Digital Hiking Companion – Final Year Project

Digital Hiking Companion

In today’s economic climate, new strategies should be considered to promote Ireland as a nation of rich natural beauty and as an ideal destination for tourists interested in Outdoor activities. What I wish to address for this project is Hiking and Mountain Climbing. My main motivation behind this idea is to bring smart phone technology and Internet (Social) Networking to the mountain wilderness of Ireland to bring a layer of interactivity and safety to this environment.

I have a strong personal interest in hiking and mountain climbing, Like many other people I enjoy heading off on a weekend to a different part to Ireland to explore mountain ranges. Often though finding guides for certain routes proves quite difficult. A quick Google search is often all it takes to find a rough guide, but what would be eve more useful is a central database of all routes submitted by different users along with tips and warnings. These routes would also include Geo mapped image galleries of locations on the mountain marking points of interest along with safety tips.
There are many digital technologies that can be used to achieve this, especially mobile wearable technology. For example hiking routes could be downloaded to an IPhone app or use of QR codes could be used for different areas. The advantage of having an app is that this information then becomes mobile and available anytime.
Moreover, in the event of mountain rescue having to be called, the injured or lost party has to supply details of their exact location to emergency units. Without giving exact information the time required for the medical assistance is doubled. This system would advise the mountain climber of their lat/long coordinates which could be very important information to pass onto mountain rescue teams.
As part of the project, QR codes could be supplied for each mountain area (I intend on picking one mountain range area to focus on for my project), either on the website or at a location advising climbers of weather conditions at different altitudes. This information could be supplied by other climbers who supply information to a central database using for example their IPhone and/or website. How a permanent QR code can be applied to an area location will part of the investigation in this project.
My plan for this project is to involved some mountain climbing/hiking groups involved for testing and evaluation of the project (possibilities include Kerry Mountain Rescue, UL Outdoor Pursuits Society and mountain hiking enthusiasts).

On March of 2012 I launch the Digital Hiker Website

The Digital Hiking Experience is an interactive experience for hikers of all levels to capture and share experiences of their hikes with others.  The aim is that hikers build and share a digital memory of their experience with other potential and experienced hikers to an area.

These experiences are uploaded through the website and can be view through the interactive map which is located here>>
The interactive map was generated through photoshop. The images are animated using AS3 details of which are fed into the Action Script using an XML feed which is generated from the main site.

Keeper Hill - Co Tipperary, Ireland

Future development for this project would be to allow users (hikers) the ability to add new locations to the interactive map section of the website.  One method for doing this, shall be to create an APP while shall allow the user to take a photo of an OS map and this shall create a 3D version to be displayed on the website.

More future development will be to develop the APP from the prototype as outlined in the demo video.

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