Trailforks Hits 3 Big Milestones & Updates on New Features, Including Multi-Activity Support

Jan 31, 2020
by Trevor May  



We were hard at work in 2019 improving Trailforks with new features and refinements along with fixing many bugs. While we spend a lot of development time fixing bugs, tweaking backend systems to be more efficient, optimizing database and other boring stuff, we have also continued to add a lot of new features. Some for everyday riders , and others for backend trail association use.

Here is a list of some of the changes we've made in 2019. But first, three big milestones we've hit.


Milestones

1. Trailforks in September passed 200,000 trails mapped, with 60,000 added in 2019 alone!


How many MTB trails are there in the world? We hope to find out! Instead of starting to plateau or slow down, the number of trails added monthly is increasing!

"Trails being added over 2019"


2. The second big milestone is Trailforks passed its 5 year Pinkbike launch anniversary.



3. The third milestone is we passed 1.5 million app downloads in September!






Website


• Maps switched from Google to Mapbox with a ton of new functionality.
This article details the many new map functions.




Activity Types

• It's not a big secret that Trailforks is expanding to accommodate a wide range of trail activity types outside our primary mountain bike focus. This has long been requested by users from other activities and from trail associations that manage trails for multiple user groups.

We have decided to go the path of one app to rule them all, rather than creating separate apps for each separate activity. As many users switch often between activities and there is value from a navigation and mapping perspective in seeing other activities trails. Also the name "Trailforks" is a neutral name, nothing that limits it to just mountain biking.

For the foreseeable future mountain biking will still be the main focus and some of the features will only work with mountain biking in mind. But this past winter we've tried to change much of our database, codebase and UI to accommodate trails and users from other activity types. And have been tweaking and improving the multi-activity support all of 2019 as local admins and new user groups start to add their trail data.

We have a big task ahead, mapping the trails for other sports! We want to have a decent amount of hiking, moto, and ski trails mapped before we release the new functionality fully to the public. So we need the help of locals and our awesome Trailforks contributors to map their local non-biking trails and to edit the existing trails adding info about what other activities a trail supports.





• New welcome homepage that first-time visitors see. Also a Why Contribute to Trailforks page for users from different activity types.




• Starting October 17, we are detecting other people you rode with for ridelogs. We also detect other athletes that rode similar rides during the same time you did. Both these help with a new suggested friends to follow feature.


Click to reveal others that rode during the same time. There is a profile setting to opt-out of ridelog matching.


You can still manually tag friends you rode with, but now this is made easier with the matching.


On your profile settings page there is a link to the new find friends tool.




• The ridelog badge system was expanded this year, in the spring we generated thousands of generic badges for regions around the world. So you can earn various badges in each region. Local admins can also create their own custom badges. One of the most fun generic badges is the "Completionist" series, where you have to ride every trail in an area to complete.






• A special badge for donating Trail Karma was created.




• More pages that linked to Pinkbike are being transferred to Trailforks itself, this includes your profile settings pages.




• The Trailforks login and register pages are also now on Trailforks itself rather than Pinkbike.




• New video page on Trailforks, rather than linked to Pinkbike video pages.




• Better Pinkbike article linking to regions and trails using the new Pinkbike news tags system.




• Trail merging tool (demo).




• Detailed admin audit log, can be viewed by specific region or trail.




• Save default map home location on Nearby page.




• Admin tool to bulk edit a regions trails activity type data.




• Admin tool to bulk edit trails closure settings.




• New POI types added.




• Custom land owner polygon data moved from deprecated Google Fusion tables to our own Postgres database. Region admins can send us local land owner polygon data that we can include in this map layer.




• Share popup for routes & trails with new QR Code option.




• Summary of recent ride data for a trail, can let you know if people are still riding a trail and if it's worth checking out.




• Contours option for satellite basemap.




• Tool helping users rate trails they've ridden. This page lists trails you've ridden, based on ridelog data. You then can 5-star rate the trails from here.
https://www.trailforks.com/contribute/trailrating/




• Embeddable widgets converted to use Mapbox.




• More personal ridelog statistics.




• New global search page.




• Fix issue with photos with gps data not showing on the map.




• Admin option to view region bounding boxes & routing areas.




• New routes block on regions page.




• "My Rides" tab on region & trail ridelogs page. To view your rides in that region or for a specific trail.




• New basemap layers for 3D Maps.




• Dimension data for TTF POIs.




• New trail fields for adaptive mountain bikers.




Gravel grinder routes page.




• QR Code generator tool.




• Top riders in region page with new year and activity type filters.




• Information block indicating your ridelogs in the import queue.




• If you disconnect Strava, we now warn that your data will be deleted unless you choose to keep it.




• Right click map to view elevation and a link to share a marker of that spot.

right click map for info



• Map option to show which trails need more contributions. Help add detail to the map!




• Charts for trail work reports. Track which areas and which users have logged the most trail work.




PLUS:

• Add multi-activity support to print map tool.
• Better duplicate ridelog detection.
• Switch admin email notifications to use user subscribe system.
• Re-submit rejected content. Change reject vote.
• Show proper trail association for region & trails based on users current activity type.
• Trail restricted access field.
• Trail reference number field, shown in trail title.
• Increase Strava ride import efficiency
• Improve elevation data and graphs, smooth & clean data. Running internal elevation service.






App


• Show grade on elevation graph.
Here we represent the grade data with different colors and different height bars. The color and height of the grade bars are directly proportional to the absolute grade. The grade bars can extend above or below to represent if this is an uphill or downhill section of trail.

elevation examples
Using the trail Credit Line as an example, it looks like there is a punchy climb at the beginning of the trail, followed by a few ups and downs, finishing with a low grade pedal section.
elevation examples
This trail is slightly downhill the whole way with no surprises.
elevation examples
Pleasure trail seems to start off ok, but soon it's downhill steep after steep. It also looks like there will be a punchy uphill or hike-a-bike uphill section, depending on how good you are.



• New My Ridelogs page to browse your past rides and rides from people you follow.
• New ridelog detail page.




• Edit ridelog details in-app.




• Trails wishlist moved to main menu along with wishlisted routes & regions as "My Wishlist".




• Auto-select nearby trail on add report and add photo forms if trail selection is empty and photo exif has GPS data.





• New share modal with QR Code sharing




• App notifications for trail reports you subscribe too.




PLUS:

• Upgrade to newer Android SDK with on-demand app permissions.
• Different trail difficulty, popularity & trail association per activity type.
• View past events.
• New POI types.






Infrastructure

• We finally updated some old legacy code so we could update to PHP 7, which offers much performance improvements.

• We are in the process of upgrading many of our servers and adding more capacity.

Trailforks Servers
Trailforks Servers

Trailforks Servers
Trailforks Servers
Lots of server and tech upgrades. ( New servers with Intel Optane 4800x NVMe drives, 10/40Gbps networking )

Latency improvements
Improved latency to less than 20ms page generation times



• Long-time staff member Brent Hillier stepped away this September to pursue his outdoor education career. We want to thank Brent for his years of devotion to the Trailforks project. Helping it grow and reach more people while hearing the concerns of trail associations.

• We've added a new staff member, Mark Holloway who was previously an ambassador and active contributor. He is helping us communicate with trail associations, manage content and respond to email support.





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