In honor of the ubiquitous Facebook survey, we're sharing 25 things you probably don’t know about our Map Project, a collaborative effort between Backpacker editors, passionate readers, and technology partners to map trails in the United States. Our work is published monthly in the magazine and every day at www.backpacker.com/hikes.
25. The Charles Bunion Trail in North Carolina is the most viewed GPS trip in the past 12 months.
24. We launched 8 new hiking trips in Yellowstone National Park in the past month and have 15 more to release in the next 6 weeks.
23. We missed Mississippi in our recent best hikes in each state article, so we hired freelancer Marcus Woolf to map more Mississippi hikes. Sorry.
22. Readers have stolen 13 GPS units from us. We lent them out, and they never returned them. Anybody know a good collection agency?
21. Our site can download GPS trips from 100-plus phones on five networks (ATT, Altell, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, Blackberry) running Trimble Outdoors or AllSportGPS.
20. We have 117 trained map contributors in 34 states.
18. Our web-based software supports 90% of GPS units on the market. Thankfully, GPSBabel helps us convert files for the other 9.99%.
17. The debate between UTM and Latitude/Longitude is closer than the Gore/Bush race of 2000. We might need a recount.
16. Jack Haskel mapped the entire Pacific Crest Trail for us, except 57 miles in central Oregon where wildfires forced him off the trail. Who wants to map it for us? Email us.
15. Our GPS trips have been on Google Earth for more than three years.
14. Our site supports geo-tagged photos taken with the Nikon Coolpix P6000. Load them into our map site and it automatically places them in the correct location on the map.
13. We need more contributors to map trails in North Carolina, New York, and Massachusetts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. Las Vegas: The Strip is still our most popular trip posted on our Nevada page.
11. “gps” is the second most searched term by readers on backpacker.com. The search rank for “Ocala National Forest” is 1,000.
10. This high-altitude trip has only been viewed five times since September 1, 2008.
9. The map team tweets but refuses to tweet "dum-de-dum." (Ed. Note: They might tweet anything by Metallica if you ask nicely.)
8. We’re a social butterfly, too: Post trips to your Facebook profile.
7. We are launching a new section in BACKPACKER to help readers find more close-to-home hikes (see upcoming May 2009 issue).
6. These contributors have submitted the most editor-approved trips: Trung Q. Le, Bill Velasquez, Alan Bauer, Dave Miller, Steffan Fay, Leon Nelson, Eli Schelin, Charlie Williams, Jeff Chow, and Scott Sanders.
5. To thank our best map contributors, we gave them Montrail shoes for the holidays. Jealous?
4. When not hiking, our map team bikes a ton.
3. Our shortest hike and longest hike.
2. The map team always hikes with a GPS (it’s a better insurance policy than workman’s comp).
1. This project would have gone nowhere without the help of enthusiastic and dedicated readers. Many, many thanks to you all.
—Kris Wagner, Map Editor