GIS can be used for many different aspects of trail design. Sometimes people
are only familiar with Google maps, and solely associate it with creating maps (cartography). GIS can be used to analyze a trail grade, look at soil
data, see how wetlands could potentially affect trail routing, and to
locate points of interest within a certain radius. These are just a few
of the many uses. Any planners conceptualizing a new trail should use
GIS to make informed decisions. GIS is also great when planning
maintenance from storm damage and erosion. See below how Planet Zero
Gravity can help. We use both QGIS and ARCGIS for GIS mapping.
We can create GIS maps for brochures, trail guides, or planning meetings.
Are your maps outdated? Do you need an elevation map with contour lines? Often new trails get added to a system, or a
trail is rerouted. Do you have a problem with unauthorized trails within
your area? We can survey the area and map those as well, giving you
better information when engaging the local user groups that created
Before any trail construction ever begins, the trail corridor should be
analyzed to uncover any potential problems early on. With GIS we can perform a grade analysis to make sure it is not too steep
(creating future maintenance problems), stays within agreed property
boundaries, has no problems with environmentally sensitive areas, and
there are no surprises with soil type.
Often times data will be collected on trail usage, like from trail
counters. There may also be in-person counting of different types of
users that access the trail. Perhaps an organization has records of past
trail maintenance and where it took place. Planet Zero Gravity can use
GIS mapping to present these different types of data in a more meaningful way.