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How Trail Tracker Works

Adding Trails to Trail Tracker
Before uploading information to Trail Tracker, you must create a free account on the site.
Before uploading information to Trail Tracker, you must create a free account on the site.
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Trail Tracker depends upon its user community. Drivers just like yourself upload trail information, photographs and tips to the site. As more people use the service, the database will expand to include more trails and information.

Before you can upload a trail, you'll need to create a user account. Accounts are free at Trail Tracker. First, you have to fill out an online form with your name, e-mail, chosen user name and password. You must also read and agree to the site's terms of service. After creating your profile, you'll receive a message from the site asking you to verify your account. One more click and you're ready to get involved in the online community.

Currently, Trail Tracker requires users to upload GPX files to add a trail to the community's database. The GPX designation stands for GPS Exchange Format. It's a type of eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Like other forms of XML, a GPX file helps describe data. You can use the GPX format to indicate pathways and waypoints that will show up properly on any device or application that relies on GPS data.

There are many ways to create a GPX file. Some mapping applications will allow you to plot a path with waypoints and save it as a GPX file. Other GPS devices can create a GPX file based on your input and export it to a computer or other device. Once you have created the file, you can use Trail Tracker's upload feature to add it to the site. The site can also import trails directly from any GPS device that has a USB plug-in.

After uploading the information to Trail Tracker, you need to assign a rating to the trail. This rating will tell other users how easy or challenging the trip will be to the average user. It should also give drivers an idea of what sort of vehicle could complete the trail safely. Adding a difficult trail to the site is acceptable as long as you give drivers an accurate idea of what to expect.

You should also include a trail story to give more details to other potential trail drivers. Trail Tracker automatically includes information from your GPX file like the average speed drivers should expect on the trail, the total distance they'll drive, how long it should take to complete the trip and the amount of elevation shift they'll encounter. Other members will be able to post comments about your trail and add their own perspectives.