Want to see more trails on this site?
Submit files via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The two types of files that I can handle most easily are GPX files and ESRI Shapefiles. I can also handle KML files, but only by first converting them to GPX format.
I'll accept just about anything, but to speed up the process of adding the data to the site, please follow as many of these guidelines as possible when submitting GPX files...
- Attach the GPX file to the email. Do not include it inline.
- Clean up the GPX file using a GPX file editor. A rudimentary GPX editor is provided by clicking the GPX tab of this site.
- Put each trail in a separate GPX track.
- In the name (name tag) of each track, include the name of the trail.
- In the description (desc tag) of each track, include the trail type, a list of allowed users, whether a trail is on public or private land, whether or not it is a road through a residential area, and whether this is a major trail, minor trail or obscure trail. Acceptable trail types, trail users and obscurity levels are described in the Help section. The GPX editor provided on this site has checkboxes that make this fairly straightforward.
- If a trail has several sections, submit a track for each section. For example, a trail could start off as a paved road, turn into a gravel road, then become singletrack open to bikes and horses, then become an uninventoried trail open only to foot travel, and finally become overgrown. In this case, 5 tracks would need to be submitted for this trail.
- For trails that are long climbs or descents, please orient them in a climbing direction. The first trackpoint should be at the bottom and the last should be at the top.
- In the text of the email, include the trail system that the trails are part of, nearby cities and states that the trails are contained in.
- Include waypoints for trailheads, points of interest or photos along the trail.
- In the name (name tag) of each waypoint, include the name of the trailhead or point of interest.
- In the description (desc tag) of each waypoint, indicate whether it is a trailhead, point of interest or trail photo.
- If you have photos of trailheads or points of interest on the web, include the url in the description (desc tag) as well. These photos will not be linked to directly, rather the photo will be downloaded and re-uploaded to the flickr account used by this site.
I have a generic GPX import utility that can make quick work of GPX files that are formed using those guidelines.
My Shapefile import process is a bit slower, always requires manual intervention and frequently requires coding. As such, there is no need to clean up Shapefiles too much, just send me whatever you've got and I'll try to sort it out. Try to provide the same types of information as described above for GPX files, if it's available. Shapefiles containing boundary polygons for areas and Shapefiles containing point data for trailheads or points of interest are sometimes availble. If so, they are also very helpful.
If anyone owns or has access to a copy of ArcGIS that can convert other geodatabase formats to GPX, KML or Shapefiles, please contact me. I recently downloaded GIS data from the USFS for all of the national forests in the US that it was available for, but some of the data is in non-Shapefile format. I can view it in ArcGIS Explorer Desktop but I cannot import it into this site. I could use help converting the data.
Trails are not automatically added to the site. All submissions will be reviewed, may be modified, and may or may not be included in the site. Once included, a trail may later be updated or even removed by the authors of the site. A trail is more likely to be included in the site if it's existence can be independently verified, for example on a map made by someone other than the submitter. If you have a scan of such a map or a link to one on the web, please include it in the email.