Mapping the Tour: Prototype #1.2

Stage 13 culminates in a first category climb of the Col de Palaquit (1154m) followed by the ‘hors catégorie’ summit finish at Chamrousse (1730m). Stage 14 meanwhile, contains the Col d’Izoard, the highest point of this year’s race at 2360m.

Contour bands

The new stage portions that we’ve mapped are considerably longer and more mountainous than the stage 10 ascent to La Planche des Belles Filles, which has presented some interesting problems to consider.

Our 3D maps use contour bands set at 50m intervals. Stage 10 ranged from 383m in the valley, to the highest point of 1216m at the summit of the nearby Ballon de Servance mountain – 17 bands in total. Stage 13 in contrast, has a lowest point of 183m in Grenoble and a much higher peak of 2237m – 41 bands. Stage 18 contains the highest mountain across all six stages we’re mapping. The colour gradient we chose for Stage 10 is not robust enough to cope with the greater variances in height on the subsequent stages we’ve built. In all, 57 bands of colour are required to span all six maps, since keeping the colours consistent between stages is crucial in understanding the relative differences in height.

Additional context

Stage 13 contains a very prominent, flat valley between the final two climbs of the day and a noticeably straight section of road. At first glance this appears very odd, until you realise this entire valley region contains the city of Grenoble. While we have explored methods for adding additional context such as rivers, tree-lines and built up areas, we’ve yet to implement any. We’ve intentionally steered ourselves away from the Google maps aesthetic, removing extraneous information to create a simplified map that is easier to interpret in terms of race events. However, some additional context in this instance would benefit orientation and an understanding of scale.


We’ve now implemented autorefresh to the prototype, so viewing it live should be considerably easier as the race positions and real-time events will appear instantly. We’ve shifted the live prototype to a dedicated URL, with all the latest maps to date: