or Unpaved > Change Surface
  • Save your route

More detailed information on surface types is here Surface Types | Ride With GPS Help. RWGPS notes that "surface type data is only available for about 10% of all roads so it's pretty sparse," but you can sugget surface updates at  https://ridewithgps.com/help/edit-routing-data#Contribute 









I’ve noticed this feature lately, and lots of times RWGPS has marked paved sections as unpaved. Other than manually correcting it each time for each segment, do we know whether there is a process for getting RWGPS to correct these on their base maps?