As I make progress on overhauling the apps, sometimes I wonder if the things that I get excited about are really that exciting, or if it’s something that would look incomprehensible to most people. For instance, I got all excited when I figured out how to send delegate methods from one Objective-C class to another– I jump up and hug Yvonne, saying “I just did [so and so]!” And her eyes go a little glassy, she says, “great.” Of course I just spewed out some programming jargon, simple things that a programmer would understand, and I only just learned, but it’s not something you can see with the naked eye.
Once in a while, though, I make something work, something that seems really awesome, and I’m pretty sure it looks great, too. So, without further ado– Behold! Guthook’s Hiking Guides now have working elevation profiles!
Long distance hikers have gotten so used to elevation profiles on their maps that they practically don’t even use the overhead view on the maps. And with good reason– long distance hiking trails are generally one trail, and well marked, so what’s more useful for the hiker is knowing at a glance how steep and difficult the day’s hike may be.
I didn’t think I’d be able to make anything like this. All last year while PCT hikers were getting used to my apps, one of the two most common questions was “can you make an elevation profile?” and my response was always “I’ll look into it”, while thinking “not a chance.” It would have been easy to just put in a static image of the profile, but that would have been a cop-out. I wanted to make sure I had something that wasn’t just an afterthought.
So keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming app updates. The elevation profiles are probably going to be just as useful as the map, if not more. Here’s a list of features I’ve included so far on the profile:
- As you can see from the pictures, you can change the scale of the maps by pinching the screen, just like on a map.
- Tapping waypoints is just like on the map, too, where it shows you a bubble with the name and mileage, and allows you to bring up a detailed information screen with photos, trail register, a link to show the same waypoint on the map, and so on.
- You can enable the iPhone’s GPS so that if you’re within a hundred meters of the trail, your location will show up on the profile at the correct location.
Pretty cool, eh? I’m hoping to be done with most major updates by the beginning of next month, so the apps will be available soon enough, elevation profiles and all!