The wife and I did our morning walk on one of the trails in the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. And I thought it would be neat to record the walk. No, I didn’t want any kind of video thing, I wanted to map out the walk that we’ve walked literally hundreds of times before. I remembered that I downloaded a $2.99 iPhone app a while back called Trails, to do that exact thing, but like a lot of iPhone apps, I just haven’t got around to trying it out. Well this morning I did!
Trails lets you record your walk, and take pictures along the way. Trails makes full use of the iPhones GPS and starts a timer so that you know your rate of speed and length of time the walk took. Trails can not only record your position in terms of latitude and longitude, but it can also record your elevation. That’s neat, because our trails are pretty hilly. This first picture shows the terrain and a slide-out window showing the elevation plotted against the distance into the trail.
To start recording a trail, actually called “tracks”, you add a track and give it a name and description. When your ready to start recording the trail you simply select the Record button. This invokes a control panel that shows you your elapsed time and distance traveled, as well as your speed. In the upper right are two icons, one to select way points, the other to take pictures. They’re kind of small, but easy enough to select, even with big hands like mine. In the middle of the screen is a Google map showing your location.
Once you’ve started your trek, you occasionally press the waypoint control and an entry scree pops up asking you to name it. You can also take a picture, but Trails doesn’t seem to have any way to recall the picture and associate it with a waypoint, after it has been taken. The picture simply gets added to your camera roll. The picture does however, contain the metadata with your location, so I’ll have to assume that Trails will have an update for better picture-track integration.
When the walk is over, you slide a control over to stop recording, then you can upload the GPX data to a website, like EveryTrail or TrailRunner, or you can email the data. I chose to email it so I could fool around with Google Earth. But afterwards I created an account on EveryTrail and imported all the data and the pictures. I could then associate the pictures with the waypoints. Way cool!
NOTE: I wasn’t sure if TrailRunner referred to the TrailRunner magazine or this really cool Mac OS X shareware application called TrailRunner. I suppose this isn’t technically part of this iPhone app review, but I stumbled upon this software, and you should know that this program is awesome! You can upload your GPS data into it and do everything and more compared to the web-based EveryTrail!