Updates to peak bagging feature: notifications, more peaks, manually add missed peaks or remove bagged peaks

Automatic peak bagging is one of the most popular features of Social Hiking. Originally based on a concept from Steven Horner (@stevenhorner), the basic idea is simple – as you share your position (either live or from a gpx file upload), Social Hiking compares each location to a database of peaks (mountains and hills) to see if you were on the top, and rewards you accordingly with a special icon and the kudos of having bagged the peak.

Over the years, especially the last year, there have been quite a few improvements to automatic peak bagging –

  • support for other geographical  features, especially passes (often more relevant than mountains to hikers in places like The Alps for example) was added
  • a peaks page was added to let you browse all the peaks in the database on a map and view league tables of the most popular peaks and the top peak baggers (by country and type of peak)
  • each peak has it’s own page, so you can browse routes to a specific peak and get in touch with the people who have bagged it the most
  • you can browse a list of peaks bagged by a specific user in chronological order [if the user is a supporter]
  • if you are logged in, peaks you have bagged are marked in red throughout the site

Over the last month, a further set of updates have been rolled out……


Social Hiking can now notify you when it has automatically bagged a peak for you (a surprisingly popular request), either by Twitter direct message (via @advbot), email or as a push notification to your phone (via Pushover).

Example of Pushover peak bagging notification

By default, notifications are turned off – to turn them on, login to Social Hiking, click ‘Your Settings’, then the ‘Notification Settings’ tab and choose your preferred notification method.

Social Hiking will only notify you if a peak has been bagged within the last hour – so it only really works if you are sharing live location data.

Updated UK Database

The database of peaks has been updated to include the latest update from Database of British and Irish Hills (v14) – as well as improving the accuracy of the data (including names, height and position), the data also includes an additional 15,000 hills and mountains across the British Isles [please note – the data for Republic of Ireland is yet to be updated, but will be shortly]

Historically, all UK data in the database was classed as ‘peaks’ (as opposed to hills or mountains). This causes some confusion with data used for the rest of the world, where similar geographical features are classed as hills, mountains or peaks (although the actual definition or difference is slightly fuzzy). As part of the update process, all the UK data was reclassified as mountain (over 300m), peak (less than 300m, but included on a notable list (e.g. Marilyns or smaller Wainwrights)) and hill (less than 300m). The only difference this really makes is with the icon that appears and for filtering of top peaks and baggers.

More hills in the database

Any maps created after 8th July will include the new data – for maps previously added to the site, you will need to use the refresh process described below to update your maps.

Bagged Peak Management

There is now a new page for each of your track maps where you can manage the peaks bagged on Social Hiking. You can access the page by clicking the mountain_bagged icon on any of your track maps or on the ‘Your Maps’ page (it is next to the edit icon).

From this page you can:

  • Delete an incorrectly bagged peak – as Social Hiking uses a tolerance to bag peaks, it can sometimes get it wrong!
  • Refresh a map to check for new peaks – this  forces Social Hiking to check each point on your map again for bagged peaks (including the new data added)
  • Find a missing peak – sometimes Social Hiking is not able to automatically bag a peak using the default tolerance. This feature forces Social Hiking to increment the tolerance to look for a specific peak. If Social Hiking still cannot find the peak (for example if you had a gap in your location data), you can manually add the bagged peak.

The map refresh and find missing peak features are only available to supporters, without whom I would not be able to continue to run or develop the site. You can find out more about becoming a supporter at: http://www.shareyouradventure.com/supporters

Screenshot of manage bagged peaks page

Peak Lists [coming soon]

Not quite an official release yet, but work is well under way to support peak lists – not just lists like Munros or Wainwrights, but custom user curated lists.

The test case being used is a custom list by Paul Buck (@paulgbuck) of the Tors and Rocks of Dartmoor – as well as including existing hills, peaks and mountains in the database, the list also includes a whole set of other geographical features to bag (you need to select ‘other’ in the filter to view the additional data).

The list pages include a browseable map of all the peaks (as well as a list) (marking the ones you have already bagged), details of the list creator and a table showing the progress of users in completing the list.

Dartmoor Tors and Rocks


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5 Comments on "Updates to peak bagging feature: notifications, more peaks, manually add missed peaks or remove bagged peaks"

  1. Martin Free says:

    Nice one, Phil 🙂

  2. Neil sainthouse says:

    Your spoiling us 😀

  3. Mark says:

    Been having a play around with the new features this morning and they’re great. I’ve bagged a few more peaks than I thought 🙂 Set up the peak bagging notification via pushover so planning to test that out on my next walk. Like the sound of the peak lists! Cheers Phil !

  4. peter Dixon says:

    Hi ..using the peaks page,where you can see all the peaks ..is it possible to make it full screen ? I sometimes print that page and take it with me ..but as present its only a small bit you can print out ? Many thanks for a great app. Peter. Munro277

    • daylightgambler says:

      Hi Peter – there is a plan to add a ‘full screen’ feature to those browseable maps generally (at some point) but I can certainly take a look at making the page print better.

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