Trails+ is a community driven platform designed for the plethora of different groups that make use of the stunning trails on offer throughout the Amazing South Coast region. It enables trail users and local community groups to create and own local content that enhances the trail experience and allows visitors and locals alike to explore the region in an informed and safe way.
Lots of apps track your run, walk or ride but, for Trails+ local content, safety and community engagement is KING!
The system is composed of a mobile application and a website and aims to achieve the following:
- Increase the safety of trail users
- Reduce the potential of conflict between different user groups, for example walkers and mountain bikers
- Improve wayfinding and reduce need for expensive signage infrastructure
- Increase confidence of trail users through providing clear and easy to access information
- Increase engagement and collaboration between different user groups
- Conserve the natural environment through educating trail users
To achieve this Trails+ provides the following functionality:
- Users can track, record and plan their journeys using GPS
- Access interpretive information on points of interest along the trail
- Upload video and images to share their experience with other users and create their own points of interest
- Report hazards or maintenance issues to authorities or land managers in a timely manner
- Receive an alert when another trail user is approaching or if you are on the incorrect trail, for example you have entered a mountain bike trail zone
- Review, rate and comment on trails as well as communicate with other users
- Access information on what’s permitted on the trail for example are dogs allowed? are dieback control measures required?
- Ability to create ephemeral and event based trails like art and competition based trails
Why do we need this? To meet community and visitor needs and support the delivery of the Albany Heritage Park Trails Concept plan, which includes many mixed-use trails, and has been endorsed by council.
A key issue we’re addressing, is how to avoid conflict between trail users, particularly bike riders and walkers on mixed use trails.
By defining monitored zones, and encouraging people to register at start and finish, the risk of conflict between users will be minimised, if not eliminated. This improves the safety of trail users, for example, by alerting walkers that they’ve strayed onto a cycle-only trail or they’ve left their original trail.
By empowering custodians through their ability to contribute and manage content in a standardised method we would increase community engagement and foster shared ownership between local government, land custodians and the users of the trails.
With the trails becoming better known and the information consolidated through an information hub, we anticipate an increase in accessibility and the use of trails.
How will we achieve this amazing concept? Right now there are apps that allow people to register with their friends and find each other in an area, but we intend to turn it on its head by tracking users within monitored trail zones. If a party is approaching another party an alert will be sent to both parties advising of possible crossover without identifying them.
The system will have three levels of user: general, custodian, and admin.
We have researched two options for development platforms, either using existing API’s, Google, NationalMap or OpenStreetmap and leveraging existing IT infrastructure based in the region.
Thanks for listening - Trails+ Out!