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Meet MTBProject.com, IMBA's Online Mapping Partner

IMBA's new mapping partner offers the next generation of mountain bike guides and trail maps. Check it out in this introductory video.

MTBProject.com is a next-generation mountain bike guide and trail map web site. This robust platform for online mapping displays the known trails in any given area, complete with elevation profiles, full GPS routes, photos, detailed ride info and more.

IMBA collobaorated closely in the development of this new site. We're excited about the technology, and even more so about how it will help highlight the work of IMBA-affiliated chapters, clubs and patrols. In the spring of 2013, as we prepare for the public launch of the site, we are reaching out to our grassroots groups and encouraging them to add trail descriptions to MTBProject.com. All the information is jointly shared by IMBA and MTBProject.com, with generous underwriting support from Shimano.

In the summer of 2013, as (we hope!) thousands of mountain bikers start using this site to find paces to ride, we will enlist chapter, club and patrol members to monitor the content and make sure it is accurate, up-to-date and avoids documenting trails that are closed to mountain biking. All content must be approved by site administrators before it goes live — IMBA and MTBProject.com agree that the success of the project depends on content aministrators with excellent local knowledge and a strong connection to mountain bike advocacy.

The instructions below provide the info you need to get started mapping trails in your area. For now, login requires an account with facebook.com. Please let us know if you have questions — contact IMBA Mapping Specialist leslie [dot] kehmeier [at] imba [dot] com (Leslie Kehmeier) or Communications Director mark [dot] eller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller). Be sure to mention if you are associated with an IMBA grassroots group and would like to be a content administrator for your area.

IMBA's mapping program receives generous support from Shimano.


HOW TO ADD TRAIL INFO TO MTBPROJECT.COM

Before you get started, check out the Rattling Creek Epic for an example of what we're looking for when it comes to content.

You can also watch our five-part video tutorial series to learn about mapping and uploading trails:

1. The first step is to go for a ride and record it. Start from the most common trailhead and do the ride as it is most commonly done. You can use a GPS device and regular camera, but it is MUCH easier to use a smartphone. Our favorite apps for collecting trail data include My Tracks (Android:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks&hl=en) and MotionX (iPhone:http://gps.motionx.com/iphone/overview/), but many others work just fine. Start recording the GPS track at the beginning and record your entire ride. You can edit it later on mtbproject.com.

2. Take photos as you go.  Lots of things are worth photographing: scenic spots, cool trail features, nasty technical section, your buddy dropping off a ledge…  We highly recommend using the built-in camera app on your phone which will automatically record the GPS location on the photo. Taking a photo every mile or two is a good idea - keep your phone in a handy pocket so you  can pull it out often.

3. Back at home, get your GPS track and photos on to your computer. Most GPS apps let you email the file to yourself.

4. On MTBProject.com, click "Add your rides…" on the home page.  Start with your Ride. Follow those instructions and you'll now have a great start.

5. You probably rode several Trail Segments on your Ride, so now you can create them. A Trail Segment is a full trail or a portion of one just as you would find it on a printed map. A Ride is a combination of trails, roads, and whatever you take to make a complete excursion. We have a shortcut method to create a Trail Segment from an existing Ride, so you don't have to upload and edit your GPS track again.

6. Add you photos.  Hopefully they're already GPS-tagged by your phone and you don't have to do much other than give them a caption.

7. Add parking and other symbols as necessary.

8. Once you're all done adding your trail, photos and description, you'll submit it to MTB Project for review.  We'll look it over and either publish it or get back to you with questions in a few days.

 

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