August 16, 2012
When Adventure Cycling released the first GPS waypoint files in early 2003, we had no idea what the future might hold for technology in mapping and navigation. We certainly couldn't have predicted the rise of the smartphone as a location finding tool or the downward trend in GPS-receiver unit sales.
As we make our wish list today for the development of a robust database to serve our departmental needs in regards to map creation, data collection, and a mobile mapping future, we have to keep an eye on these trends and how they relate to bicycle travel. We know the answer to a mobile mapping solution is not if, but when.
We want to design our database in such a manner that the GPS waypoints can be kept up to date easily and in an unobtrusive way to our users. In order to plan for this, we'd like to find out more about how you are currently using them.
This is a slightly different question than the one I asked back in October 2010 about Mobile Maps in Our Future. Right now we are looking at the very base level of data as well as the potential whole package we might be able to offer down the road.
A few things we're thinking about the waypoints specifically include:
Please share with us the good, the bad, and then ugly of how you're using the waypoints. In addition to leaving your comments here, you may also wish to participate on our Forums in the GPS Discussion thread, How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints? (You will need to have an account on the Forums to join in that conversation. It's easy and all you need is an email address.)
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.