All posts in Help

Setting up Social Hiking for TGO Challenge [updated for 2017]

Last year, for the sixth year, Social Hiking had a group map running for Social Hiking users on the TGO Challenge (view the TGO Challenge 2016 group map). The map displayed the progress of several hikers live as they made their way from the west to east coast of Scotland.

This year we have been asked to provide the same service again for anyone who wishes to share their progress on the TGO Challenge. If you are new to Social Hiking but what to share your challenge, this post covers how to register, setup your location sources, link media accounts and create your map ready for your challenge. Although specifically for TGO Challengers, other users may find some of the sections useful.

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Setting up Social Hiking for the TGO Challenge 2014

Last year, for the third year, Social Hiking had a group map running for Social Hiking users on the TGO Challenge (view the unofficial TGO Challenge 2013 group map). The map displayed the progress of flintyrich, volpi, nickbramhll, aussie_mike and viffer98 live as they made their way from the west to east coast of Scotland.

I know there are several users who are on the challenge this year so, ‘back by popular demand’, there is an unofficial TGO Challenge 2014 group map. If you are new to Social Hiking but what to share your challenge, this post covers how to register, setup your location sources, link media accounts and create your map ready for your challenge. Although specifically for TGO Challengers, other users may find some of the sections useful.

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Changes to Social Hiking support and suggestions

Today the Social Hiking Get Satisfaction customer support portal has been closed.

It has been running since 2011, and although it has been a really helpful way to help support users and to collect ideas and suggestions, it ultimately was not used enough to warrant the quite high cost.

For support, I will continue to use the Wheredidthetigergo’s (my day job) online helpdesk powered by Zendesk – to be honest this tends to be where users end up anyway when they need help. You can email your support enquiries direct to support@shareyouradventure.com, visit support.wheredidthetigergo.co.uk or click the ‘Help’ tab on the left hand side of the website (this replaces the previous ‘Feedback’ tab that was linked to Get Satisfaction).

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Linked Media – flexibility vs ease of use

Right from the very beginning of Social Hiking, the site was designed to be as flexible as possible in how media accounts are linked. The site was originally built for a charity walk involving two hikers – and I wanted both of our Twitter and Twitpic accounts to be linked to the same map.

Social Hiking treats each media account linked to the site as a separate entity – your twitter feed is separate to your twitter photos for example. This has two clear advantages:

Firstly it gives you massive flexibility – you can link multiple accounts of the same type, so for example you can link your twitter account (with your hashtag) and the twitter account of your friends or partner who you regularly walk with (with their hashtags), you can include your twitpic photos without including the related tweet (by not including your hashtag in the description), or you could include some twitter photos without also including the tweet (by using different hashtags).

The second advantage is that each media type is nicely classified – Twitter photos are treated in the same way as other photo accounts (for example Flickr, Picasa etc), whereas the same tweet, added via your linked Twitter account, is treated in a different way (as a tweet, with the potential to have threaded conversations displayed).

The disadvantage is that it is more complicated – for Twitter in particular, you need to add a linked account separately for tweets, your mentions, twitter photos and twitpics. This is also probably not what a user would expect – surely if you link a Twitter account, you should also get the mentions and photos without more steps?!

Having flexibility is important and classifying media has some great uses that you will see in future updates, however I have just rolled out a modification that should make the process of linking accounts related to Twitter much easier.

From now on, when you add a new Twitter account to link (or edit an existing one), you will have the option to also create linked accounts for related media like threaded conversations (if the Twitter account is your own), Twitter photos, Twitpic and Twitgoo – simply select the accounts you want to add and the site will automatically create the necessary accounts.

Adding a Tabbed Page to Show Your SocialHiking Map in Blogger

Here is a useful guide from Pilgrim Chris (@PilgrimChris on Twitter) on how to add a tabbed page to show your Social Hiking map in Blogger

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ViewRanger – Free trial on Android and importing your own routes

Free Trial version of ViewRanger on Android

First up some pretty big news – ViewRanger has released a free trial of their software on Android phones. The free trial gives you 15 days worth of access to all the functionality (including BuddyBeacon) using the open maps (global OpenStreet & OpenCycle mapping and includes Bing road maps and aerial photo layers in the free maps menu).

Just like with the full version, it allows users to view their GPS mapped location, record a track and view performance statistics. As the maps can be stored on the phone it works without a mobile signal. ViewRanger GPS navigation features include the ability to plot your own routes or import GPX files; following the route becomes a breeze, with waypoint and navigation alarms that provide alerts along the course. Real-time location sharing is the other key feature of our app – the “BuddyBeacon(TM)” service allows users to share their location with other app or web users and view the location of their friends on-screen, which is great for peace of mind or progress tracking.

Liking the mention of using BuddyBeacon to share location with other apps – that us (presumably amongst others!)

Obviously this does nothing to help solve the well discussed pricing issues with the iPhone version, but it will be interesting to see what happens if the trial version is successful.

Importing your own routes into ViewRanger

On a slightly related note, @HelenJFisher recently sent me an email detailing how to import your own routes into ViewRanger (the instructions are for the Android version, but I assume it probably works for other versions as well).

Thanks Helen.

Prerequisites
Saved .gpx file on SD card or phone memory in the Viewranger folder
(make sure your phone is then disconnected from your PC and your SD card is mounted)

Process

  • Open Viewranger
  • Press the Menu button
  • Select Organiser
  • Select Routes
  • Press the Menu button
  • Select ‘Import gpx/loc’
  • Select the file
  • Message shown: “This file contains 1 route(s). Import?”
  • Select Yes
  • The route is listed.
  • Select the route
  • Press menu button
  • Select map

Updates (or lack of them)

Apologies for the delay in all the promised updates – what with exciting times in my personal life and a heavy workload, I have been a bit distracted – sorry! (and I am yet to work out how to get someone to pay me to build Social Hiking!)

I do plan to get around to some of the updates soon, so please bear with me!