The TrailNetwork is all about helping people find popular routes to hike, bike and run. It is essentially a search engine that specializes in making sense of personal GPS tracks that have been recorded by users of popular Activity tracking applications and shared publicly. In more technical terms it is a GPS Track Log Aggregator and Search Engine. The target applications being Garmin Connect, Strava, MapMyFitness,EveryTrail and many other applications that have published public data in search of the perfect route. I mention those applications as possibilities because each of them help consumers record outdoor activities with their GPS and optionally share the activities with friends or the general public. We also recognize that some of the companies offering these applications may be apprehensive to share the data for many legitimate reasons, but I believe that the TrailNetwork offerings will bring many benefits to participating applications and the consumers that use them. I intend to explain why in this and subsequent blog posts, however, first let's see what the TrailNetwork can do.
The above video is playing a Google Earth Tour of the common routes found in Marin County ( Download Tour of Marin KML). The data has come from some of the public Activities published at Garmin Connect. Although the Tour and the data are still in a fairly "raw" state those familar with the trails of Marin County will be inspired as I have been to see many of the routes we've done and others that we'd like to do. Our end product will provide filtered results reducing some of the noise that still made the cut.
In the tour you will see two main items:
- Trailheads (Black and Green Circles)
- Routes (Orange Lines highlighted from each Trailhead)
The white lines are the cumulation of all of the routes included in the Tour which happen make up a fairly clean map compared to displaying raw activities.
Above is just a few Activities displayed from Tennessee Valley without any refinement.
Above is the refined TrailNetwork showing only the popular routes and their associated Trailheads.
Clicking a Route, The Miwok Trail in this case, shows 20 persons contributed to making this a reliable route and a link back to Garmin Connect so the activity may be displayed and distrubuted in detail.
We are in the process of launching TrailNetwork.com, a web destination targeting the general population looking for routes from their desktop and mobile web browsers. We are looking for launch partners that are interested in having the TrailNetwork API crawl their repository of public GPS track logs in exchange for the refined information such as Routes, Trailheads and Leaderboards which would all be available at TrailNetwork.com and/or embedded in your own application using the TrailNetwork's Data and Visualization APIs. Much like the results in a search engine, the information being published at TrailNetwork.com would provide the benefit of sending general consumers back to Application where the data originated.
We truly believe we are offering a complimentary service to any participating Application. We'd love to open up a discussion with you about how the TrailNetwork can benefit your GPS Tracking Application, company and it's consumers.
Creator/Co-Founder TrailNetwork, Inc.
Original Architect/Development Manager of Garmin Connect