Thursday, November 10, 2011

A new way to download Wikiloc's trails!!

Throughout tomorrow and Saturday the Wikiloc's trail download system will experience some changes which will gradually get to all users. We have created a new functionnality to directly connect Wikiloc with your Garmin GPS. Read a little further down for details of this new feature.

On the other hand, this new plugin has forced us to redesign the trail download interface. It's a redesign which does not affect the way we download trails and it's just a visual and interface update. From now on, when you download a trail a window will pop up with these three tabs:

- GPX: with the current existing list of options for downloading in GPX format
- Google Earth: download in KML format for viewing on Google Earth
- Garmin: to create the connection with the Garmin Communicator plugin for direct download to your GPS

But with the new plugin is where there's really a significant change. Let's go through the details.

Wikiloc-Garmin Connection

From now on it'll be even easier to download trails directly to your Garmin GPS. The new connection enables you to download and store trails straight to your gps, making the process much faster and easier to carry on.

How it works:
To download trails straight to your Garmin GPS follow these steps:

  • Find a trail on Wikiloc and click on the Download link

  • On the download window, select the Garmin tab

  • Install the Garmin Communicator plugin on your computer (if it's not already installed or if you have an older version)

  • Make sure that the install process worked fine by going to the Garmin test page (reboot if needed)

  • Plug in your GPS to your computer

  • Allow Wikiloc to communicate with your GPS

  • Once the GPS is detected, click on Download (optionally, you can change the number of points the track can be downloaded as)

Supported Platforms:
The Wikiloc-Garmin connection will work on all platforms on which you can install the Garmin Communicator plugin. Currently those are:

PC: PCs with Windows 7, XP or Vista and Internet Explorer 6 +, Firefox 1.5 + or Chrome
Mac: Intel or PowerPC G4 or later Mac OS 10.4 or later with Safari 2.0 +, Firefox 2.0 + or Chrome

We would like you to tell us how well this new connection works, if it's easy to use, if it brings up errors, etc... So we'll greatly appreciate your feedback!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wikiloc Downtime November 5th 2011

On Saturday November 5, 2011 Wikiloc not available on Saturday from 22:00 GMT until 05:00 GMT the next day. You may not access or search for trails, upload them or use any of the Wikiloc's usual functionality. We will use this downtime in the service to improve the infrastructure and give more power to the system, which will result in faster loading pages and more room to store tracks and photos.

Wikiloc downtime:
from 22:00 GMT on Saturday November 5
to 05:00 GMT on Sunday November 6

Thank you,
Wikiloc Team

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wikiloc er nú fáanleg á íslensku!!!

(Wikiloc is now available in Icelandic)

Thanks to the effort and great colaboration of Robert Beck, Wikiloc is now fully available in Icelandic! Robert is a heavy user of Wikiloc and has shared many tracks of his own. Thank you Robert, we appreciate your hard work!!

And just to show you one of the ton of Iceland's trails you can find on Wikiloc, here's a great route from humall in one of the corners of this beatiful country

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

On this weekend's downtime

First of all thank you for the patience you all have had with this unexpected downtime of Wikiloc (Sept. 18 to 20)

During maintenance tasks we detected an unusual behavior of the database that was affecting its contents. Given the possibility of this being a huge problem we decided to stop the server and analyze the situation looking for the source of the issue.

It seems that some records in the database were corrupted due to disk failure. Once this has been detected we have proceeded to the recovery of the data, also including the content added after the last backup. This process has been painfully slow, but that was the only way users were not affected and that you didn't loose any of the information uploaded.

Once the problem has been fixed, we have also taken advantage of this situation to update the structure of servers and put some updates in place, like our brand new homepage. We hope you like it!

Please, excuse us if we have caused any inconvenience during these three days.

Thank you so much for all the suport we have received from you during this hiccup. Happy trails!

Wikiloc Team

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New filters on searches

One of the most common requests to improve Wikiloc which many users ask for is definitely improving the search for trails existing on the system. It is difficult (or, rather, long) to find trails based on criteria such as the type of activity, distance or trail difficulty. We knew it was a necessary improvement but we have not been able to put it on the system for quite some time. But search filters are finally here!

In the last few days on all search pages and listings of trails you have on the left side of the screen different filters that can be applied to fine-tune searches and quickly reach the trails you're interested in. The filters which can be applied are:

- Loop trails or just one way
- Trail distance
- Type of activity
- Difficulty
- Origin of the track (GPS, mobile, hand-drawn)

In addition to those new filters there's another feature added in the search results. Now these results can be sorted according to three different criteria :

- Popularity : the 'best' trail first (a 'best trail' means having a higher quality track, a good description and title, many visits, pictures and videos added, etc)
- Relevance : first the trails with the search criteria in the title, description, etc.
- Upload date : the latest added trails on top of the list

Also note that you can activate an activity as the search criteria by the default in all searches. That is, if you have set it up that you like climbing, on the searches you do (provided that you are logged in the system) will focus only on climbing trails, and the results will show up only this type of trails (you can then modify the criteria to broaden it up to more activity types). To set the default activity in searches you must select the activity on your user profile.

We hope this is going to help you find the best trails in the world!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wikiloc for iphone

It took us a while, but we've got ready our shiny new iphone application!!!

More and more you, outdoors lovers, get out there to practice your favourite sport with your favourite gadget to track your outings and share them with your friends afterwards. But we know that you always also carry your smartphone with you, and sometimes 2 devices is one device too many. Here's where the Wikiloc iphone app comes into play! With the new app you will be able ditch your heavy GPS and still track those amazing hiking routes you discover every weekend!

So, what exactly can I do with the app?

The Wikiloc app is a route tracker. This means it uses the iphone's built-in GPS to track your location, show it to you on a Google map and then store it so you can upload the full track into your Wikiloc account. So this will be very useful for any type of outdoor activities, but specially for the hikers, runners, bikers and all those who like to travel light. Another important feature is that you can take photos on the go and they will be uploaded together with the track.

Here's some details on the features you can find in the app:

  • Record your activities on the go and upload them to Wikiloc

  • Take photos and upload them into the trail on Wikiloc

  • Get stats (distance, speed, elevation,...) of the track

  • Store your tracks on your phone for later upload

  • Block the phone and keep it recording the trail

We have built the application following the 'Wikiloc philosophy': make it useful, make it simple. There are no instructions, nor a million configuration options. Just install it and start recording your activities. It's that simple!

Remember also that if you have your Wikiloc account connected to your Facebook profile, the trail you have just done and uploaded into your account will show up on your Facebook wall instantly. Let the world know you worked out hard!

And last, but not least, the Wikiloc app is free!! So go get it on the app store and let us know how do you like it!

If you have any suggestions for improvements or have uncovered any bugs, head over to the forum and leave there some feedback for us. We have improvements coming up but we'd like to know what's important for you to get it done first!

Download the Wikiloc iphone App now!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wikiloc Helps Writing Books

We all turn to Internet to find places, trails and info for our outdoor outings. But let's not forget there's invaluable info not available in digital format. There are thousands of books that might be your best chance to find what you need for your next trip into the wild.

And it doesn't have to be just one media or the other. And the proof that mixing both worlds is a great idea is on these two books:

Hudson Valley GPS Hiking - Louis T. Rivas has done a great job on putting together popular hikes through some of the forgotten places around the New York Hudson Valley, an area he has been exploring for 12 years. But he has also been a Wikiloc user for a long time (HikingLou) and he has been uploading and sharing with the community the tracks and waypoints that will help you using the book. You can get his book on Well done Louis!

Still unpublished, the second book is about a hiking trip that must be totally amazing to do. The book title is "De Reus a Roma" (From Reus to Rome) by Josep-Àngel Gassó Garreta and it describes the complete route from the Spain's city of Reus to Rome. Each stage has very carefully detailed information for hikers and it includes a link to the GPS track for that day uploaded on Wikiloc. We look forward reading you work Josep-Angel!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We've got new forum!

As of Friday March 18th our forum has a bright new suit! Well, it's not just the outside that has been updated, but also the structure and the integration with Wikiloc.

One of the main new features of the forum is that now we've got different sub-forums for different languages. For now we have Spanish, English, French and Catalan as separate languages and and extra sub-forum for all the other questions in other languages. With this update, you can all post new questions and search for answers in your own language, and thus improve the chances of getting help out of the comments of other users.

We have also created a new GPS sub-forum. There were so many questions around how to use GPS, which one to buy or how to use GPS software to move back and forth tracks between devices and Wikiloc, that it made sense to create a separate area where to group all these questions.

Also mention that now, under each Wikiloc user's profile, there's a link which will take you to all the user's activity in the forum. A nice and easy way to quickly find possible answers on different topics for that user.

We'd like to thank and give credit of the authorship of the new forum template: Mike Lothar has done an excellent job on this simple, clean and effective template. Many thanks also to our friends at Panoramio, who showed us the way to go with this upgrade.

We hope you like the new forum and that you will contribute to make it THE place for all Wikiloc users where to find answers, help and even a place where to meet outside in the real world.

Wikiloc Channels

One of our goals at Wikiloc is to give more tools to businesses and organizations to help them grow by unleashing all the possibilities of the GPS track information they already have created.

Our first tool built with this goal in mind is Wikiloc Channels. A Channel is a special place in Wikiloc (call it a micro-site if you like) where all the tracks and photos of a single business, organization or touristic brand are grouped together. The Channel has an improved structure, design and many added features to create a professional looking place where to store your GPS related information and, more important, to build a community around it.

Some of the Channel features are:

  • Upload of GPS tracks, photos and videos

  • Look and feel customizable to adapt to the business needs (images, links, colors, etc)

  • Multi-language

  • Hability to add layers of points of interest to each track, including photos, descriptions, pdf documents, etc...

  • Hability to add tracks uploaded by other Wikiloc users

  • Social Media tools (facebook, twitter, etc)

  • Management of all the content and customizations through a CRM-style behind the scenes software

  • Software provided as SaaS

  • Traffic statistics

  • Free of advertisement (i.e. regular Wikiloc banners )

Wikiloc Channels are aimed at all kind of organizations wanting to grow their business through building a powerful repository of GPS tracks and sharing them with their clients and the Wikiloc global community. Let me give you a quick example. The Costa Brava and Pirineu de Girona is an organization managing one of the most turistic brands in Spain. They are now aiming at an international, sustainable and eco-conscious target who would come to visit Spain to enjoy the outdoors by doing all kinds of activities. By creating their Costa Brava Channel and providing all their local knowledge on trails and services around them they provide the potential tourists with all the information they need to get the most out of their stay. Moreover, they use the built-in social media tools to post updates about new routes and activities thus keeping their fans and followers up to date.

But this is just an example. Many other industries can benefit from a Wikiloc Channel: sports product brands, sport teams, athletes, small touristic/lodging/cultural businesses, etc.

More Channels are already in the pipeline to be launched in the upcoming months. We're excited about it!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Trails around Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii

A few years ago, when visiting the Hawaii Islands, I was hoping to see a sudden and spectacular volcano eruption in Big Island. Nothing serious or dangerous but just big enough to get a hint at the nature's power. Well, that didn't happen, but instead it just happened this past weekend. I'm quite far away from Hawaii now so I'll dream about what it may look like to be there through wikiloc's trails! So join me and check out this beautiful track below in the Volcanoes National Park uploaded by andre123.

There are many other trails and pictures around the area of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii. Check them all out!

Picture courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

Monday, March 07, 2011

New icon and 6M pageviews

The number of sports one can practice has grown in an unbelievable way for the last few decades. Sports which were inexistant just a few years ago are now booming around the planet. This means more work for us in adding all those activities in Wikiloc! We'll be adding many more activities in the upcoming weeks, but for now we have added one which was a long time request by users: trail running. The icon is already available to choose from the list when you create a new (or edit an old) trail. Make sure you update your old runs!

On a side note, we also wanted to share with Wikiloc's users that this past month we reached another milestone: the number of monthly page views went beyond the mark of 6 million. We can just thank you all again for choosing Wikiloc to share your adventures around the world!