It would be nice to simply say we are talking about "an app" but that word has been "owned" by device specific companies that prevent the app working on other devices and laptops etc, and FREE access on ALL devices is at the very heart of this initiative.
So for want of better we will call it a "Digital Track Card" (hereinafter DTC) but the longer explanation is a "thing" that takes a known walking track and acts as a "digital helper" (in ADDITION to Waymarkers/Trail Descriptions etc) for others to walk/ride the same route, AS WELL AS providing promotional material to tell folks that the walk actually EXISTS, and preferably also providing a "Virtual Tour" for those too old, too poor, Covid-19 restricted or too distant to actually walk in person.
This site compares three such DTCs, all for the same walk which is a Circular Walk in the Cotswolds UK AONB from Broadway to Broadway Tower and return.
Just as "app" was Word of the Year in 2010, the term "new-normal" is floating around everywhere in covidized 2020, generally suggesting how we will need to change our thinking (or lack of), especially in digital matters, to succeed in covid and post-covid times.
But the new-normal DIGITAL challence actually came in 2015 with the Google announcement "go Mobile Friendly or drop in our search listings" and the industry standard solution over 5 years to date has been to "shoehorn" a wide-bodied site into a mobile with RSD. However that was never going to work for the multi-media sites camo was planning so camo went back to First (KISS) Principles and came up with the "mapped iframe style" which you see here where, in addition to Google "Entry Point" Panoramas, camo is able to provide other forms of Multi-Media such as "sexed-up" (to use that English expression) FlyOver Videos, SatNav Routes, Elevations etc.
Under the management of Walk Unlimited, National Trails methods were closely aligned to Ordnance Survey Maps which (as seen below) were mainly paper maps. It seems that rather than make bold new-normal changes to the main network (the Cotswold Way in this case) they chose supplementary trails such as these 12 Circular Walks to try new methods, hence the PDF format you can open above.
Where the "departure" of Walk Unlimited from the National Trails Website might fit in with these changes (and to Ordnance Survey methods?) is unknown and probably not important but it seems this PDF change pre-dates any Covid new-normal and was motivated by "mobile friendly" reasons (while also improving the laptop/desktop experience). And not being sexed-up may appeal to the "old-school" English folk who prefer words such as
"You are now at the second highest point in the Cotswolds with its beautiful landscape laid out beneath you, so take a few minutes to soak in the breath-taking views over fields, hills and hedgerows as far as South Wales in the distance."
But this is an appropriate time to explain that this is not a competition but simply keeping up with trends to see if there is anything that can be used by camo who produces more than just DTCs and in fact has just done an update on his car touring Web-App for the Cotswolds and was thinking of including the 12 Circular Walks. He was delighted to find that the National Trails folk had also done an update where the quality was good enough to simply LINK to his Web-App, saving a lot of time. You will see this linking (to Circular Walk 2) at Trip 4.
It was mid 2020 when camo got his first inkling that the Ordnance Survey folk might have "gone ditital" so he paid his FEE to see what was available and finding none of the National Trails left it right there. Then on 1st January 2021 he got an email with a "Top 100 List" and bingo, there was the Broadway Tower Walk (see above).
That then triggered the idea to update camo's own version from 2016 and 2 days later we have this comparison Web-App.
As for linking to the OS version rather than the National Trails version, the fact one is asked to pay for the DTC ruled it out for starters. Also their version of a FlyOver has a host of extraneous tags (with a strange fetish for coppices) upsetting the view of the countryside but not even a mention of the Tower itself.
So as hinted above camo's own upgrade version was created purely as a comparison for folk to see what is available in new-normal and more importantly how folk can join in the process (no this is NOT a selfie on Facebook!). To explain, the WORDS above about the view from the Tower now become Pano #6 which LOOKS like this (you can rotate/tilt/zoom as you wish):
But while Panos #1 & #10 were taken by the Street View Car and Panos #5, #7, #8 & #9 by Trekker, Pano #6 was taken by a "normal tourist" (like you) - just using a mobile phone. And to camo no words can come close to describing this bit of "England's green and pleasant land" as this panorama does. Or maybe Wordsworth comes close, per:
A poet could not be but gay,
Or perhaps the Tower was not a Folly at all but the answer to "And was Jerusalem builded here".
Plus, it can be pan/zoomed as shown in the FlyOver and the FlyOver can be uploaded to YouTube
And to return to the missing Panos #2 & #3, it is even easier to fill the gaps by putting one of the new low cost panorama cameras on a hat and simply walking the track, clicking the camera every so often - here is the Google motivational video:
Camo opted for the setup of the girl on the skateboard, using the same $300 Ricoh camera and a $4.50 giggle hat instead of the helmet, but you are free to use whatever method you wish.
Indeed "the future of mapping is in your hands".