Go For a Walk – Share – The Future for Mobile Travel Guides? North Face and EveryTrails

August 4, 2010

in iphone, Location & Context

Saw this announcement below for the North Face Trailhead App downloaded and had a quick look. After finding the trails near me (it’s accurate and they are good walks and biking areas) I looked at my current location. What impressed me (without a full usage experience – eg my own walk etc) was how this App can capture new trails and routes. That’s record your tracks. It’s based on everytrail.com which I’d never heard of – well till now. (Another example of how social media, mobile etc can pull you into a network). “EveryTrail is the best way to share trips, connect with other travelers and find great new things to do.” The slideshare is a demo of the EveryTrail app which is similar to the NorthFace app. As far as I can tell quickly the North Face app has most PRO features and is free. NorthFace may also have different categories and I think the “value added” maps aren’t available that way.

The North Face® Announces Trailhead Application for iPhone | Earth Times News

The North Face Trailhead Application, powered by EveryTrail, dynamically locates trails, including hiking loops, bike routes, backcountry ski trails and more, based on location. Users can easily search by activity, activity length and other user ratings. Route, distance, speed and elevation are captured in real-time for quick sharing with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, and EveryTrail.com.

This app leverages so much that is good about social networks, location/maps and mobile.

  • First it provides local trail information at the click of a button. Eg open it and it is just there. It will also provide directions to the start point. Thus this is around me or yelp for trails rather than coffee and restaurants.
  • Second it enables you to do your own trails and maps and will follow you. (I don’t know if it will run effectively in the background in tracking mode and it probably requires a connection to work (big issue in our outback areas). I like this track feature which enables you to share your walks. Don’t know if it downloads maps for offline use.
  • Photo’s can be integrated with the route.Videos in EveryTrailPro. Keep a record and then decide whether you want to share. Not sure if there is any discrete share in EveryTrails yet. Eg with a club, or family or friends.
  • With Photo’s etc you can add waypoint descriptions. These could be as fun as you want. It brings Geo-caching to mind. You can also share your trips on Twitter or Facebook.
  • At the end you can finish your trip. Make it public or not. And that for me is one of the most powerful elements. Your trip can become easily followed by someone else.
  • There’s no book a walk or invite type thing apparent to me currently. I’m thinking more about making it easy to join a group at a local walking place on say Saturday at 10:00 am. Eg People planning walks near you. Easier to do in a club format.

When I looked at this I also put a motorcycle touring hat on. I would have loved to have used it in some way to make notes about my recent trip take pictures etc. Eg what do I look for when I’m headed somewhere. Some interesting places to grab a bite, the photo opps, overnight spots maybe etc. I’d suggest BMW quickly adapt and brand this for motorcycle rides. It will be about smaller communities with people looking for others with similar interests. Thus I like the wiki like way this works and with with users can create and share their trips.

After a little looking around. Use the NorthFace app over the Everytrails Free app as it isn’t focused on selling $1.99 for guides. I joined EveryTrail and linked my Facebook account – I have no friends on Facebook currently using it. I note in comments that many would like calorie burning info as part of it. It’s very early days. Yet this app just demonstrates to me how I could capture more of my lifestream and how I could come to understand it’s intersections.

So turn your trips into interactive storylines. See this on FOX

This is a great app to look at if you write Michelin Green or Red Guides. Or if you are the AAA or Lonely Planet or provide some other triptick type routing service. While these are my trips – I wonder how it would work with Navigate/Mapquest – or Observations by others in the area. Example HearPlanet tried a different type of model. Then if you are Garmin etc. Nothing is really new in Everytrails all the core approaches have now been round for at least 5 years. I see many areas where it demos opportunities well. Eg Health and running, or keeping records for expenses. My Trip today for the sales rep etc, combination of map, store updates, issues etc. Nice way to share it.

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