IMBA's mapping partner, MTB Project, 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 collaborated closely in the development of the MTB Project 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. Since the launch of the site in the spring of 2013, thousands of mountain bikers, including our grassroots network, have contributed over 66,000 miles of mountain bike routes to MTBProject.com. All the information is jointly shared by IMBA and MTBProject.com, with generous support from Shimano and PeopleForBikes.
The IMBA/MTB Project team is working harder than ever to provide accurate and up-to-date mountain bike route information. All content goes through a rigorous review process before it goes live to make sure each piece of information viewed on the site is accurate and legitimate.
The instructions below provide the info you need to get started mapping trails in your area. Please info [at] imba [dot] com (let us know) if you have questions. 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:
- Mapping Rides for MTBProject
- Uploading a Ride
- Adding Trails
- Adding Photos
- Adding Symbols and Markers
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.