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State of the Mapping

Last night’s State of the Union address got me inspired to reflect on the state of the mapping at IMBA. As we approach the third year of the program I’m pleased to say that we’ve accomplished a lot.

Among the various projects I’ve tackled with the help of colleagues and advocates around the country, I’m most proud of our progress on the National Trails Database. Less than two years ago I stood in front of the crowd at the World Summit in Santa Fe and declared that we were ‘going to map every trail on the planet’. I’ll admit that I might have a bit too bold at the moment but not so surprisingly, we are well on our way to cataloging mountain bike routes around the globe.

Success in such a short amount of time can be credited to IMBA’s partnership with the team at MTB Project. Together we launched the next generation trails site dedicated to mountain biking. In less than a year it’s got 20,000 miles of trails. Beyond that, it’s a showcase for the work that mountain bike advocates do around the country. We’re very proud that almost half the content contributed has come from IMBA members. And we’re especially pleased that we can give them credit they deserve.

We’re definitely off to a good start, but we still have a lot riding to do to make this the best resource available. We need more mileage, more compelling photos and more great descriptions to get to the goal.  I’m very confident that we have the support and momentum to continue the success of last year. Thank you, if you’ve already contributed. Please keep riding! If you’re not involved yet, it’s worth your time to get on your bike and log your favorite ride.

Here’s a plan for getting your trails on the map with MTB Project:

  • Get out and ride!
  • Add your trail and your local chapter to the MTB Project site. Here's some tips to get started
  • Tell people about your local area riding by developing an Area page like this one in Moab.
  • Add your MTB Project trails to your own website.

Contact IMBA Mapping Specialist leslie [dot] kehmeier [at] imba [dot] com for more information. Thanks to Shimano for generously supporting the Mapping Program.

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