iFootpath

WWW.ifootpath.com 

Website’s statement:

Welcome to iFootpath, a website to inspire people to get out and enjoy beautiful walks across the UK. From town trails to riverside strolls and countryside rambles, we aim to build a library of walks for everyone to enjoy – be it alone, with your dog or with family and friends. All iFootpath walks are available to print or to download and take with you on your iPhone using iFootpath Mobile.

Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/ifootpath Twitter: twitter.com/ifootpathuk Forum: ifootpath.com/forum

Smartphone App: iTunes App Store: iFootpath app (for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) –> £0.69 to download Goople Play App Store: iFootpath App (for Android systems) –> £0.69 to download

THE REVIEW:

This is a “new” walking website and although it is still lacking in the number of walks available, I believe it’s got great potential. On this post I will only review the website but there is an important part that I will have to postpone to another time, the Smartphone App. Unfortunately I haven’t evolved to twenty first century technology yet 🙁 Once I do I will without a doubt place a review for it! I understand that the website was launched more than a year ago and is currently being developed by a team of two and a half (Claire, Richard and their Standard Poddle Bobbie). Despite the fact that they might not have the man power and probably the budget to take it forward, I believe that they have done a good job so far. What’s good about it is that they are trying to make it as user friendly as possible. There is a good search engine with some good filters too, which are to me some of the most important features. So you can find walks using postcodes, counties, keywords or even type of walk, although you can’t filter the walks by difficulty. Then you can view them either on a map or as a list and you can even display how many walks you want to see per page. They use Google Map to display their walks which is not my favourite to be fair. Being either displayed as a list or on the Google Map, there is always a small description with a picture, distance, difficulty and area so you can make up your mind before clicking on the link to view more. The links actually open a new page (or tab) in your browser so you don’t lose the search you have done so far. The walk descriptions are very well done. There is a small summary at the top and then a full description with directions complete with some pictures. However if you don’t have a smartphone and want to print the descriptions, it means you will use a lot of paper. I really like the weather forecast add on at the top though. On most of the walks you can download gps waypoints but I found a few inconsistencies as it looks like old versions  lack this feature. In new versions they seem to be using Google Maps to show you the walk whereas in old versions there are made up drawn maps. Not sure if they will standardise all the descriptions in the future but it looks a bit odd at the moment.

The website is also meant to be a community website. Once you have registered you can create and share your walks either by using the app or by uploading gpx files. As previously mentioned I won’t be able to tell you more about the iPhone app but if you have a GPS device, you can upload gpx files to the website by using their uploading page. However from the user guides section, they tell you that if you want to share your walk it “will be reviewed by an administrator to ensure it adheres to the terms of use and contains all the minimum information” . So it looks like you don’t have full control over what you can and can’t share. It’s fine by me anyway and it’s probably a quality control that is necessary if they want to keep the website at a high standard. Anyway I uploaded a gpx file myself and found the process a little bit fiddly especially if you want to edit your track. I spent a lot of time trying to do it and finally gave up and sent an email to their support. I got an answer quickly and thanks to their help I was finally able to edit the track and add sections. The rest was straight forward and consisted of writing the description and uploading the pictures. Have a look at the walk I created, “Discovering Bingley“. However I must say the all process will take you quite a lot of time and is not meant for everyone after all but I must admit the result is good.

Whilst registered you can however leave comments and upload pictures to any walk that is already posted on the website. In your User Settings, you can add a url that will be displayed on any walks, comments or picture captions that you upload to the website. It’s a good way to advertise your own website or blog if you want but obviously you have to adhere to their terms and conditions. You can also use the forum and discuss with other fellow walkers and iFootpath users.

To Sum Up:

Pros

Very good and user friendly search facilities Community website Walk descriptions are excellent Weather forecast add on with all routes Can download gps waypoints for every walk Can upload your own walks using their app or a gpx file Anyone can leave comments or upload pictures to existing walks

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Cons

Use of Google Maps Can’t search by difficulty Lacking in number of walks Once you have uploaded a walk, it’s a bit fiddly to edit the track

Ease of use / appearance Search facilities Walk descriptions Grading system Mapped routes
Navigation is easy but the pages can sometime be really long (not very good to print). Adverts are present but in moderation  Good search facilities, lacking a difficulty filter though They are very well done and every single one has been checked by an administrator  The difficulty levels are properly displayed on each walk and go from 1 to 5 but can’t be searched Seems inconsistent as they use Google Maps for new version and drawn maps for old version
 3/4 3/4  4/4 3.5/4  2/4
TOTAL
15.5/20

Features Yes No Comments
Free Green Tick Website is free to use or register. Only their smartphone app is paid for (£0.69)
GPS waypoints or Apps for smartphones Green Tick Both. The website is best used with a smartphone (only iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch at the moment). However you can download and upload gpx files
Photographs or videos of the routes Green Tick Each walk description contains pictures of what you are likely to see along the route. If you register you can even add your own pictures to a walk
Info available along the route (i.e refreshments and toilets)  Green Tick Refreshments and toilets are not located on the walk descriptions but most of the time they tell you where the nearest car park is located from the start of the walk
Community based website Green Tick Although a community based website it’s fairly moderated. If you share a walk it will be controlled by an admin before being published. However you can leave comments and/or add pictures to any existing route

Please rate this article below and/or leave a comment about your own experience of www.ifootpath.com

Looking for more reviews? Go to my page about Walking Route Planner websites

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