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Thread: Web maps

  1. #1
    Buzzrider
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    Web maps

    There seems to an ongoing discussion about whether or not clubs should be publishing maps of trails on their web sites. The advent of affordable GPS has enabled many Clubs and individuals to publish detailed maps of local trails. It is done with the best of intentions by simply wishing to share the thrill of a new trail. Some see it as the promotion of mountain biking others as the beginning of the end of the trails due to increased traffic. Needless to say most of the trails published, although they have been around for years as XC ski trails, cross private land. What’s your opinion?

  2. #2
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzrider
    There seems to an ongoing discussion about whether or not clubs should be publishing maps of trails on their web sites. The advent of affordable GPS has enabled many Clubs and individuals to publish detailed maps of local trails. It is done with the best of intentions by simply wishing to share the thrill of a new trail. Some see it as the promotion of mountain biking others as the beginning of the end of the trails due to increased traffic. Needless to say most of the trails published, although they have been around for years as XC ski trails, cross private land. What’s your opinion?
    A sustainable trail can see many tire tracks without a lot of wear. If it isn't a sustainable trail, then the property owner, local club, etc, need to look at those trails. If there is a wear issue on the trails, it's easily possible that promoting other trails could reduce wear to <i>other</i> local trails.

    If developing a trail inventory - locations of local trails, or even guides of those trails. If part of the trails are on private land, then consulting the landowner would be prudent, otherwise all it does is compile information that is already out there. It might be available at the local bike shop, some web site, or just talking with the locals, but the info is out there.

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  3. #3
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    If your club is publishing a map or a link to a map on its web site, I think you better err on the side of caution. Including any kind of trail that unlawfully encroaches on private land is not going to help your club get more trails opened in your area. It's not going to make your club or the larger group look responsible.

  4. #4
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    First, I'm going to assume that the trails in question are all legal, and do not exist on the landowner's property without his/her knowledge.

    I think mapping out the trails is a good idea, especially if they are trails a particular club maintains. Not only is it useful for people who may want to use the trails, but they are also useful to track maintenance issues. Someone can carry a printed map on a scouting ride and mark locations on the map where maintenance is needed. They are also useful to keep track of trail construction. The club can track the trails that it officially builds, and use that to deal with renegade trailbuilding.

    Not only that, but it's a basic safety issue. People can flat out get lost in the woods. A good map is essential to finding your way around.

    Now, if the trails are illegally crossing private property, then that's a whole other issue that's completely unrelated to mapping. The trail shouldn't be crossing that property in the first place without the landowner's WRITTEN permission. The same goes for publishing maps of said trail...no permission, then no publishing. If the trail has been there for years, and the landowner possibly purchased the land which already included the trail, then it would be wise for the club to establish dialogue with the landowner and lay out an agreement discussing maintenance of the trail that crosses the property, as well as agreeing on the production and use of maps of the trail in question. If such an agreement cannot be made, then an alternative route for the trail needs to be found.

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