The beginnings of #ShareYourAdventure
The above map shows the very first public walk I did using Social Hiking – ShareYourAdventure.com, a multi-media, geo-location sharing web application which spawned my hash tag #ShareYourAdventure. Back in 2011 the website was simply called Social Hiking and is still commonly referred to as such. In 2012, from feedback received through the @socialhiking twitter account, the website was renamed ShareYourAdventure.com. This blog post is about how I discovered Social Hiking and includes my very first map created using it.
Discovering Social Hiking – ShareYourAdventure.com
On the 9th April 2011 I went on a walk that would, in many way, change my life. I had been on countless walks before as I have been a keen walker, rambler, hiker and backpacker since the age of 13 – way back in 1970. So what made this walk so special – so life changing? It was the discovery of a truly inspirational web site called Social Hiking – ShareYourAdventure.com Before I tell you a little more about my first Social Hiking walk let me first share with you how I discovered this great social adventure tool – a little background always helps.
In 2009 I had acquired my first ‘SmartPhone’ – an old Nokia running Symbian OS (I can’t remember the model). I was impressed by an app that I had downloaded called ‘OVI Maps’, a mapping application (think Google maps) and I wondered if there was a Ordinance Survey mapping app for the phone that I could use when hiking. There was – it is called Viewranger! Now I could write an entire blog post about Viewranger!, the best mobile phone mapping solution I have found to date, and I will probably do so soon (I will put the link to the review here when I do), but for now let me just say – if you haven’t done so already – then go download it here – Google Play – iTunes – Nokia Store – You can thank me later 🙂 Suffice to say it was through Viewranger! that I discovered the amazing Social Hiking – ShareYourAdventure.com, more commonly referred to as simply Social Hiking (the original name for the website).
My Social Hiking – Inaugural Walk
At 11:27am on Sat 9th Apr 2011 I transmitted my first beacon from my mobile phone that would become the start of my first public, live and interactive track on Social Hiking. I remember at the time how excited I was to be able not only to record a gpx track of my walk (through the Viewranger app installed on my mobile phone), but also, using Viewranger linked to Social Hiking, to have a map of my walk being generated live to the world in almost real time. For an old, traditional and primarily solo hiker this was a whole new experience for me.
Above are the first three photo’s I uploaded to my inaugural public map on Social Hiking. I simply added the photo’s to tweets I made during the walk and the magic behind Social Hiking put them on my map for me. These days we can use a variety of photo sites such as Picasa, Flickr and Instagram to link our photos to our Social Hiking maps. Here are some more pictures linked to my map.
click images to enlarge
My first Social Hiking Map
You may have noticed little blue icons scattered along the red trail in the screenshot of my map above (and on the Ordinance Survey screenshot at the top of this post). Well these represent the media attached to my map – in this case the photos shown in this blog post and tweets I made during my walk. (Try clicking on a blue icon)
If you click on the Repton, Foremark and Ticknall – A circular walk link on the map you will be diverted to Social Hiking – ShareYourAdventure.com where you can see in more detail how this all works and maybe you will want to try Social Hiking out for yourself. I will be sharing more of My Adventures here so please feel free to join my blog and #ShareYourAdventure too in the comments. If you have your own adventures you would like to share in my blog please drop me an email as I welcome guest posts too!
So there you have it – my inaugural Social Hiking walk. The walk itself is one I have done many times with slight variations of the route as it is a local favourite of mine. It takes in Foremark Reservoir which is a popular picnic and walking area for families and the caves you see in the fouth picture above were once used as homes as recently as the 20th century. The rock band ‘The Who’ have visited these caves and legend has it they took a pee inside! Rock’n’Roll ‘eh?