//Trail Status mouse over Java // HMBA Trail Guide Improvements

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mtbikernate

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HMBA Trail Guide Improvements
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:47:43 AM »
Just a tip to you guys.  I made some small improvements to the Trail Guide details pages for the trails already listed.


I was bored at work and poked around on Accuweather's page a bit.  They employed a sneaky tactic to prevent hotlinking of their detailed 24 hour precipitation map that covered Indiana and small parts of our neighboring states.  I dug through the code and found the URL I needed.


I was able to update the 24 hour precipitation map images on our Trail Guide Pages to reflect a LOT more detail than the old one.


I have some more updates on tap for this year for the Trail Guide that should make it a lot more useful to folks.  I'm going to add more trail detail pages as I complete MTB Project listings for them.  If you use a mobile phone, download the MTB Project app for maps and directions.  I am also going to see about adding trails themselves to the overview map at specific zoom levels to avoid cluttering the map too much. 


I have also been working on a trail rating system for use in the Trail Guide.  Stay tuned for that improvement, also.  If you have particular skills that might help with some of these projects, let me know.


What I could use:


People who understand GPS use who can help me get detailed trail data, including geotagged photos.  If you can't geotag them yourself, but have a GPS and a digital camera, I can talk you through what you need to do to collect the data I need.  A phone with GPS is probably not going to cut it for what I need.  I've tried to use data from a phone last year, and it was flaky at best.  Some data was good, but some of it was worse than useless. 


Over the winter, I got my hands on the DNR's Trail Inventory so I have GPS data for many mtb trails (not all).  The file is somewhat old, though, and missing some data.  I need help making sure the data is current and accurate.


People with solid writing skills who know trails I don't have detailed listings for.  I don't HAVE to be the only person submitting trails to MTBProject.  I can help get the trail data in the right format for submission and you can create the detailed listings.  Anyone with geotagged photos can submit them to existing trail listings, also.


I could use folks with coding experience, too.  I have ideas about how I'd like the trail rating system to work.  I would like for each detailed trail page to have a short survey for that trail.  It would ask for information that the MTB Project page does not provide.  For example, I want a similar sort of "star" rating system that covers overall trail quality (indicative of how worthwhile a trail is to travel for a visit).  But I want details, too, like one for how technical the trail is, a rating for climbing difficulty, etc.  I put together some simple images that would be used as indicators of survey results.  I also envision a "trail type" sort of system.  I would have icons for "groomed park cross country trails", "flow trails", "ungroomed backcountry trails", "fire roads", "technical downhill", and "bike park" icons.  Basically those icons would be used on the detailed trail guide pages to indicate the type of riding each destination offers.  BCSP, for example would get an icon for "groomed park cross country trails" currently, and would add an icon for "flow trails" when Hobbs Hollow is done.  SWW would get "groomed park cross country trails", "flow trails", and "technical downhill" when that trail is done.  Nebo Ridge would be "ungroomed backcountry trails".  And so on.  I haven't made those icons yet, so someone with some graphic design skills would be really helpful to make those and maybe even revise the star icons I have already made.


Also utilizing coding expertise, what I want to do with the Google overview map may not be possible with the way I currently display the overview map.  I feed it into an external site for processing a .kml file and displays the map on our site.  We may need to implement the Google Maps API independently on our own site.  It's not too difficult in and of itself, but with the way Wordpress' template files are segmented all to hell, that would make it a lot more complicated.

Fmerritt

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Re: HMBA Trail Guide Improvements
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 12:37:06 PM »
Awesome improvements and information for future improvements Nate!  Keep up the good work.  We may be able to find a few individuals available to assist as we finish up the surveys!
HMBA/IMBA VP & Board Member
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mtbikernate

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Re: HMBA Trail Guide Improvements
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 02:06:34 PM »
After I posted this, I also found a weekly precipitation map, which should be pretty helpful this time of year when the trails don't dry as quickly.

Raleighguy29

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Re: HMBA Trail Guide Improvements
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 03:45:20 PM »
Your doing a great job Nate. 


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mtbikernate

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Re: HMBA Trail Guide Improvements
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 05:21:32 PM »
A page has been added for the Hoosier National Forest North Unit.  Right now, it only includes Nebo Ridge, but will eventually contain Hickory Ridge information.

 

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