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Thursday, December 29, 2011

An app for the Adirondack High Peaks

You and a friend finally reach the summit of Gothics, take in the glorious view, and begin to wonder what the names are of all the peaks around you. So your friend whips out an iPhone and starts tapping the screen.

Is he calling the local forest ranger for answers?

Not if he has installed the ADK46erNow app on his phone. Developed by Keith Kubarek, an enthusiastic Adirondack hiker, the app uses the phone’s GPS system to help people identify peaks in the viewshed of any of the forty-six High Peaks.

 

46er app for the iPhone.

46er app for the iPhone.

The app also contains basic facts about each of the High Peaks, including elevation and the feet of ascent and mileage from trailhead to summit; a logbook for keeping track of the peaks you’ve climbed; and links to the current weather at your location or at any of the High Peaks.

The program can be purchased for $4.99 at the App Store on Apple’s website. The hitch is that you must own an iPhone. I don’t, but I was able to download the app onto my iPod Touch to test the features in the office. Without the phone’s GPS capability, however, I was unable to use the app in the field.

The app’s home page has four options: “My Log Book,” “ADK 46er Now,” “High Peaks,” and “Weather.” The coolest feature, the electronic peak-finder, is found under the ADK 46er Now rubric.

If you select this option, your current GPS coordinates appear at the bottom of the screen. Three new options also appear: “Map,” “360° View,” and “Summit Stamp.”

For the peak-finder, select 360° View. The screen turns into a clear window with a red vertical line running down the middle. It’s as if you’re viewing the landscape through the phone’s camera. When the red line bisects one of the High Peaks in the vista, the peak’s name appears at the bottom of the screen. The function can be used not just on summits, but whenever you have a good view.

One shortcoming is that the app can identify only peaks within a five-mile radius. So if you’re on Mount Marcy, for example, it won’t tell you that the big mountain ten miles distant in the southwest is Santanoni Peak. Kubarek tried using a ten-mile radius, but the phone’s screen became too cluttered. He says he may give users the option of adjusting the viewing radius in a future version of the app.

You can get a better sense of how the peak-finder works by clicking this link to the developer’s website.

Other features include:

  • Summit Stamp. When you reach the top of a High Peak, it records the date and time of your ascent, the current weather, and your GPS coordinates.
  • High Peaks Sorter. It allows you to order the peaks by name, height, feet of ascent, or round-trip mileage to the summit. By selecting a summit, you can view it in a satellite image or on a topo or terrain map.
  • Map and Compass. You can pinpont your location on topo or terrain maps. The compass function is activated by tapping the circular logo on the home screen.

For an overview of all the features of ADK46erNow, click here.

Kubarek says he expects to add new features this year, including one that will allow hikers to e-mail trip notes and Summit Stamps to their friends and family. Those who purchase the app now will be able to update it for free when the new version comes out.

 

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

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6 Responses

  1. Pete Nye says:

    hey: what’s with this “Apple-snobbery” ??
    what about us Android folks !
    😉

  2. Phil Brown says:

    Pete, I did ask the developer about Android. Here is his reply:

    “I’m not sure if the ADK46erNow app will ever be released on Android, however, because it relies heavily on the phone’s built-in hardware features (also why previous versions of the iPhone and iTouch are not supported). I’ll need to see how the various devices evolve.”

  3. Pete Nye says:

    thx Phil; figured something like that.
    No worries though; between my hiking buddies and I we know pretty darn well where we are and what’s what ! 🙂

  4. Curt Austin says:

    I see the smiley, but it’s a question I get asked often as a small-time app developer. It’s not Apple snobbery when a developer chooses one platform or the other. The two development environments are entirely different – the programming language, the UI paradigm, the code structure, the hardware, the monetization strategy – everything. It’s a huge challenge to learn just one of them.

  5. Johnny Vanwyhe says:

    Great ! Thank you

  6. ike dixon says:

    Look forward to trying this out!

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