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Hill Bagging

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I talked in a previous post here about how we'd created a web site Great British Hills which sits alongside WalkLakes and has a page for every summit in the Database of British and Irish hills. Before I talk about the content we're generating for WalkLakes, i.e. the walks, I should talk a bit about the hill bagging bits of both sites.

Our hope is that users will register, either on WalkLakes if they're primarily Lake District walkers, or on Great British Hills if they walk elsewhere in Britain, and will log their walks on our site. This is a two stage process:

  1. They tell us where they walked, which they can do by giving us the grid reference of the start point, or picking it out on an interactive map, or giving us a GPX track from their GPS. Then they pick out the hills they reached the summit of. If they gave us a GPX track we can pretty much do this for them, otherwise we ask them how far they walked and give them all hills in that radius from the start point as a list for them to pick from.
     

    So that lets us fill in their log book and for "baggers" that then builds easily into a list and count of each classification of hill climbed from HuMP to Munro.

  2. We then encourage them to write a walk report in the forum (it's the same forum on both sites, so it doesn't matter which site they post on, it appears on both web sites) and I've tweaked phpBB to pull in data from their walk log. That's best illustrated by example - see below.

Once we've got all this data then on the hill pages for any hill that user walked we can note they've climbed it and, if they wrote a report, link to that report. So for example if you go to WalkLakes and look up my old friend Ingleborough, a hill which I've walked up, and there at the bottom it notes I've walked it and also offers a link to my walk report.

If you're doing any walks this summer, or indeed you've already done any, and especially if you've got a GPX file or some good photos we could do with some help trying this software out and making sure it's not too quirky. Let me know what you think.


Looking back down the track towards Clapham from the edge of the summit plateau on Ingleborough

Written 21/08/12

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