The latest post on the Google Lat Long Blog presents a neat new way to visualise big piles of data on a map. Pretty cool that they chose an example with bike trails to explain what can be done with Google Fusion Tables. The MTBGuru blog has more details along with maps and screenshots on their site. I think that we will give this a try at work and see if it may be an alternative to a more traditional clustering approach that we are using for visualising many thousand trails on a Google Map at the moment.
One problem I see with the approach of simply drawing all the tracks on a map is that there are many sections, where you will have overlapping tracks. Most of the tracks are GPS tracks that are not snapped to a network and you end up with tracks on top of tracks on top of tracks. A spaghetti trail map. If the trails were modelled as a network, then it would be cool though if you could just click on a part of the track network and have suggested tours come up that pass the section of the network you just clicked on.
If you are planning to climb the highest mountain in Germany this summer and if you happen to own an iPhone, you can download a new hiking app that we submitted to the App Store a few days ago – for free! Our outdooractive.com marketing team decided to only include one tour in the app – but this is the most popular and also the easiest route to climb the Zugspitze. From Garmisch via Reintal onto the top of Germany. However, the real highlight is that the app also includes the best outdoor map of the Zugspitze-Wetterstein area that is available at the moment. You have a great level of detail, including contours, hiking tracks, rock formations, ski lifts and heaps of other cartographic goodies. And needless to say that you can also use this app to go mountain biking in the Zugpspitze area. The app will show your current position and if you plan out where you want to go before, you can refer to the map to find out if you’re on the right track. So all you need to do now is wait for the snow to melt. Usually in June or July the conditions are good enough already. Enjoy!