Ever been in the middle of a hike and seen an issue with the trail but didn’t know how to report it? Well, you are in luck. The Seattle Trails App was released earlier this week and it may be just what you need. The app allows users to report hazardous trail conditions or other issues in real time from any trail location. The app also offers a ton of other useful features such as posting photos, sharing your location on social media sites, or being able to sign up and become a park trail volunteer on the spot from your phone. The official launch event will be on October 11th at 4:00 p.m. at St. Marks Greenbelt followed up by a happy hour from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at nearby Optimism Brewing Company. The event at the park will include a live demonstration of the app’s main features and a chance to talk with app developers. The app is free and available now in the Apple App Store.
How does it work? The app’s central feature allows reported data from users to be sent directly to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Trails Program where a work order is then generated. The department can also contact the user directly to follow up with them in more detail and give updates. Stay tuned for additional features in development including: Route Tracking with Fitness Elements and Wiki-style links to Historical Points, Neighborhood Services, Transportation options and Community Program
Who were the masterminds behind such a useful app you may ask? The app comes as a result of the AT&T and Seattle IT Department Hackathon earlier this year that encouraged the mobile app community to make use of newly compiled and released Seattle Parks and Recreation data now required to be online, as a part of Mayor Ed Murray’s Open Data Executive Order signed February 1, 2016. The downtown Seattle eventattracted over 150 coders, graphic designers and data management professionals. “It was the first time the event resulted in an app being shipped to the app store that addresses a real-time business need of the department” Seattle Parks Trails Coordinator, Chukundi Salisbury notes.
Salisbury created the app’s design concept, and helped guide its development over a four-month period, determining how it could be most useful for Seattle residents who frequent park trails. The lead members of the app’s iOS development team include Eric Mentele, Theodore Abshire, and David Wolgemuth.
“Seattleite’s are quick to roll up their sleeves to support Seattle Parks and Recreation, we have seen this time and time again when working in the field”, says Salisbury, “It is only natural that the Tech Community is stepping up to support technology that seeks to solve challenges on the ground”
An additional note for any non-IPhone enthusiasts out there. A version of The Seattle Trails App is currently under development for Android users. So you won’t have to wait too long to enjoy the app and the 100 plus miles of soft-surface hiking trails the City of Seattle has to offer.
SEATTLE TRAILS ALLIANCE is a newly formed coalition of walkers, hikers, commuters, foresters, pedestrians, runners, and neighbors who support trails in Seattle. To become a partner please visit our Partners page, and for more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org