SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Trail Wayfinding - Opinions Needed, Opinions needed on wayfinding in Parks< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
burgerac Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 1:05 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello everyone,

I am a senior studying graphic design at the University of Cincinnati. For my senior project, I am doing a conceptual project to redesign State Park Trail Wayfinding. The goal of the project would be to develop a comprehensive trail wayfinding (directional signs, trail markers, trail maps) system for local and state parks. Specifically would be looking at hiking trails. Would examine wayfinding for the whole park and redesign the signage for one hiking trail. Tier system of signs based on budget limitations would determine the signs to be placed in each park. New signs would allow hikers to clearly identify trails and facilities in the park.

I am trying to gather comments and opinions from hikers on what could be improved (consistent types of signs, signs that are easier to follow, clearer marking of direction and mileage etc...)

or comments and opinions on signs that are working (look and feel of the sign, eco-friendly signs etc...)

Any additional comment are appreciated as well. I am just looking for some feedback. If you have any specific questions or would like more information from me feel free to contact me.

Thanks everyone for all your help!

Ann
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
desert dweller Search for posts by this member.
Greetings
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 9918
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 1:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds like a good project.

How about a couple of high-tech features.
-Imbed location data and trail info in the trailmarker that can be picked up via blue-tooth on a hikers smartphone.

-Or, just carve the coordinates into the sign itself.


--------------
Seek Higher Ground
Can you feel the silence


Photobucket
Flickr
YouTube
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43972
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 1:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about some of those QR Codes to get the "you are here" info directly into the visitors phone, maybe with extra natural history info as well though that might take a second code. Museums and parks have done that:
http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2011....ll.html

And/Or a location aware app that requires no signage. The New York City Central Park Conservancy has that sort.
http://www.centralparknyc.org/digital.html

"With an interactive GPS-enabled map, customizable notifications, an events calendar and more, you'll always know where you are, where to go and what to do. "


And no missing signs to replace or update....
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
wildlifenate Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 5856
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 2:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have seen a lot of signage systems over the years that work.  The key is to be consistent.

I would lean against doing ONLY a smartphone app, because a lot of people don't have smartphones, or don't use the platform you would develop for.

With that said, using QR codes on signposts (that include the coordinates of your current location to be displayed on a map on the smartphone, and possibly additional natural history information on a website would be a good idea), as well as the actual coordinates for those who don't have a smartphone would be cool.

one possibility for natural history information would have the QR code direct someone to a website that plays an audio recording of a short natural history lesson.

If instead you are looking for a signage system that could be implemented cheaply and rapidly across a park system, one option would be to crate signage for trail intersections.  letter or number intersections and people can "connect the dots" so to speak, to build a route.  Each intersection would have a letter denoting the identity of the current intersection, and additional signage would indicate the next intersection along the trail (and the distance).  

One way to reduce sign cost would be to ensure an adequate supply of paper park maps with the distances on it.  on-the-ground signage could then only consist of identification signs and omit the distances.  also include the occasional map kiosk along the trails in case folks get lost.


--------------
The GPS Geek
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43972
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 2:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WLN, agreed as, yeah, you always have to accommodate the range of visitors. But I hate trail clutter as much as I do road clutter.
Online
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
wildlifenate Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 5856
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am a fan of the brown carsonite posts.  they're about as unobtrusive as anything I have seen.  

I don't like seeing them as mile markers because that intrudes on my sense of trail clutter, too.  but a single post at an intersection?  good by me.  using letters instead of trail names saves space on the post so more information can be relayed easily.


--------------
The GPS Geek
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
bbobb169 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 890
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about a paper map and numbered posts................oh, wait thats old fashioned and would make people learn to know where they are going.  Sorry don't carry my cell phone hiking, not attached to my hip.   I learn where I want to go.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
Tigger Search for posts by this member.
Woods Pouncer
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 12158
Joined: Apr. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 15 2013, 3:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Other than materials that can't be damaged as easily and with greater clarity as to direction and distance, I'm not sure how much more a person might need. Maybe a color scheme that helps ensure you are going "the right way". The further you get from a trail hub, the further toward a different range of color you get. I like the embedded coordinate marker as well that might interact with a GPS or phone app. We are moving toward a more technological society and an app that would help for those who would desire that level of clarity and could be relatively easily implemented.

--------------
If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 9
Lamebeaver Search for posts by this member.
trail? I don't need no stinkin trail!
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 19509
Joined: Aug. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 9:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Signs that are not easily destroyed, taken down or damaged get the nod from me.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
burgerac Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 11:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey all,

Thanks so much for all the comments and feedback so far. This has been very helpful with my research! Any other comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
Dave Senesac Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3481
Joined: Jun. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 11:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are many of us that will never be carrying GPS or cellphones down trails though adding some infrastructure at some national parks might amuse foreign tourists.  Basically park trail information needs are simple and at a minimum ought to be traditional.

Trailheads ought to have kiosks with the standard park website available trailmap behind plexiglass with a YOU ARE HERE pointer to a pin on the map.  And if the trailmap is primitive, a supplementary topographic map would be useful.   Then usual complementary information sheets also behind the plexiglass of usual policies etc.    Because such ink on ordinary paper often fades after a few years, please construct the kiosk so paper can be replaced.

Too many novice hikers especially infrequent tourists tend to set off from trailheads without minimal gear.  Like no water, no food, no hat, no bug repellant, no fire starter, no extra clothing, no map, etc.   So a little sheet suggesting some minimum gear.  Including a suggestion people with digital cameras but no map, consider snapping an image of the kiosk map so they might at a minimum later simply view a map on their camera lcd.  

The best trail junction signs are those simple four sided square posts stuck into the ground with vertical engraved text of trail names, mileage to next feature, and arrows pointing at the trail direction, on each side.   Just make sure arrows are pointed in non-ambiguous directions.  If that is not enough in some situations add a simple small sign a bit down the trail.  What does not work are those simple trail signs that are not secured into the ground say with a blob of cement below because one can be sure some juveniles will amuse themselves by rotating the posts.

To make such posts a bit more fancy and useful given our more sophisticated topography information readily available in this age, vertical elevations up and down might also be added in small text below mileage.

There are sometimes spur use trails intersecting main trails that are not on maps.   If they are significant enough to be confusing, a main trail ought to be signed just up from such junctions so people know which way to go.


--------------
...David

http://davidsenesac.com
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 12
QCHIKER Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2391
Joined: Oct. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 16 2013, 12:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Having taken two week long trail building courses, one from the Boy Scouts at Philmont and one thru AMC out East. There are lots of good ideas for signs. I'm always a big fan of blazing a trail with the paint marks as opposed to having a lot of signs along the way, even the brown carsonite ones. I think if the intersections are well marked with some type of sign that won't get ripped off it's post, like a 4x4 that is routered or a carsonite/plastic type, then tha's really all you need along with a good trail map.
My beef is the trail maps and how they figure the mileage out for a trail. It seems a lot of the state park trails that I go on the mileage is way off from my GPS. I've talked to park staff at some of the places and it always seems they figure it weird. For instance it it is a lollipop type trail and you start at the bottom of the stick and go up and then do the loop, they aren't counting the milage back down the stick again to get back to the start. Now that seems kind a strange to me.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
11 replies since Jan. 15 2013, 1:05 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Trail Wayfinding - Opinions Needed
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions