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How Trail Tracker Works


Trail Tracker and EveryTrail
Each trail has its own page with tips, notes and pictures.
Each trail has its own page with tips, notes and pictures.
Screenshot by HowStuffWorks.com

If you scroll down to the bottom of Trail Tracker's site, you'll see the phrase "Powered by EveryTrail." EveryTrail is a site that helps you find interesting sites to visit using a GPS device to get there. Trail Tracker licenses the technology EveryTrail uses to allow members to create trips. The two interfaces are similar but not identical.

On EveryTrail, you can search for sites by region or even by activity. Want to go kayaking? Check EveryTrail and see if there are any sites you've yet to discover in your own area. While Toyota intends Trail Tracker for off-road drivers, EveryTrail's aim is for outdoor enthusiasts in general.

Like Trail Tracker, EveryTrail relies upon its community of users to submit information about sites. EveryTrail has a broader focus than Trail Tracker. It also has some features that may pop up in Trail Tracker in the future. For example, if you want to add a trip to EveryTrail's database, you can upload a GPX file or you can draw directly on an online map. It's possible that Trail Tracker will adopt a similar feature in the future.

EveryTrail also hosts a member forum. Members can discuss trips, ask for advice and share links to other resources on the Web. The site also hosts a series of location-based guides. These guides provide more detail about specific locations and what you can expect to encounter if you visit them.

Like Trail Tracker, you can upload photos of a trip to give visitors a visual reference. You can upload a photo directly from your computer's hard drive or you can link to pictures in a Flickr account. It's possible that Trail Tracker will allow users to link to Flickr photos in a future update.

Other EveryTrail features that may indicate what the future holds for Trail Tracker include the ability to join groups, designate favorite trips and tracks and download mobile apps for smartphones and other devices. We may see Trail Tracker adopt more features from EveryTrail as the site matures.

Whether you're an off-road track novice or a trailblazing pioneer, Trail Tracker can be a helpful resource. The uninitiated can visit and learn more about sites that test their driving skills and their vehicles' off-road capabilities. Old hands at off-road travel can share their experiences and reveal hidden gems off the beaten path. So perhaps the first step in your off-road journey won't involve hitting the road -- it'll require the click of a mouse.

Learn more about outdoor activities through the links found on the following page.


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