HIking/Tracking capability in Inaturalist mobile app... a discussion

I like to use a hiking app when trekking through the bush.
I’ve used a couple of them from various geotaggers to Strava, Alltrails, Gaia, etc.
I also use my cameras (both iphone and a variety of others) that geotag the photos i shoot

Any discussion whether adding a hike tracking/mapping feature in the Inaturalist mobile app would be useful or just duplicating a capability delivered better by some other piece of code.

For me, I could see some benefit by integrating a hike/location/mapping tracking capability in the mobile app.

I’m new to this forum so if my question has been raised, I apologize. If not, I would certainly welcome any comments.

If your opinion is no, perhaps you might include what app you use and why you like it over others.

Thanks in advance



Hi @mrgeeze, which features of those apps are you referring to? There is this existing feature request that might match what you’re looking for: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/display-un-uploaded-observations-and-trail-of-breadcrumbs-on-map/629


Interesting question. I use Gaia for my navigation app, it does a great job for what I need. In particular, I am often far enough out that the feature that let’s me download maps for offline use is important. I have used the mobile app while in the field but now I quite often use a separate camera with a built-in GPS and then work on my observations when I return to places with connectivity.

My opinion is that it’s probably better to have a separate navigation app but curious to hear and learn from others.

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I think there plenty of apps that already perform that capability quite well. I’d be for using resources to improve the social parts of the app rather than add a tracking feature.

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the thread certainly contains some of the things I consider when I’m out and about on the trail

I do like knowing where I shot my photos, not just the few I add to Inaturalist. So I tag most everything using a GPS equipped camera. I also use software to tag after the fact on some cameras that don’t have the capability. Over the last 10 years I’ve geotagged thousands of photos and have them uploaded to Apple photos (or whatever its called this week). I can look at a sets of photos in a geo locale and re-imagine a hike merely by looking at the map/photo superimposition. I like the memories.

I also use Gaia mainly so I can download map areas before I hit the trail.
Seems I go a lot of places where you need real maps- especially abroad.

I just added a 1 year upgrade to Alltrails Pro. I’ll give that a go this winter and see if I like it any better than Gaia.

I too photograph with a GPS camera. I’ve shot a few different ones but like an ultrazoom out on the trail. Decent enough shots without worrying too much if it gets a little dinged up. Not like hauling a $5k piece of Nikon glass out on the trail. I do a little digiscoping with an Swaro ATX 95 and a Sony alpha with the swaro apo adapter. That’s just not a portable rig with the tripod.

I’ve been shooting a Sony HSX 400 ultrazoom for about the last 5 years. I like it save the notorious E:62:10 error its had for a couple years now. The macro is a bit weak but that might be operator error.

What gps camera do you shoot? Any idea of something coming on the horizon. I’ve seen the Nikon 1000 but that just seems like too much size and weight. I’m thinking perhaps of getting an old P900 before they disappear.

what social features are you thinking about?

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I used Gaia a bit when I was exploring India in February, 2020. I was able to download the Gaia map of Western India and it worked okay. I wasn’t in any wilderness terrain, but it was useful to me in a couple of national parks. I got started with Gaia because it was required for some trail running events I participated in. I have mainly used Gaia in North America.

I will be interested to hear of your experience with Alltrails. I know some hiking friends that use it.

This summer, I will be doing sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and John Muir Trail. For that, I am going to use Guthooks - that software is tailored for long distance hiking trails around the world.

My current field camera is an Olympus TG5. Decent macro capability, works underwater to 15 meters, and an OK GPS. I am thinking to find a replacement this spring. My son lets me borrow his nice Canon and cool lenses but I wouldn’t take them baclpacking.

Have fun observing - John aka brewbooks

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