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Ski Nav – new routing app

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
You may like to know about a new app called Ski Nav for iOS and Android (have a quick play on the browser-based demo*). You can get point-to-point route directions on piste maps worldwide. You might want to find out how long it takes to ski across a new resort you have a trip booked to before you go. Or you might want to use it while on the slopes to get the quickest route to the cafe in the next valley, say.

The next feature will be location sharing where you choose from your contact list who to share with and for how long. That should be out in a few months. The map quality is pretty good generally thanks to the people who contribute to OpenStreetMap. The app itself has some logic to fill in the gaps. The graphical representation of the map is very simple but it's a fixed 3D angle like the paper map so that should make it easy to use.

It's not for everyone but I think there's a sizeable minority of you out there who like this kind of thing. Feel free to give me any feedback or feature requests here or at skinavapp@gmail.com.

*The demo doesn't work in Internet Explorer or Edge - sorry while I fix that - use Chrome/Firefox/Safari/Opera or download the (very small) app.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 9-11-19 0:03; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Just had a quick go on the browser version on routes I know and it seems pretty smart

I like the option to avoid drag lifts Very Happy

One question - the average speed setting - is this the speed as you're snaking down the slope or the 'straight line' speed down the slope (I'm not sure how to express it)
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 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?
Ah, I see what you mean. It's the distance assuming you follow the centre line of the piste itself. It's the distance you would use to say how many km of piste there are in a resort.
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I like the look of that. So I have installed it.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
ditto
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Is it free and ad based, or pay for and ad free?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Good work - Nice and clean, and does what you need! Installed on my phone now!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Glad you like it.

What you see now is free with no ads. Extra features like location sharing would be an in-app purchase.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@jancellor, Thanks
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I’ve installed the app, looks like it would complement a printed piste map so happy to give it a try.
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@jancellor, I’ve downloaded it as well- just had a quick “play” and like it.
I was very impressed to see that the app was able to calculate a route from Hinterglemm to Zell am Zee. Unfortunately it could not find me a route back- it looks like it can’t see the short bus from Viehhofen to the Schönleiten lift. I do understand that the app is designed to use ski lifts and pistes. However, would it be possible to add this ski bus link in as a special feature?

I’ll be in SH in January and plan on using your app.

Thanks Very Happy
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 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.
Many thanks, I've installed it and checked it on rather piste crowded/complicated areas I know, like the Arlberg.
The navigation was good and straightforward. I wish for 2 things:
1.it would be helpful if you can find a way to display (smallprint) lifts names, for general orientation. I know I can press on them for a few seconds and the name will appear, but it will save time and the need to remove gloves every few minutes.
2. Pistes colour & classification: in the settings menu you have the usual green-blue-red-black-expert pistes that you can enable/avoid/never.
2.a: What's the difference between avoid and never?
2.b: What the expert stands for? I thought it would be black unbashed pistes.
I enabled regular black and disabled expert (Advanced: OK, Expert: never) but the app still took me on a black ski route in Zurs (black dotted 138 139 on the Arlberg map, unbashed black pistes)
I know many intermediate folks like me who enjoy regular black pistes and still wish to avoid the unbashed/black ski routes. How can it be achieved?
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@jancellor, I like what I see so far and also have some wishes.....
1.Could the labels be made bigger to be readable when zoomed fully out.
2. For each chosen resort, a list of pistes, lifts and huts to select and jump to on the map.
3. More depth of zoom, some areas remain quite congested at full zoom, ie Auris en Oisans in Alpe d’Huez.
4. Better definition of direction arrows on lifts and pistes.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've been hoping someone would release an app like this for ages so will give it a test on the PSB in 4 weeks. Not something to use every day but very useful when you're new to a resort (especially skiing solo)/crossing one of those compled/non-obvious multi-way interestions you get in some resorts/have that "Umm guys, it's 3:30 and we're on the wrong side of the resort... What's the quickest way back/to the closest bas stop?" moments.

As Yorksboy said, adding ski buses/walking links would be very useful (getting between chair lifts in Morgins there's a bus with zero signs or a 10min walking route up back street with about 5 turns...and 1 sign).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Looks good. Should be quite handy in a new resort to figure out routes. Couple things occurred to me from the demo...
Could the pop up boxes have a setting for text size? For those of us that need reading glasses it saves faff.
When a route comes up could there be a "find alternative route" button? That'd allow you to avoid pistes that you know, you don't like, are busy, or even closed.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Like it. currently using it in conjunction with opensnowmap.org to plan "fantasy first day warm up" on PSB also in 4 weeks!
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
One small typo: in the heading SkiCircus(Saalback) Saalbach is spelt wrongly.
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 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?
looking very similar to 4 riders app. http://www.4riders.ski/ funtions with plotting & avoiding lift types & route colours

will give it a try - does it have apple watch intergration, so I can plot my route & just look at my watch when it vibrates?
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Looks like a useful App

Thanks @jancellor
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The bus route you mention @Yorksboy has been mapped in OSM so yes it probably can be added. I've put it on my feature list but please note it might be a while until I get to it. I had a look at buses for Portes du Soleil initially @Mjit where I seem to remember they're also mapped well. I may simply add walking routes across towns like Morgins manually.

@drporat The routing generally works on quickest time (not distance). The "Avoid" option pretends the pistes takes twice as long to ski. Also, given that most people would rather ski down a hill than take a lift back down, it is pretended that lifts take 4 times as long (or 8 times for "Avoid"). I'm trying to balance what makes sense for most people without being too complicated in the Settings menu.

The grey pistes I have labelled "Expert" are anything that gets mapped as "expert", "freeride" or "extreme" by OpenStreetMap contributors (see the OSM Wiki page). It is not related to the grooming. But in Arlberg, the example you give near Zürs has a "piste:grooming" key added, so I should be able to include that in the route preferences. I see in Arlberg I am including lots of freeride that's not on the official map. I will hide freeride/extreme completely, at least by default. In the resort I know best, the "expert" runs are included on the official piste map as black starred line.

Re-routing is on my feature list @adithorp but again please note it might be a while. There might just be a "Mark lift as closed" button first.

There were a few general points about orientation which I acknowledge could be better.

@Rupert_rich Yes the town labels are not ideal. It's a bit tricky to get something that looks good for all maps. It will improve but it might take time. I have increased the steepness of the view in the web demo but it's not updated on the app yet. Do you find Auris en Oisans okay in the web demo? (It's interesting to note how rotated the official map is in that area -- this confused me greatly when I skied there.)

Yes I will try to add the option to have text labels on lifts soon. I think it might look cluttered if it's on by default but also could be helpful for orientation.

Ditto the list of lift/pistes to jump to.

I'll add a text size setting. I'll make it zoom the whole interface so feedback again later if this isn't quite what you want.
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@espri oops, thank you.

@Mr.Egg yes similar to 4riders for sure. I have focused on trying to make Ski Nav easy to use. It seems 4riders is mainly French resorts (if the website is up to date). The maps in Ski Nav are automatically generated worldwide and so far I've been through the biggest 20 or so resorts to make sure that, for example, the camera angle is correct and there are not missing areas.

I plan to get Apple Watch integration via notifications. I started working on that but put it on hold to concentrate on essential features for the first release. For non watch users, this would also mean just pressing the power button without taking your gloves off to see the notification on your phone.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sat 9-11-19 15:21; edited 1 time in total
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
okay, being a bit of dunce here, what is the difference between openstreetmap and opensnowmap and if they are linked, how does one toggle the interface?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jancellor wrote:

@drporat The grey pistes I have labelled "Expert" are anything that gets mapped as "expert", "freeride" or "extreme" by OpenStreetMap contributors (see the OSM Wiki page). It is not related to the grooming. But in Arlberg, the example you give near Zürs has a "piste:grooming" key added, so I should be able to include that in the route preferences. I see in Arlberg I am including lots of freeride that's not on the official map. I will hide freeride/extreme completely, at least by default. In the resort I know best, the "expert" runs are included on the official piste map as black starred line

I understand, I hope there will be in the future a way to distinguish between regular groomed black pistes and unbashed ones, the type that appear as dotted/starred.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
jancellor wrote:
@espri oops, thank you.

@Mr.Egg yes similar to 4riders for sure. I have focused on trying to make Ski Nav easy to use. It seems 4riders is mainly French resorts (if the website is up to date). The maps in Ski Nav are automatically generated worldwide and so far I've been through the biggest 20 or so resorts to make sure that, for example, the camera angle is correct and there are not missing areas.

I plan to get Apple Watch integration via notifications. I started working on that but put it on hold to concentrate on essential features for the first release. For non watch users, this would also mean just pressing the power button without taking your gloves off to see the notification on your phone.

Wouldnt need to fumble for phone with watch intergration Smile
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Does it have a feature to locate the position of other members in your group?
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jellylegs wrote:
Does it have a feature to locate the position of other members in your group?


Wouldn't that need something like a go-tenna add on?
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 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:
Quote:

Do you find Auris en Oisans okay in the web demo?


Yeah it’s much clearer, cheers.
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 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
Looks good, be handy to check route easily when on chairlift.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@jellylegs yes location sharing will be the next significant feature. You'll enter your phone number and pick people from your address book you'd like to share with.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Route selection looks good. But having looked at a route, I can't see a way to easily change the start/finish, or to remove the route completely, in order to select another one? (Without something artifical, like closing it down, or selecting another resort and then returning to the original).

(Using the browser-based demo, in Firefox)
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@ecureuil to do this press the X button to the left of the lift name then "End route".
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@SBP as far as I know they're only linked in that they are both web-based viewers for OpenStreetMap data. There's also [url]openskimap.org[/url] and there used to be openpistemap.org. There is freemap.sk (example ski route here). I think xctrails.org only does XC skiing so it doesn't know about lift/piste directions, could be wrong.
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 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?
I was looking to have a go on the web browser demo as we seem to go somewhere new each year and this could be a help.

I thought I would try first with Trysil as we have been there so at least know it a little. Its there when you search but is marked with * and wont load. Am I missing something?
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Sorry about that @ster. The messaging should be better. Unforunately the NASA elevation data used to create the 3D map only goes to 60 degrees north of latitude. So resorts in Alaska, Iceland, Finland, Norway north of Oslo and Sweden north of Stockholm do not have maps and should not be listed.

I don't think I will ever be able to source alternative height data but it's possible I might support flat maps in those regions at some point. The height data is also used to correct lifts/pistes that have been mapped the wrong way round but it's not essential.
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Any chance of getting Crans-Montana listed?
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@ster sure, have a look now. You might need to clear your cache if it's less than a day since you last checked.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks a good and useful app.
The ability to quickly see alternative roots ( like google maps ) would be useful eg if massive lift queue or broken lifts. If you were to go ‘wrong’ would you be able to reroute?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks @jancellor. Sold. I’ll download and give it a go for real.
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@retsil the ability to mark lifts as closed shouldn't be too far off. For now you'd have to set a waypoint. Ditto automatic re-routing. It's not there currently but it is planned.
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Thanks @jancellor. I really like this. I have already spent a little bit of time planning where we will ski on New Year’s trip. It will be really helpful when we nip over to the SkiWelt from Kitzbuhel since I always seem to manage to take wrong turns on way back even though I thought I was following signs!
One little thing that perhaps needs adding: there is a piste down from the top of the Gampenkogel down to the bottom of the KiWest. I don’t think it is on the SkiNav. I know it’s there but someone who has never been may not.
Thanks though.
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