12 comments on “App Elevation Profiles!

  1. Hey Guthook,

    Huge congratz on that. I got 15+ years in the software development world (SaaS, web, java, ios) and I can program for months and it just all feels like code monkey work. Than something comes along that makes me go “meh?” get up and out of my chair and go for a hike – to wrap my head around how to make whatever it is work. When I finally figure it out, like you, it is a moment of “ahhhh”.

    As a long distance hiker, for me an elevation chart is something I might look at for no more than two or three seconds while laying in my sleeping bag each night getting read to go to sleep, to know what is coming tomorrow.

    For me, what I find to be of the most important is a rock solid topo map with a clear marking of the trail. As you said, most trails these days are so well marked (exceptions of course) that I check a topo map just to make sure I am on the right trail, or if I get off-trail and need to find my way back, nothing beats a good quality topo map. And I gotta say, I am becoming a big fan of shaded relief topo maps.

    Anyway Guthook – awesome to hear you pulled this off. iOS (Objective-C) is not the easiest mobile device software out there to program in. Done it myself and it made me want to shoot myself at times. The rewards are worth it though eh! Knowing you are helping out folks out on the trail.

    • John, I know exactly what you mean about the “aha moment”. Pretty much everything I’ve put into the apps has been the product of getting stumped while at the desk, then going for a hike and having that aha!

      Honestly, I like elevation profiles more for the fun of showing other people how crazy a climb will be than for looking at it myself, but they’re both in the app now (hopefully I can improve the topo part in the future, too, but it works pretty well). I’ve been playing with the elevation profile since getting it to work, and I’m mostly excited about it just because it looks nice. I’m easily amused.

      Glad to hear you think Objective-C is harder than other languages… that actually makes me feel a lot better about myself. 🙂

  2. What’s the other most common question you get asked?

    And, for what it’s worth, I live and die by the elevation profile.

    • Hey, when are you heading the the JMT again? I might have something for you 😉

      First most-asked question? “Is there an Android version?”

  3. Elevation profilse are what this hiker lives for . The psychology of visualizing ups, downs, and flat sections is critical to my trip planning.

    • I thought you’d like this, Tom. Maybe I’ll have elevation profiles for the Camden Hills sooner or later…

  4. Glad to see that you have kept the elevation scale as a fixed constant, and let the horizontal distance be the variable when scaling (pinching). I’ve always found that elevation scales which vary depending on the horizontal distance to be next to useless for giving me a feel for what’s ahead.
    Well done !!

    • Ah yes, I’m glad you like that! I went through several versions of the elevation profile before deciding on which looked best. With the pinch-zooming enabled in both vertical and horizontal axes, it just looked ugly. So I decided to keep the vertical axis (elevation) constant, showing only 3500 feet at once (which is more than enough for most of the AT). I’ll tweak it a little for the PCT, which has a larger range of elevations, but either way, I’m pretty pleased with the result. And I’m glad you are, too 🙂

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