Mapping the final sections of the Appalachian Trail for my iPhone apps is turning out to be a slower process than expected, so I’d like to give all of you app users out there a little peek at what else I’m up to. The last two sections of the AT app are going to be a little while before they’re finished, but the continued improvements should make the wait worthwhile.
What Needs To Be Mapped?
As of June 29, 2013, the Appalachian Trail app covers the entire AT except for New Hampshire and Maine. I only need to map out about 200 more miles of trail to finish these sections. Originally, I planned to have them finished by mid-July, but weather and logistics continue to push the deadlines back. The new projected finish date is sometime in the end of July for Maine, and the middle of August for New Hampshire.
All of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania still use “partial data”, which means there is less information about land features, trail junctions, and views. The bad news about this is that I won’t be able to upgrade that trail data until at least next summer. The good news is that this will keep those three sections of the app at a discounted price until I do upgrade them.
Will There Be Any App Updates In The Meantime?
Yes! I’m working on lots of little updates that may be rolled out throughout the summer and fall (for the AT and PCT apps). These will include at least the following by the time I’m done with the current round of updates:
- Making the elevation profile load about ten times faster than it does now.
- Adding landscape view, so you can look at the elevation profile and map with the phone turned sideways.
- An option to reverse the direction of the trail, giving you southbound mileage and elevation profiles.
- Crash reporting, so I can debug errors remotely.
- Ability to drop a pin on the map, and allow users to take private notes (rather than trail register entries that are shared with everyone) on those pins, as well as sharing locations on Twitter and Facebook.
What Else Are You Working On?
Sometime at the end of this summer, I’d like to start working on another set of trail guide apps for non-linear trails. While the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, John Muir Trail, and Long Trail are relatively easy to set up since they each focus on one particular trail, I want to be able to make guides for networks of trails that may include dozens of different trails. I have already mapped hundreds of miles of trails in New England, and have many more on my radar, including trail networks like:
- Monadnock State Park and the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway (New Hampshire)
- Camden Hills State Park (Maine)
- Bigelow Preserve (Maine)
- Grafton Loop Trail (Maine)
- Mahoosuc Range (Maine and New Hampshire)
- Camel’s Hump State Park (Vermont)
- Mount Mansfield, Underhill State Park, and Smuggler’s Notch State Park (Vermont)
- White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire and Maine)
- Southern Taconic Range (Massachusetts and Connecticut)
- Mount Greylock (Massachusetts)
Of course, these apps will take a back seat to the currently available apps, since the first priority is always to make sure what’s available is as good as it can get. I’ll keep you all updated with this blog as the summer progresses.