Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

New app feedback wanted

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. I'm looking for feedback for a prototype of an app (https://ski-nav-app.com/web) I'm working on. I posted before about ideas and got some great feedback.

- The app shows your location, lifts, runs and restaurants on a map,
- shows the route to a chosen location both on the map and as list of lifts needed,
- lets you set route preferences (run difficulty),
- is a fixed-angle 3D map that looks similar to the official paper map.

The current plan is that that's free and the first paid extra features would be to show your friends on the map and give suggested routes and meeting points. My biased view is that it's easier to use than a paper map and the alternative mapping apps out there. But am I wrong? Would you actually want to download this app based on the prototype? Would you suggest any changes?

The demo (https://ski-nav-app.com/web) is just a web page and I suggest you open it on your phone. The real thing is a proper app and uses your GPS (if you choose). A fake location is set on the Paradiski map. I've just put a handful of maps but it will support everything OpenStreetMap does. Bear in mind I haven't yet fixed the raw data but a lot of improvement is fairly easy. For example some lifts are backwards and it sometimes lets you get on in the middle of a lift. I also plan to group nearby restaurants so that the view is not so cluttered. The main user interface is quite rough around the edges but it IS how I currently plan it, so please comment on this if you don't like it!

Thanks for any feedback.

https://ski-nav-app.com/web

[img]https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1zhA300SvocNLToxC24ht9bWMGcBrF2S5[/img]
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's very similar to the Ski Amadé app which I have downloaded but looks less professional. I always disable the 3D feature. It's just too weird and much slower to load than the usual map view. I find the facility to download the maps and use them offline very useful. Your app seems to name the lifts but not the pistes, is that intentional?
latest report
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just some general comments on yet another ski app!

Don't assume that people will find it easy to use - fishing out a phone in a ski environment and particualrly viewing screens in sunlight and with goggles/sunnies on is hard enough to make me never bother. The only real advantage of a phone is that they don't distintegrate in snain but by then you have other mositure problems.

Most major resort areas already have something similar and there's Fatmap etc so what's your USP? Even google maps makes a decent fist of showing lift lines and main runs these days (although data can be hopelessly out of date) and you need to remember to add terrain overlays.

Who are you selling to? Are resorts customers if you develop something good? Are there that many people who will pay for peripheral features? Maybe you don't actually intend to be commercial.

How are you going to QC it without specific knowledge of resorts? e.g. I looked at Val Thorens and could have immediately got confused by the Tyrolienne which isn't a lift at all but a zipwire
ski holidays
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@queenie, I feel the same about 3D views in general. My intention with the fixed-angle view was to keep the benefit of the paper map view with a bit more shape information coming naturally as you scroll around. Do you find this view weird or slow or do you mean just in general? I'm testing on an old phone that could never run, say, FATMAP. I hadn't decided about the pistes. Either select as normal or long-tap. Similarly I'm not sure if it's okay to not show lift names directly on the map.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Dave, I've tried hard to make it usable with a few taps and a single hand. I guess that still won't compete with a paper map for everyone but many I hope. I've never used FATMAP seriously but as far as I can tell, it's not an app for quickly using on the piste to see where you are or get directions. USP is a simple easy-to-use map for seeing where you are and getting directions. I haven't seen a resort app yet that does achieves that in my opinion. If one or two resort-specific apps are better, that's okay. Do you think FATMAP competes here? Planned customers would be direct in-app purchases for features. QC, tricky yes, I can do no better than having a feedback channel and working off that.
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@jancellor, I think you are over-complicating it. I'm not sure that folks really need directions etc. And the 3D maps you have on your website are really hard to read; just like FATMAP is hard to read.

This is the best app I have come across, as it shows you where you are on the real resort's piste map. Also, shows your friend's locations. The problem is, the developer seems to have abandoned it, and there are never any updates.

http://www.maprika.com

If someone developed something similar, I would pay for it!
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks @Poogle. Can you elaborate why the map is hard to read? Specifically the 3D (the fixed angle is supposed to make it resemble the paper map)? Accuracy/relevance of village/town labels? No lift names shown directly on the map? When you zoom out, the text labels get smaller so you can't read them?

This app will show friends (but not on the official map of course).
snow conditions
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Another solution to a problem that doesn't exist rolling eyes
snow report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I use 4 riders ski app
Not only is it a gps, but its also a route planner with the option of avoiding certain runs & types of lifts
snow report
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@jancellor, I think it's great you folks are working hard to make a successful app. But I think you are just barking-up the wrong tree, in much the same way FATMAP are.

The 3D maps that you have, and FATMAP have, are just sterile, sparse, hard to read, and lack any real 3D quality. Plus there is really no rendering of the mountains. One cannot just easily see at a glance the "lie of the land":

Lie of the land means the current state of affairs, how something is organised. Literally, the lie of the land is the arrangement of features upon the land.

Yes, it's true you can zoom around, and with FATMAP you can change the POV; but all that makes it just even more complicated. And the difference between complex and complicated?: Something that is complicated is unnecessarily complex.

Compare your 3D maps to any typical resort map, and it's just obvious how the latter is just so much more user friendly.

And I honestly think that most snow sports folks just don't need or even desire an app that shows them the best route or lift/piste to take. Being on the snow is about having fun, exploration and adventure — it's not like one is trying to navigate a city's underground network; or finding the quickest way to drive to work.

Quite a few resorts have now put FATMAPs on their websites and apps, and I think it's a mistake. They have just been seduced by the whole "app" thing and CGI magic. It just does not work in practice.

And trying to look at piste maps on a phone, whilst on the slopes/lifts really does not work. Whilst the good old-fashioned printed piste map hits the spot every time.

Now what would be really useful, is resort apps showing which lifts/runs are open/closed in real time — but that is something they all find so hard to implement.

I don't want to be negative — and yet here we are! Crying or Very sad
snow conditions
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@Mr.Egg Thanks, I see you pointed out 4riders to me last time. The map graphics are good. Personally, I thought the scroll/zoom controls and route UI were too awkward to use for it to be useful on the piste. Would you use Ski Nav? Any suggestions for features you don't get from 4riders? (I am assuming you are not related to the developer.)
snow conditions
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
jancellor wrote:
@Mr.Egg Thanks, I see you pointed out 4riders to me last time. The map graphics are good. Personally, I thought the scroll/zoom controls and route UI were too awkward to use for it to be useful on the piste. Would you use Ski Nav? Any suggestions for features you don't get from 4riders? (I am assuming you are not related to the developer.)


I would not whip my phone out on piste because of the hassle with gloves & liners.

Why I like 4 riders is because I just input my destination & it will point to which routes & lifts to use + I can tailor it if my partner is with me who is nervous. We go as a big group, get split up & then meet for lunch, so can always find the quickest way back to everyone. I dont really care for graphics of the mountain. All I want is an Take lift X take run 1 take lift Y take run 2 you have reached your destination on the left.
I can screenshot that & set it as my wallpaper. No need to log into my phone or open apps, etc. if I wanted to view it & no draining my battery running GPS.

No relation to the developer.
ski holidays
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@Mr.Egg, ah, interesting that you use it in a different way than I would have imagined. And pressing unlocking with the power button vs tapping the screen makes all the difference to you. Thanks for your comments.

It highlights the fact my route screen does not show the first lift you need without first tapping once -- I will change that. If I add automatic re-routing as an option, that will mean you can always see the name of the next lift required just by pressing the power button.
snow conditions
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Poogle, not negative, just constructive. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I'm trying to get the balance of simple and informative (not overly complicated but not lacking necessary detail). One issue I sometimes have with the paper maps is not being able to tell which way round a lift/piste is, one advantage of my map. On the other hand it doesn't show trees, rocks and buildings for assessing better the "lie of the land".

I take your point about fun, exploration and adventure. Skadi is a much-developed app that gets this wrong in my view, having overly-detailed voice directions. I only want to provide a better alternative to the necessity of having SOME kind of map. Then showing your friends, having route suggestions, etc are bonuses on top if you're chosing to use it anyway.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 24-06-19 10:16; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Poogle regarding lift/run open/closed status, this IS something I may do. I have only lowered the priority because I can't do it automatically for all resorts. Please speak up anyone else who also wants this feature.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
jancellor wrote:
@Poogle regarding lift/run open/closed status, this IS something I may do. I have only lowered the priority because I can't do it automatically for all resorts. Please speak up anyone else who also wants this feature.


My point was more that the resort apps themselves often don't have this information, and even if they do, they often don't keep it real-time. Perhaps they just don't have any automatic technology that does this, and they just rely on lift operators phoning-in their status.

So it would be a whole new step for you to be able to get the info via an API and then include it on your maps.
snow conditions
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I always download a piste map to my phone when I travel. I only ever look at it on my phone in the bar or digs afterwards. On the mountain I’ll only ever use a paper map or the large ones dotted round resort, both are far simpler to use in the sun or with cold/sweaty hands, and also have the advantage of not being restricted to 5 inches big*.




*Fnar fnar.
ski holidays
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Oh, I see what you mean. So far I just looked at lift status information for the Three Valleys which is provided by Skiplan/Lumiplan, eg https://www.skiplan.com/bulletin/bulletin.php, who cover several other resorts with the same webpage format. I have previously written code to grab this data from the webpage (not strictly an API) but it also needs some name-matching rules to link with the OSM map data. From memory (could be wrong), the Thee Valleys app had a dump of this page inside it, but it wasn't usable or integrated with a map. But as long as there's a live webpage, the data can be got fairly easily, even if the official resort apps doesn't get the same information -- for whatever reason.
snow report
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Poogle wrote:
jancellor wrote:
@Poogle regarding lift/run open/closed status, this IS something I may do. I have only lowered the priority because I can't do it automatically for all resorts. Please speak up anyone else who also wants this feature.


My point was more that the resort apps themselves often don't have this information, and even if they do, they often don't keep it real-time. Perhaps they just don't have any automatic technology that does this, and they just rely on lift operators phoning-in their status.

So it would be a whole new step for you to be able to get the info via an API and then include it on your maps.


it exists.. You just need to know where to look... or how to look at source code.
https://www.skiplan.com/stations-temps-reel/
snow report
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Mr.Egg that is incredibly helpful. I've poked around the skiplan website before but never found the list of resorts and I had no idea they covered that many. Thanks!
latest report
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
jancellor wrote:
Oh, I see what you mean. So far I just looked at lift status information for the Three Valleys which is provided by Skiplan/Lumiplan, eg https://www.skiplan.com/bulletin/bulletin.php, who cover several other resorts with the same webpage format. I have previously written code to grab this data from the webpage (not strictly an API) but it also needs some name-matching rules to link with the OSM map data. From memory (could be wrong), the Thee Valleys app had a dump of this page inside it, but it wasn't usable or integrated with a map. But as long as there's a live webpage, the data can be got fairly easily, even if the official resort apps doesn't get the same information -- for whatever reason.


All seems wonderful — but the problem is, how does each lift communicate that it's OPEN or CLOSED? Fancy websites are all very well, but how are they getting their information? Every year I rent an apartment overlooking the main Val Thorens ski area, and I can see whether a whole bunch of lifts are open or closed. Sadly, their real-life status is often at odds with what the resort's app and/or lift companies website is showing.

I'm told that in most resorts, there is no automatic communication on lift status. Rather, they just rely on the lift operator on site phoning a central office, who then, in theory, should update the lift status on the web.

However, these things can get in the way:

The central control operators can't be bothered to update the status
They are on strike
They are on a smoking break
They are on a go-slow
Their 35 hour working-week has ended
Computer says no
The football is on the telly
It's lunch-time (you know, the ones that last like 3 hours)
They are searching for the corkscrew
The are on a "love break" with a hot ski instructor in the comms room

etc etc. Laughing
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
It sucks, bro.

The app will struggle to make $10k (see prior link).

Not worth getting out of bed for.

Much better opportunities out there.

Good luck.
snow report
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I did appreciate your estimate of the breakdown of users last time and you're probably right but I don't mind taking the risk. It seems to me it's estimate but that the upper limit is quite high IF an app ticks just the boxes for a large minority of users (clearly many here not interested).
latest report
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
How about you designing your app with a degree of configurability and selling it to resorts, rather than end-users? A lot of resort apps are quite poor and after the initial investment, it's obvious they are not developing it any more. Or they 'update' it and it turns out to be a lemon (think the Verbier app as an example). Your pitch would be 'You run a lift company, not an app company - and you don't have the time/budget to do the updates you need to adapt to changing needs. This is what I do for you. I customise the app with your branding and turn on those features you think will appeal to your clients. You can even have different features enabled, depending on the profile of the client: an 18-yr-old clubber is not going to have the same profile as an affluent retiree: so why the same experience?'

So, for example, a TO Rep.may want to have an alarm service so that a client can get their help quickly if they have to deal with an accident etc. A group may want a good friends tracking capability for when bad weather splits the group. Some people want great route tracking, others couldn't care less. And so on. You'd just wrap the localisation and branding around the core functions, and enable and disable features as the lift company dictated, and as the user profile indicated.

Importantly, this would give you access to both map data from the lift company and lift/piste status data from their systems. As mentioned, without this, a generic app is going to find it hard to compete in terms of basic information. It might also be attractive to Domaines that don't have the budget to develop their own app.

Finally, what about summer? In many ways, the requirements for a summer app are probably easier to provide than for a winter one? So you could have summer and winter configurability, with some features only enabled in one season, or with a different flavour. So, for example, casual summer cyclists who hire an MTB for a day or two won't buy a Garmin or similar but they would use a Resort App that tracked their route, suggested waypoints, mountain cafés etc.
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
That may well be a better idea generally. For me personally, it takes me further out my comfort zone and extends the scope in a way I can't control or commit to. It looks like SkiLynx did this, whether it was an independent app first I don't know. The OSM lift data is not perfect but pretty good and avoids the work of lots of customisation per resort. If I could find better mountain restaurant data that would be great. I might do per-resort branding, just for searchability in the app stores. MTB has been suggested to me before. I would need to get a basic understanding of the market to consider that but thanks.
snow report
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@jancellor, like others I find fishing out my phone a pain and there are a lot of occasion when I don't want to take off my glove, @LaForet, has a good suggestion in that resorts may be your market, I love the Sunshine app, it trackers where you have been and you can play it back at the end of the day and watch the red dot move across the slope hours of fun , maybe sad but we quite like it as there have been occasions when we aren't sure which runs we have been on.
snow report



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy