Photos uploaded by Komoot users will help users get a better picture of trails and trail conditions
Route mapping and discovery app Komoot has just launched a new feature, Trail View, which allows users to get a better idea of what planned routes look like by viewing photos uploaded by other users.
Essentially, it sounds like Komoot is going for something like Google Street view but for mountain bike trails, which is actually pretty useful.
A line on the map, even with contours, doesn’t tell you a whole lot about what the trail is going to be like and whether it’s worth riding. It’s also a good gauge for determining how technical a trail is, how steep, what the soil is like and all sorts of other bits of info that otherwise require a chat with a local or direct experimentation.
“Product development at Komoot is geared towards leveraging the power of our outdoor collective out on the trails and finding innovative ways to enhance their outdoor experience by connecting everyone’s knowledge,” comments Jonas Spengler, CTO at Komoot. “Trail View is such a great example of how innovation and AI intersect to empower people to plan better tours with confidence.”
The photos themselves have all been uploaded by Komoot users. The app has long had a function that allows users to add photos, which is handy for finding great coffee and cake stops for road cyclists or interesting sights to stop at if you’re touring. But for mountain biking, a shot of a trail to help determine whether its interesting singletrack or less interesting fireroad is more relevant.
Images are geotagged to a locality when uploaded, so Komoot knows where they’re supposed to be, but the company has added an extra layer of tech to ensure the images are the right image to help in these circumstances.
Image recognition software, powered by artificial intelligence, identifies photos that contain paths and trails, and eliminates those that don’t, or something else. In other words, it identifies the trail shots and gets rid of the selfies, pretty landscape photos, interesting buildings etc.
Komoot states that over 15 million photos have been uploaded to the app from users, and of these, approximately one million show trails and paths and will be used for the Trail View element.
“It’s super exciting to bring a new technology to life, especially one that will improve our community’s experiences in the outdoors as directly as Trail View,” shares Rob Hermans, Product Manager Maps and Navigation at Komoot. “ This new piece of Komoot tech gives you a real picture of the one that you might have painted in your head, so you’re left with less doubts of what lies ahead of you!”
“We are in a privileged position to be able to leverage such an amazing volume of user generated content to return a tangible benefit to the entire community.”
To access Trail View, you need to pop over to the Komoot web platform and select the Trail View map layer.