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.

What is the TGO Challenge?

The TGO Challenge is an annual self-supported walking event across the Highlands of Scotland, west coast to east coast. The Challenge is held every May and is sponsored by The Great Outdoors magazine, the walkers’ magazine, in partnership with Hanwag, the specialist outdoor footwear company. You can find out more on the TGO Challenge website and the TGO website.

(Please note Social Hiking is not endorsed or certified by the organisers of the TGO Challenge nor their partners or sponsors. We are providing unofficial support at the request of our users.)

In the third episode of the Social Hiking podcast, guest co-host Rich Flint talks about his experiences during the TGO Challenge 2013:

How Social Hiking can help you share your adventure?

Social Hiking let’s you:

a) create a live updating map of your journey including tweets, photos, videos and audio uploaded live

b) create a record of your trip (or update your live map) by uploading gpx tracks, photos taken using your camera and recorded videos and audio when you have a wifi signal (or when you get home)

c) include your map on a group map, so visitors can view all the maps challengers are sharing on Social Hiking live on a single map (last year’s group map can be viewed at

Screenshot of group map for TGO challenge 2013

Getting Setup

The following is a quick guide to getting setup on Social Hiking – if you need any further help, please do not hesitate to email, post a comment on this post, or get in touch on Twitter or Google+.

Login & Register

If you are not already registered on Social Hiking, visit and click the ‘Sign in with Twitter’ button on the top right (currently a Twitter account is required to register, but is not otherwise a requirement to use the site).

Complete the registration form – only your username (which defaults to your Twitter screen name, your name and your email address are required fields, the rest can be left as the default values although we would recommend you choose to follow SocialHiking on Twitter and sign up to our occasional newsletter).

Location Sources

If you wish to have a live updating map, you need to add a location source. The following options can be accessed from the ‘Location Sources’ tab on Social Hiking:

  • SPOT – to add a SPOT device you first need to create a public shared page on the SPOT portal and take a note of the web address of this page. In Social Hiking, select the ‘SPOT’ tab and then click ‘Setup SPOT’. Enter the web address of your SPOT public shared page. If you have a SPOT tracker, you can choose to ‘use only the track beacons (so your check in messages are not shared) to create your map (if you are manually sending beacons, please do not select this option).
  • Delorme –  to add a Delorme device you first need to create a public shared page on the Delorme portal and take a note of the web address of this page. In Social Hiking, select the ‘Delorme’ tab and then click ‘Setup Delorme’. Enter the web address of your Delorme shared page.
  • ViewRanger (available on Symbian, Android and iPhone) – Social Hiking supports ViewRanger’s BuddyBeacon feature. Once you have setup BuddyBeacon (for help visit,  return to Social Hiking, select the ‘ViewRanger BuddyBeacon’ tab and click ‘Setup ViewRanger BuddyBeacon’ button. Enter your ViewRanger BuddyBeacon username (this can also be an email address) and pin. As mobile signal is likely to be intermittent, you are recommended to ensure ‘Send Old Positions’ is switched on in your ViewRanger phone settings, and ‘Record Multiple Locations’ is enabled on ViewRanger’s portal – this allows beacons to be stored when you are out of signal (although please note that these are lost if the app closes or crashes).
  • Yellowbrick – To add YellowBrick, you need to contact the support team at YellowBrick to activate the api for your account – once this is done, simply enter your YellowBrick username under ‘Location Sources’.
  • Media – You can also use Twitter to create points on your map (please see ‘Linked Accounts’ below)
  • Locus Maps and other apps – certain apps like Locus Maps support live tracking direct with Social Hiking. Please get in touch for more details.

Linked Accounts

Linking media accounts allows you to add easily add tweets, photos, video, audio and other media to your maps.

  • Twitter –  to link a Twitter account (and related accounts), select ‘Twitter’ from the drop down menu and select ‘Link a new account’.  Enter your Twitter username. If you wish you can choose a hashtag (for example #sh) to limit the tweets that appear on your map. If you wish you can also choose to use Twitter to create points on your map by selecting Use Geotags? Finally you can choose to also link other accounts related to your Twitter account including Twitter photos, Twitpics and (if it is your own Twitter account) your Twitter mentions (to create threaded conversations).
  • Camera Photos – if you want to include photos from your camera, then you need to link a Flickr account. When you upload your photos to Flickr, Social Hiking will link them to the correct location of your map based on the time taken (so you need to make sure your camera has the correct time).
  • Other Media – to make a multi-media map you can also include other services like Instagram (photos), Audioboo (for small podcasts) and Bambuser (for videos).

Go for a test

With everything setup, you have done the hard part! Now head outdoors to do a test. With everything setup correctly, you just need to switch on your chosen location source and begin sharing media – Social Hiking will automatically create a map using the data collected.

Final TGO Setup and Joining the Group Map

Assuming your test worked (if not just get in touch so we can check everything for you) – the final setup needed is to create your map ready for your challenge.

  • Login to Social Hiking and click ‘Your Maps’, then select ‘Setup Track’
  • Enter a title, and choose a start and end date for your map (this can be approximate, you can always change it when you get back)
  • If you wish enter a description
  • If you would like others to view your map, to embed your map in your website, or to join the group map, you need to choose ‘Public’ as the privacy setting
  • Save the map
  • To add your map to the TGO 2013 (unofficial) group map, visit, and in the ‘Maps’ tab select ‘Add a map’ and choose your TGO Challenge map you created above (and a colour).

That’s it – you are all setup and ready to share your adventure!

Other Stuff

Here are a few advanced features you might want to take a look at:

  • Embed your map in your website or blog
  • Use @advbot to add context to your tweets during the challenge
  • Add your full planned route as a layer to your live map
  • Add comments to your map
  • Link media accounts for your hiking companions

Whether you are sharing your challenge on Social Hiking or not, I would like to wish you the best of luck!

Share with Others:
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • FriendFeed
  • Google Buzz
  • Posterous

Got something to say? Go for it!