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David Metsky
06-29-2007, 04:45 PM
From the AMC Boards (http://appalachia.outdoors.org/bbs/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=8912):


Hi everyone,

As many of you know, AMC will be launching an online companion to the White Mountain Guide later this summer (August launch date TBA). This interactive tool will allow you the opportunity to search & explore the expert content & maps from the WMG as well as build a custom itinerary using the maps, with your total mileage, elevation gain and "book time" automatically calculated as you go. We will be charging an annual subscription fee for this application.

We will also be launching a free community area to partner with the guidebook content, which will tie user-submitted trip reports and user-reported trail conditions in with the information provided on the map. We are very much looking forward to offering this service!

We are seeking Beta testers for this application! If you wish to help us out by previewing this service (for free) and provide feedback during a test period (that we estimate will be a 10-day period during the final two weeks of July - exact dates TBD), please send your first & last name with email address to my attention at webeditor@outdoors.org. Including "WMG Beta Test" in the subject line would be helpful.

Please forward this to any of your friends in the online outdoor recreation enthusiast community who may be interested.

Thanks much in advance for those of you willing to help us out. For the rest of you, more info to come on how you'll be able to maintain your online identity in this new community (we're reserving your usernames just for you!)

Happy hiking,
Kelly Powers
AMC Web Manager

NewHampshire
06-29-2007, 04:59 PM
I exercise the right to keep the source secret (since I don't know if said person really wished this to be public or not) but, I have it from a good source that this "free" trip report/trail condition section is the AMC's attempt to replace the VFTT trail conditions page. Why they have chosen to take on VFTT is beyond me, but I guess that is testament to the popularity of that section of this site.

Brian

psmart
06-29-2007, 07:25 PM
I have it from a good source that this "free" trip report/trail condition section is the AMC's attempt to replace the VFTT trail conditions page.
Brian
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't know that VFTT had a specific section for trail condition reports. Of course, the trip reports contain lots of info on trail conditions, but it's pretty hard for a hiker or trail worker to easily extract all the recent information on a specific trail or route. If the on-line WMG will provide that capability it would be very helpful.

NewHampshire
06-29-2007, 08:09 PM
If you look at the bottom of the page there is 5 tabs (home, forums, TrailConditions, gallery, postcards). CLick on the Trail conditions and you will find a page open to anyone (not just registered users of the forum) to post Trail conditions reports ONLY,not trip reports.

Brian

*EDIT* Since I came along to this site well after the establishment of the forum, then someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Trail Conditions report is what made VFTT popular long before there was a forum.

Nutsosa
06-29-2007, 08:24 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't know that VFTT had a specific section for trail condition reports.



http://www.vftt.org/trail/index.html

psmart
06-29-2007, 08:32 PM
If you look at the bottom of the page there is 5 tabs (home, forums, TrailConditions, gallery, postcards). CLick on the Trail conditions and you will find a page open to anyone (not just registered users of the forum) to post Trail conditions reports ONLY,not trip reports.

Good to know! I've been using a link that takes me directly to the forums www.vftt.org/forums/ which doesn't show these navigation buttons at the bottom. Same with the links in the notification emails.

Still, it would be great to have this info organized by trail, rather than chronological reports. I know this idea was discussed in a previous thread, but maybe the WMG site will have a way to access this trail-by-trail.

NewHampshire
06-29-2007, 08:42 PM
From what I gathered the AMC version would indeed have instant click access to trail conditions by simply clicking on a trail name.

Brian

David Metsky
06-29-2007, 09:29 PM
Frankly, if the AMC wants to provide that service there's nothing wrong with it. I don't see this can be a bad thing. I know a lot of the folks at the AMC web world as well, and I really don't see this as an attempt to take over from VftT.

dentonfabrics
06-29-2007, 10:17 PM
Frankly, if the AMC wants to provide that service there's nothing wrong with it. I don't see this can be a bad thing. I know a lot of the folks at the AMC web world as well, and I really don't see this as an attempt to take over from VftT.


I hope you're right Dave. AMC and VFTT are two groups I'm happy to be a member of and I'd hate their relationship to be contentious.

As a matter of fact, I'm almost surprised AMC hasnt reached out to VFTT to form at least an informal type of partnership. With all the knowledge and experience here on this board, I cant help but think that our opinions and input could be of value to AMC in certain matters.

I volunteered to be a Beta tester, btw. I've been looking forward to getting my hands on that app since I heard about it last year!


bob

rocksnrolls
07-03-2007, 11:41 AM
Good to know! I've been using a link that takes me directly to the forums www.vftt.org/forums/ which doesn't show these navigation buttons at the bottom. Same with the links in the notification emails.

Still, it would be great to have this info organized by trail, rather than chronological reports. I know this idea was discussed in a previous thread, but maybe the WMG site will have a way to access this trail-by-trail.
When looking for a particular trail I use ctrl-F and type in the trail name

Gris
07-03-2007, 12:29 PM
Looks to me like another way to charge folks for using the forest or rather the web. It said the 10-day "preview" was free, not the ultimate service. Why anyone would want to pay for on-line mapping that currently is free is beyond me...?

Jason Berard
07-03-2007, 12:36 PM
my understanding is that this is to be a free service with the purchase of a new WMG once it is up and running, but I could be wrong.

Kevin Rooney
07-03-2007, 12:43 PM
*EDIT* Since I came along to this site well after the establishment of the forum, then someone please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the Trail Conditions report is what made VFTT popular long before there was a forum.

Brian - I think you're right, at least in the several years I've frequented VFTT. The current detailed trip reports are a relatively new phenonemon. IIRC, it would be a rarity to see one. But, they seem to be popular now, making up a large number of the threads.

Personally, I never read the Trail Conditions reports unless snow and ice accumulate on them (the trails, not the reports). The WMG, edited by Steve Smith, tells me exactly what to expect on WMNF trails - it's been a work in progress for scores of years, and that's what makes it special. As for specific trail conditions during the rest of the year - every winter there are blowdowns, and by early spring they're cleared. The snow has always melted, the bugs have always come out, and the rocks are slippery when wet ... ;)

But, YMMV -

dug
07-03-2007, 12:57 PM
Brian - I think you're right, at least in the several years I've frequented VFTT. The current detailed trip reports are a relatively new phenonemon. IIRC, it would be a rarity to see one. But, they seem to be popular now, making up a large number of the threads.

Personally, I never read the Trail Conditions reports unless snow and ice accumulate on them (the trails, not the reports). The WMG, edited by Steve Smith, tells me exactly what to expect on WMNF trails - it's been a work in progress for scores of years, and that's what makes it special. As for specific trail conditions during the rest of the year - every winter there are blowdowns, and by early spring they're cleared. The snow has always melted, the bugs have always come out, and the rocks are slippery when wet ... ;)

But, YMMV -

I agree re: reading the trail conditions. Really only in the winter to see if it's broken out; tough blowdowns which may affect ski conditions, etc. I may read a trail that I was on to see if I recognized anyone via their post.

David Metsky
07-03-2007, 01:54 PM
Trail conditions are important in the winter and spring, for sure, but they are not what made the Lexicomm boards (rec.backcountry.useful) popular back in the day. Trail conditions was always a side business.

The AMC maps are not available online. They are IMO much better for the type of hiking I do versus topo maps. Having the ability to search and prepare personal maps from those sources would be worth a lot to me. Plus, this could increase the number of trip reports and trail condition reports available to the average hiker, and more info is a good thing.

RoySwkr
07-03-2007, 07:03 PM
On the one hand, it sounds great to be able to click on a link and see the current conditions on a trail. On the other hand, a hike to many common destinations requires hiking on multiple trails and I'm not sure anybody will bother breaking out trail conditions that fine, it's hard enough to get them all posted under the correct state.

There is a fine line between trail conditions (what the trail was like today) and trip reports (what our hike was like). "Slopped in the mud" might be common to both. "Joe told corny jokes" might be limited to #2. "Saw a large bear" might be only #2 but if it hangs around a certain area might also belong in #1.

There are also a lot of photographs included in some trip reports. Those showing the participants standing in front of the car are probably of interest only to themselves and their friends while those showing brook crossings or ladders are properly part of trail conditions and it would be nice if a gallery could be collected. (A woman once asked if she could reach the summit of Garfield with her wrist in a cast and after I posted a photo she did it.) Photos of "views from the top" show why you might want to go there but are they trail conditions?

Gris
07-04-2007, 09:06 AM
The AMC maps are not available online. They are IMO much better for the type of hiking I do versus topo maps. Dave, what is so much better about the AMC maps? I have WMG and have looked at topos and don't see THAT much difference. I'll concede the WMG verbal descriptions are nice, but I don't think their maps are so special - maybe just campsites, points of interest, etc. Is that what you're talking about?

Stan
07-05-2007, 03:11 PM
The services offerred on this planned website are interesting but I'm having difficulty understanding why anyone would want to pay for a computer to lay out a route, a sort of mapquest for hikers I guess. That's part of my fun of planning and preparing for a trip, researching options and deciding on routes, bailouts, schedules etc.

I think there could be a serious safety compromise in deferring too much to a computer; sort of like a trip where a leader does all the preparation and participants face the prospect of being hard pressed to do more than follow the leader ... well, what if something happens to the leader?

It may be a personal matter but it also seems to degrade the experience in other ways, too. There is often a madness to my methods ... I'd be really worried if the computer came up with the same plan as me. :eek:

As for the trip reports, I prefer VFTT's trail conditions and reports to what AMC now has (and a comparison of the two suggests that many others agree) but there is always room for new approaches and ideas. Somehow I doubt that this new service will elevate the quality of the reports we can now utilize.