New MMBA Trail Guide!

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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby PK » March 8th, 2013, 5:50 am

Maybe it's the Holly-Wilderness trails that's missing?
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby Di_bear » March 8th, 2013, 8:08 pm

PK wrote:Maybe it's the Holly-Wilderness trails that's missing?


That is correct. Was that ever mapped for mountain bike use other than the usual DNR map?
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby Critter7r » March 8th, 2013, 9:30 pm

see below ...
Last edited by Critter7r on March 8th, 2013, 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby Critter7r » March 8th, 2013, 9:31 pm

c0nsumer wrote:
Critter7r wrote:If there's a place to offer suggestions, the trail for Holdridge East doesn't show up.


Are you meaning Gruber's Grinder, the east loop of Holdridge?



Yes. The park shows up, but there's no line depicting the trail.

EDIT: Although, I see there is a link to the trail map, soooo ... moot.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby c0nsumer » March 8th, 2013, 10:59 pm

Critter7r wrote:
c0nsumer wrote:
Critter7r wrote:If there's a place to offer suggestions, the trail for Holdridge East doesn't show up.


Are you meaning Gruber's Grinder, the east loop of Holdridge?



Yes. The park shows up, but there's no line depicting the trail.

EDIT: Although, I see there is a link to the trail map, soooo ... moot.


This project isn't designed to map the trails in Google Maps, it's to help you find your way to the trails and use the other resources to go from there.
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River Bends Park Co-Trail Coordinator
MMBA Website / Forum Administrator

Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, the MMBA nor CRAMBA-IMBA.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby Geff » March 9th, 2013, 5:42 pm

I can only say WOW! This is such a great update to the MMBA! What a score you all did and deserve copious amounts of really good libations for your job so very well done!
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby thexexes » March 10th, 2013, 12:38 am

As others have mentioned, fantastic job. I really like the new design.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby WishIcouldcatchmybreath » March 13th, 2013, 12:34 am

:icon_thumleft:
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby UselessPickles » March 16th, 2013, 12:11 pm

The Trail Guide fairies have been slowly but surely adding more trail map overlays:

Lakeshore Park: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=0
Maybury: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=21
Highland Recreation Area: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=18
Pontiac Lake: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=1
Pine Haven: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=104
Deerfield Park: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=83

I've just been browsing through the trail guide looking for trails that have links to existing trail maps that will work decently as overlays. Feel free to request that I turn my attention to a particular trail, rather than continuing my random wandering.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby WishIcouldcatchmybreath » March 17th, 2013, 9:58 am

UselessPickles wrote:The Trail Guide fairies have been slowly but surely adding more trail map overlays:

Lakeshore Park: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=0
Maybury: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=21
Highland Recreation Area: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=18
Pontiac Lake: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=1
Pine Haven: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=104
Deerfield Park: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=83

I've just been browsing through the trail guide looking for trails that have links to existing trail maps that will work decently as overlays. Feel free to request that I turn my attention to a particular trail, rather than continuing my random wandering.


Is it possible to overlay real gpx tracks, rather than trail maps?
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby c0nsumer » March 17th, 2013, 10:01 am

WishIcouldcatchmybreath wrote:
UselessPickles wrote:The Trail Guide fairies have been slowly but surely adding more trail map overlays:

Lakeshore Park: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=0
Maybury: http://mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=21
Highland Recreation Area: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=18
Pontiac Lake: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=1
Pine Haven: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=104
Deerfield Park: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=83

I've just been browsing through the trail guide looking for trails that have links to existing trail maps that will work decently as overlays. Feel free to request that I turn my attention to a particular trail, rather than continuing my random wandering.


Is it possible to overlay real gpx tracks, rather than trail maps?


No, sorry. That is outside the scope of this project.

IMBA is working with a partner company called MTB Project to do something of that nature. I think they are aiming for a public launch some time in spring or summer.

This guide is designed to get people finding the trails and link them up with existing info on it.
Steve Vigneau
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River Bends Park Co-Trail Coordinator
MMBA Website / Forum Administrator

Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, the MMBA nor CRAMBA-IMBA.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby Geff » March 17th, 2013, 11:00 am

Here is the info that Consumer (our most great administrator) eluded too, though IMBA wanted it to be a bit on the quiet side for now...

Meet MTB Project...

IMBA's new mapping partner offers the next generation of mountain bike guides and trail maps.

As IMBA's full-time mapping specialist, I'd like to introduce you to our new partner, MTB Project. MTB Project is a next generation mountain bike guide and trail map web site. This robust platform for online mapping displays the known trails in any given area, complete with elevation profiles, full GPS routes, photos, detailed ride info and more.

IMBA collobaorated closely in the development of this new site. We're excited about the technology, and even more so about how it will help highlight the work that IMBA-affiliated chapters, clubs and patrols do. As we prepare to launch the site we need your local expertise to help create the most complete, authoritative catalog of trail info available on the web.

With an expected launch date of June 1 we are currently building content on the site with our grassroots network, including NMBP members. Getting involved is simple — just go out and map your favorite rides, grab a few photos and write a description of the ride. Uploading everything to the MTB Project website is easy to do.

The instructions below provide the info you need to get started mapping trails in your area. Please let us know if you have questions — contact IMBA Mapping Specialist Leslie Kehmeier or Communications Director Mark Eller.

We’re really excited about MTB Project but for a few more months we will only be broadcasting the news to our grassroots network. Please spread the word via personal e-mail and word of mouth, but we'd prefer to avoid pushing it out via social media and the web. If you know someone who’s great at maps, photos and trail descriptions, please send them our way directly. In the coming months will be expanding our reach and be looking to get more people involved.

All the best,

Leslie Kehmeier

— IMBA Mapping Specialist

---

MORE INFO ABOUT MTBPROJECT.COM

The site is live and ready to use, but we're keping things somewhat quiet until we have more content to offer users. IMBA's NMBP is among the first groups we're asking to help generate high-quality maps and ride descriptions.

Before you get started, check out the Rattling Creek - IMBA Epic Ride for an example of what we're looking for when it comes to content.

1. The first step is to go for a ride and record it. Start from the most common trailhead and do the ride as it is most commonly done. You can use a GPS device and regular camera, but it is MUCH easier to use a smartphone. Our favorite apps for collecting trail data include My Tracks (Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks&hl=en) and MotionX (iPhone:http://gps.motionx.com/iphone/overview/), but many others work just fine. Start recording the GPS track at the beginning and record your entire ride. You can edit it later on mtbproject.com.

2. Take photos as you go. Lots of things are worth photographing: scenic spots, cool trail features, nasty technical section, your buddy dropping off a ledge… We highly recommend using the built-in camera app on your phone which will automatically record the GPS location on the photo. Taking a photo every mile or two is a good idea - keep your phone in a handy pocket so you can pull it out often.

3. Back at home, get your GPS track and photos on to your computer. Most GPS apps let you email the file to yourself.

4. On MTBProject.com, click "Add your rides…" on the home page. Start with your Ride. Follow those instructions and you'll now have a great start.

5. You probably rode several Trail Segments on your Ride, so now you can create them. A Trail Segment is a full trail or a portion of one just as you would find it on a printed map. A Ride is a combination of trails, roads, and whatever you take to make a complete excursion. We have a shortcut method to create a Trail Segment from an existing Ride, so you don't have to upload and edit your GPS track again.

6. Add you photos. Hopefully they're already GPS-tagged by your phone and you don't have to do much other than give them a caption.

7. Add parking and other symbols as necessary.

8. Once you're all done adding your trail, photos and description, you'll submit it to MTB Project for review. We'll look it over and either publish it or get back to you with questions in a few days.
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby ChrisInYpsi » March 17th, 2013, 11:44 am

Geff wrote:Meet MTB Project...

That sounds cool.

My trials w/ smart phone GPS apps for tight switchbacky MTB trails didn't go so well. Anyone have experience w IMBA's recommended apps that would suggest a smart phone works well enough to document MI trails?
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby UselessPickles » March 17th, 2013, 11:49 am

And it's not just one of those "that's too much work" kind of things. Overlaying existing trail maps instead of GPX tracks was a very deliberate decision. We've come to the conclusion that trail map overlays are actually better overall for the users than GPX overlays.

Here's a comparison to think about.
GPX track of Lakeshore Park on Strava: http://app.strava.com/activities/18399516
Trail map overlay in our Trail Guide: http://www.mmba.org/trail-guide/?trail=0

The quick version:
  • Trail maps are readily available for most trails already.
  • Trail maps include additional helpful info that can't be captured in a GPX track, are already specifically designed to help you find your way around the trail system, and they can be printed out and carried with you on the trail without relying on technology and cellular coverage.
  • Adding an existing trail map to the Trail Guide as an overlay requires a relatively small amount of effort (I did 6 in 2 evenings).
  • For mountain bike trails (twisty trails in the woods), raw GPX tracks from a GPS device have too much error to be used directly, requires lots of work to clean up (which requires intimate knowledge of the trail itself), and then is still less useful than a good trail map to most users (not everyone is a geek that wants to import a GPX track into some other mapping/navigation application/device).

More details:

Trail maps show where the trails are. Trails/loops are labelled, described, etc. They also have other important info that can't be captured in a GPX track: notes about significant trail features, rivers, lakes, intersections with other trails. A good trail map is specifically designed to help you effectively use the trail and any other facilities on the land. You can print them out and take them with you on the trail.

GPX tracks are raw data. To make it more useful, it needs to be manually adjusted to get rid of GPS errors, unnecessary detail, add some detail to smooth out corners that were "cut" by the GPS device, and divide into sections that can be labelled/described as different trails/loops/etc. This could be done, but it would require a lot of effort from someone who knows the trail well and is also tech savvy enough to the work.

Printing out a GPX track would not be very helpful without a background of important landmark features indicated. Simply printing it out with Google maps as the background will either be too little detail ("map" view) to provide context, or too much detail (satellite view) causing important contextual details being lost in all the noise. So now a simplified background needs to be created that only has important details indicated to provide context for the GPX tracks. Guess what this is starting to sound like.... a trail map!

If anyone is going to be willing to go through the effort to make clean GPX tracks, split up into different segments/loops, etc., I'd much prefer that the effort went into creating a high quality printable trail map rather than just displaying some lines on the Trail Guide.

The only benefits I can think of a GPX track having over a trail map are:
  • Elevation info: interesting, but is it really necessary?
  • Could be downloaded and loaded into other mapping applications: pretty cool, I guess, but how does that help the common biker that wants to go ride the trail?
  • Could be loaded into a GPS device as a route: not really practical, because you're using the GPS in the forest on a winding trail. Precision and accuracy of the GPS don't tend to cooperate with your goals in these situations, which is exactly why the GPS tracks needed a lot of manual tweaking in the first place to properly represent the trail.

It comes down to GPX tracks having limited benefit and huge cost to develop. Anything "cool" I could implement in the Trail Guide using GPX data would be a lot of effort itself. In the end, a few people would end up putting in tons of effort into the idea, only a handful of trails in the Trail Guide would ever get GPX data, and the end result would be underwhelming. In fact, most users of the trail guide would probably actually prefer the trail map overlays
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Re: New MMBA Trail Guide!

Postby c0nsumer » March 17th, 2013, 11:52 am

ChrisInYpsi wrote:
Geff wrote:Meet MTB Project...

That sounds cool.

My trials w/ smart phone GPS apps for tight switchbacky MTB trails didn't go so well. Anyone have experience w IMBA's recommended apps that would suggest a smart phone works well enough to document MI trails?


I personally do not think so. I am of the opinion that entering many aspects of SE Michigan's twisty, spiderweb trails in MTB Project will take a fair bit of effort, but that's a discussion for elsewhere.

Please note that MTB Project and the MMBA Trail Guide are two different tools designed to meet different needs. MTB Project is for documenting the trails themselves, where the MMBA Trail Guide is simply an easy to use map-based listing of trails and links to more information about those trails. The MMBA Trail Guide's goal is to easily connect riders to information about trails, but not hold much more than basic locations and links.
Steve Vigneau
Big Ring Coffee MTB Racing
CRAMBA-IMBA Chairperson
River Bends Park Co-Trail Coordinator
MMBA Website / Forum Administrator

Unless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, the MMBA nor CRAMBA-IMBA.
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