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Thread: Hiking by App

  1. #16
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky View Post
    Wow, a bunch of us folks with 2003-4 join dates in one thread.
    Indeed.

    And we were all probably some of the earliest users of technology in our hiking/climbing travels. I bet almost all of us “old timers” have used this or similar sites to check on trail conditions before heading out ... especially in winter. Who amongst us has not waited for some clear indication on the internet that a trail has been broken-out instead of blindly hoping that we weren’t going to be armpit deep in trail breaking? Same overall idea, IMO ... the technology has just evolved. I don’t use the Guthook App (never heard of it before this thread) but it sounds kind of cool and someone taking the time to research his/her hike in such a manner is probably pretty unlikely to hike themselves into trouble based on lack of preparation. Having said that, there is also a lot of questionable/inaccurate information on the internet that I’m sure has helped get folks into non-ideal situations. You just have to know how to filter the good from the bad.

  2. #17
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    Some thread drift

    I was an early adopter of GPS and adopted it way too early to the point where I went back to maps. I also remember having to buy recent aerial photos one at time from various federal agencies by snail mail. I expect few folks are familiar with the USGS orthophotoquads but I had bought a few over the years especially when the USGS was backlogged with the forced upgrade from 15 minute quads to 7.5 minute quads in rural areas. While sectioning the AT I lived through the long debate if the Wingfoot guide "ruined a thru hike" by institutionalizing random acts of trail magic into hard and fast expectations by thru hikers. In most cases the limiting factor was an accurate location of the trail on an accurate up to date contour map. In most cases the AT mapping was not great prior to my sectioning, although I happened to get lucky and many of the various trail maintaining clubs were in the process of upgrading their official maps tied to the 7.5 minute USGS upgrade in the late eighties. For several years GPS technology accurate enough for trail use was usually paid for and copyrighted by clubs and most were very protective of that particular IP as it was a major source of revenue to most clubs as they were the ones with the good maps. I expect AMC got a lot of revenue every time a new guide was issued as there really wasn't a lot of competition until a few privateers started carving out high use areas for slick maps that could be sold through tourist channels. MATC got a big chunk of their revenue from trail guides and the map set included with them and I don't think they have figured out a way to replace it and expect AMC is seeing the same issue. AMC did try to keep revenue by selling subscription access to the online WMG but has finally given up and I wonder how long before the WMG ceases to be published.

    Now with more accurate portable GPS equipment and crowd sourcing its far easier to sell accurate trail data, the problem is unless there is way to fund trail maintenance and protection the trails and associated facilities will cease to exist. I don't know if any trail maintaining organization (usually non profit) has figured that part out of how to pay for trails that are increasingly being used by folks that have not contributed a dime towards maintenance.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 07-11-2019 at 09:00 AM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Baaahhh!

    This sh*t is the death of adventure by a thousand cuts (or data points). It's one thing to use an app for planning, but using it while actually on a hike?

    Cool. No need anymore to improvise, alter the plan on the fly, cope with the unexpected or accommodate the unknown cause WE ALL KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE WHERE WE'RE HEADED IN REAL TIME!

    I'd rather watch the YouTube video of the hike.
    The day is going to come when VR goggles will 'augment' a hike with blended day/infrared vision, identification of astronomical features, horizon matching, heads up compass display 3D tracks identification of bird species with sound yada yada yada, But these things will never replace "the unexpected"

  4. #19
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    MATC got a big chunk of their revenue from trail guides and the map set included with them and I don't think they have figured out a way to replace it and expect AMC is seeing the same issue.
    Printed maps & guidebooks is a declining business. I bet by now all non-profits that relied on sales of hiking maps realize that they won't get too much revenue from them in the long run. There is still a lot of value in the information contained on these maps and in these books but the question is how to monetize it so that people want to buy it. New York New Jersey Trail Conference for example sells electronic versions of their excellent maps for use in Avenza phone app that has a built-in DRM (I'm still buying paper maps as I can share them with my sons.) Perhaps Guthook will become a platform where local hiking clubs could sell their maps and guides and push other publications. This probably won't happen too fast - sharing a profit with a newcomer can be a really hard sell when you have been a king of the hill for many years and your sales are not yet completly dead.

  5. #20
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    ... Perhaps Guthook will become a platform where local hiking clubs could sell their maps and guides and push other publications. This probably won't happen too fast - sharing a profit with a newcomer can be a really hard sell when you have been a king of the hill for many years and your sales are not yet completly dead.
    The Randolph Mountain Club is the prototypical organization you describe. It offers a variety of hard copy books and maps for sale.

    Any RMC members care to comment on the shift to electronic (app-based) publication?

    cb
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed -- most peculiar, mama
    .

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