I vote for 5 & 6. In my view, it is essential to keep the data sets independent, modular, and compatible with many platform.
I thought the blog that Jennifer wrote
was very promising. She made statements about "robust database"
, "mobile mapping solution is not if, but when"
, & "waypoints can be kept up to date easily and in an unobtrusive way"
. I could not agree more.
On the several trips that I have taken on four ACA routes, I never used the files as is. Nor have I read in this forum that someone simply loaded the files as is in their GPS unit, regardless of make and model.
That is, the more these files are easy to handle, manipulate, and use on various tools the better. Hence, I add:
6. Keep open & accessible
across multiple platforms.
In other words, I would rather there not be a preference toward a few models versus others. People are using all kinds of technology that is advancing every year, including mobile.
Instead, I prefer to see the files use open standards that are modular working on multiple platforms. Create, for example, a quality check list that includes:
- Test conversion to multiple formats and various online mapping tools (edited 24aug2012)
- Test on multiple GPS units (recruit some test volunteers from the membership community)
- Test the file on a mobile device (test volunteers can help)
This applies to both routes & waypoint—but keep them separate
Best of luck to your team. This is a big effort. Thank you for your time.