Wednesday, May 26, 2010

An App for Hiking

An App for Hiking

If you're planning on going hiking this summer, there's an app for that. The American Hiking Society announced earlier this month that it has created an iPhone app to fit all of your outdoor recreation needs. It features over 220,000 miles of trails, thousands of trailheads, campgrounds, picnic areas and more.

If you've never heard fo the American Hiking Society, they were founded in 1976 and they are the only "national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience." And now, they're taking their knowledge to your iPhone. The app, called "HIKE GPS," features over 300 free recreational maps from all over the United States. It stores the maps on your phone, so you don't have to look for a signal when you're out in the middle of nowhere, on a hike. You can even track and record your hikes, take geo-coded pictures, and share your experiences via email and Facebook.

In a press release, Gregory Miller of the American Hiking Society said, "We’re excited to offer map resources to outdoor enthusiasts across the country with the launch of our iPhone application. For more than three decades we have been at the forefront of promoting, protecting, and maintaining trails. By embracing today’s technology, we hope this application will expand and enhance the outdoor experience for people from all walks of life and connect them with our natural and cultural heritage, promote healthy lifestyles, and serve to galvanize communities."

The app works with both iPhone 3G and 3G S and it's powered by global digital mapping company Intermap Technologies. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of miles of trails, thousands of trailheads, campgrounds, and picnic areas, it provides you with detailed locations of major public land boundaries.

The app costs $9.99 and can be purchased at the Apple's App Store or on iTunes. Users can choose to download state bundles, state and national park bundles, or special interest areas from around the country. Each bundle is free and will automatically integrate itself into bundles you've already purchased or downloaded. And proceeds will go toward hiking advocacy.

Said Miller, "As American Hiking Society works toward ensuring hiking trails and natural places are cherished and preserved for us and future generations, we believe that education and technology can help people get more from the outdoors. Additionally, proceeds from each sale of the HIKE GPS app on iTunes will help us continue our work on hiking advocacy, volunteer programs, and outreach to communities."

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