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A map based blog for outdoor activities and travels

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Shengyao Qian
Shengyao Qian Jun 21, 2022
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Problem:
Outdoor activities and travel are generally very map based events. The best way I find to prepare them with information online is to get travel tips from blogs and look at various maps, like Google maps or hiking apps. They compensate each other to draw a full picture of what I’ll be facing.
  1. From travel tip blogs, you get tips from other people’s experiences, common wisdom in a society that’s not known to tourists. Or local conditions like road blockage, construction, weather-related risks if the blog is recent. And different travelers see different things, that might inspire you to visit a place.
  2. From map tools, you get geo information like distance between places, and obviously for things like hiking, skiing, it’ll help to see the terrain and routes.
Idea:
The idea is to combine travel tip blogs with maps so less switching between different tools. That might have been done by many individual bloggers to better provide information already. But I think there are different ways that information can be arranged or apps can be designed and they may lead to different results.
Another reason I find this interesting is that I’m always curious about the stories of a place I visit. Like who has traveled here before and what happened. I try to find books written about a place when I visit. But not everyone is capable of writing a book, so reading blogs is interesting too. I think it’ll be helpful to pin the stories on the map with coordinates. Because the names of a location can change. Sometimes if you search for the wrong words, you won’t find the story. The story part is especially interesting for hiking. Before motorized transportation, walking is mostly how we travel. So many hiking routes today have stories about how they come to exist and what has happened during their existence.
(hmm, I what to check my idea because I actually have a map based blog, but just for myself. And I'm wondering if it'll be worthwhile to create a tool for others too. I'm thinking sharing the idea without revealing my solution visually so maybe I'll get vastly different perspectives. But I saw you ask for a picture here. I'll still post without a picture. If there are people actually finding it interesting, I'll post my site then I think.)
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General comments

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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa year ago
I think it's a great idea! I've done something similar for myself, too. I used Google Maps to pinpoint the location. Then I added a photo from that location (usually a group of friends who I visited the place with) and added a description of why I came there, what happened and of course, the date when I visited it. It's all saved in a private "My Visited Places" map. It's a cool way of keeping a travel diary, but I never actually get to read those pins. What I miss is "memories" or "on this day" reminders, or a possibility to search through the map, share it on social media, etc.
That's why I strongly support you to share your stuff with us :) I'll may be your first user.
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Shengyao Qian
Shengyao Qiana year ago
J. Nikola Thanks for the interest! That's very encouraging. Here's my blog: https://mlog.life/. To give a more personal background, initially I was building it as a hiking album for my dog. So I went with mapping the trail with a mini blog. I went through a few iterations to see what's the best way to show all the information. Arranging pictures/video/text on a map turns out to be harder than I thought. The site is still under construction but I'd love to hear what you think!
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J. Nikola
J. Nikolaa year ago
Shengyao Qian Thank you for sharing the link with us! The first thing I found a bit difficult was to figure out what is on the page. Also, I think putting the information (name, pictures, videos) from the trip/log on the side or inside a "bubble" rather than below could help. When it's below, I need to scroll down every time to see the content and I get lost. One really cool thing you did is that when I click on the log icon of some place, a small route you used appears. Very cool. But how do you enter routes? Drawing by hand, uploading tracking information or something else?
This is how it looks on Google Maps (when you click a small blue icon of human, the left bar with content appears):

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Shengyao Qian
Shengyao Qiana year ago
J. Nikola Thanks for the feedback! They are very useful! I'll keep working on improving it. If you'd like, you can leave an email with me at http://eepurl.com/h4lV31 to receive updates on my website. I'd appreciate continuous feedback from you 😄
Hiking routes were recorded using sports watch and hiking apps. I used google maps to draw some of the road trip routes and polygons on the map. And some online tool to draw the valeriepieris circle(google maps doesn't support drawing circles). I haven't found a one single tool to make this process easier. Maybe that'll be another idea: interactive route editor something like that.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa year ago
I think it is a good idea, it would be easier to see exactly what you have in mind with some kind of visualization or example, but from what you've written I get the idea that you would like to form a database of stories connected to specific geolocations. You might find some inspiration and ideas reading through the contributions to this idea too.
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