It’s only been a few weeks since I released the newest of my iPhone apps, the Appalachian Trail Hiker, and the work hasn’t stopped at all. Many people have noticed since the app first became available that the guide only goes as far as Damascus, VA– that’s only about a quarter of the trail. What about the rest?
The short version of the story is that Virginia through Pennsylvania will be ready in a few weeks. After that, New Jersey through Vermont should be ready by mid-May. Then, New Hampshire and Maine in the middle of July.
Part 1: Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee
My trail info for these sections of the Appalachian Trail guide comes from one of my business partners hiking that section of trail with a GPS last October. She recorded approximately 760 waypoints over 460 miles of trail, plus over a hundred side trails of varying lengths. For now, this section of the trail is done.
Part 2: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania
Since I don’t have firsthand trail info from hiking these sections with a GPS, I’m working on secondary trail info for them. I’ve spent the last few weeks poring over official Appalachian Trail GIS data from the ATC and National Park Service, pairing up the info with USGS topographic maps, satellite imagery, and other public information to come up with as much trail info as possible. These sections will have pretty complete waypoint sets for roads, shelters, mountains, rivers, power line crossings, and other things that can be seen from afar. There won’t be good information on unofficial campsites, small views on wooded peaks, or small water sources.
For about 800 miles of trail, I’ve come up with 530 waypoints– considerably less than the previous sections, but still lots of information. Because of the less dense trail data, these data sets will be offered at a discounted price until I update them further.
Part 3: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont
In April, I’ll spend some time hiking the Appalachian Trail in these states to finish off what trail data I haven’t already gathered. That means they’ll be available within the app with full data (including many side trails and campsites) by the middle of May.
Part 4: New Hampshire and Maine
I’ll spend most of June hiking through New Hampshire and Maine to get similarly detailed trail information for the northernmost two states of the Appalachian Trail. Processing and formatting the data might take a few weeks once I’m done hiking, so I’m expecting those sections of the guide to be finished in mid-July. Good news for northbounders and section-hikers.
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