Monday, September 29, 2014

WCPP, Nopiming, Manigotagan, and Atikaki Route Finder Progress

I completed the Route Finder for the backcountry canoe routes for Nopiming Provincial Park and Manigotagan River Provincial Park. You can now calculate time and distance estimates for the routes in these parks.

I have also continued working on the northern Woodland Caribou Provincial Park routes. You can see my progress in the image below. Along with this, I have connected Wallace Lake in Atikaki Provincial Park to the Obukowin Lake and Wanipigow River entry points in Woodland Caribou. Wallace Lake is the usual starting point for these two entry points.

It shouldn't be too much longer until I have Woodland Caribou completely finished and I start working on Atikaki and Whiteshell.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Paddle Video

Tired of the map and string method of measuring paddling distances? Try!

This is our first try at a video promoting the website. I think it turned out pretty well considering our very limited resources.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Woodland Caribou Route Finder Progress

I'm making good progress on the Route Finder for Woodland Caribou. The entire southern portion is completed. Since this is the most traveled section of the park, the Route Finder should be usable for most people. The green in the image below is the portion that is completed and usable.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Maps and Tools

As we transition from paddling season to planning season, I thought I would give an update on the website and announce a few new maps and tools.

Added Manitoba-Ontario Interprovincial Wilderness Area
That's a long name, but it also is a big area. The wilderness area includes Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in Ontario and Atikaki and Nopiming Provincial Parks in Manitoba. Though not part of the wilderness area, I have also included the adjoining provincial parks - South Atikaki, Wallace Lake, Manigotagan River, and Whiteshell. These parks combined encompass over 3 million acres, about 3 times the size of the Boundary Waters, and include some of the most pristine paddling in the world. 

I am about halfway through adding the Route Finder to Woodland Caribou (I haven't started the other areas). The green area below is what I have completed so far (the yellow dots are portages). The Route Finder will work in the green area but will give an error if you try to route anywhere else. I periodically update my progress on the blog. 

You can access the new maps from the interactive maps page.

Maximum Distance/Time Tool Added to Route Finder
I'm not really sure what to call this, so I'll just have to explain it. The Route Finder was originally designed to give a time and distance estimate when you have a starting point and a destination. What if you don't have a destination, only a starting point? Where can you go in, for example, 4 hours? Most of my short weekend trips I start at an entry point and go for 3-5 hours. I don't have a set destination in mind. When trying to plan this in the past, I have had to do several calculations to figure out how far I can go. With the new tool, I can now specify a starting location and the time/distance I want to go, and the possible locations will be highlighted on the map. This tool will also come in handy when trying to plan day trips from a campsite.

The calculation takes more resources and more time than a regular Route Finder calculation, so I had to place limits on the tool's time and distance. Free accounts can plot up to 4 hours or 12 miles. Paid accounts can plot up to 8 hours or 24 miles. When using the tool, you need to be patient as the calculation can take a long time, especially if it is trying to plot over 4 hours. Though it should be rare, if the calculation takes over 5 minutes, it will give an error and stop.

Future Plans
My goal is to complete the following before planning season gets into full swing next January. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do all of it, but I'll certainly give it a try.
  • Add Algonquin Provincial Park - I have everything I need except for campsite locations. Getting permission to use any existing campsite data might be a little tricky, though.
  • Ability to export map images - I have almost finished making a tool to export a map to an image. You can always do it right now with screenshots, but this will make it easier.
  • Revamp Photo Upload Process - The photo upload and edit process currently can be a little confusing. I am going to revamp it and add some more tools, such as a way to bulk upload or edit photos.
  • Trip Planning Application - My vision is to have the ability to completely plan a trip on the website - permits, outfitters, gear and food lists, maps and routes, communications with other group members  - and keep all of the information in one spot with the ability to print a trip plan or store it as a PDF. It will be a big project, but I'm hopeful on getting it done before next planning season.
As always, I am open to suggestions and ideas. If there is something you would like to see on the website, just send me an email.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Woodland Caribou Route Finder Progress

I have started working on the Route Finder for Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. Since it is as big as the Quetico, it will probably take quite a while to finish. In the image below, the green is what I have completed so far. The Route Finder will work for that area but will give an error if you try to route anywhere else.