A new app launched by Seattle Parks and Recreation is meant to get more people out on city trails and improve them at the same time.
The app came about after a Hackathon that allowed volunteer developers to use trail data.
The app uses that data to create a map of all the trails managed by Seattle. When you click on a trail, you can find out immediately what kind of obstacles it may have -- like stairs or gravel, for example. When you're out on a trail, it also allows you to report problems. For example, if there's a tree down, you can report it by taking a picture and sending in the information to the parks and recreation department. Since it's geotagged, you can only report the problem while you're near the actual location.
The app appears to be a win-win.
"It's not something that we bring to the table," says Chukundi Salisbury, trail coordinator with Seattle Parks and Recreation. "I mean, I work at the parks--we drive the Kubota, we put the crushed rock down, we build the stairs and so it's not what we do. We don't build apps as the trails guys, so we needed that. We brought that to the table and they were able to close that loop. so it's very exciting."
The app is currently available on iOS devices but the goal is to have it available on Android by the end of the year. It's run by volunteers so if you'd like to help, you can contact the department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 206-684-4122.