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mtruman
01-11-2008, 04:45 PM
Is anyone using the White Mountains Guide Online that the AMC introduced last August? I joined the day it became available and was expecting a lot of participation. For those that haven't heard of it, it provides an interactive version of the maps from the White Mountain Guide with all of the trails, route creation, suggested hikes by location, etc. There are also sections for trip reports and trail conditions to be posted by members as well as safety warning notices. There have only been about 20 trip reports posted since the site went online (ours was the first). The annual fee is $12 for AMC members and $15 for non-members so it's pretty cheap compared to any other options for electronic maps that have all the trails. There is also a free account option that allows posting and reading trip reports and limited access to maps.

Here's the link if you want to check it out: http://www.wmgonline.org/

The info page is here: http://www.outdoors.org/publications/books/wmg/wmgonline.cfm

Bill O
01-11-2008, 05:01 PM
I'm waiting for them to jump into the 21st century and make the site free.

History has proven that very few pay internet sites can last.

Even if it only cost three dimes and a nickel I still wouldn't want to pay. They could easily generate meaningful revenue by making the site free and adding tasteful and targeted advertising.

mtruman
01-11-2008, 05:21 PM
I'm waiting for them to jump into the 21st century and make the site free.

History has proven that very few pay internet sites can last.

Even if it only cost three dimes and a nickel I still wouldn't want to pay. They could easily generate meaningful revenue by making the site free and adding tasteful and targeted advertising.

Guess maybe I'm old school, but I still don't expect everything on the web to be free (although that would be nice). I happily pay for the wmgonline subscription for what I get from it. Same with trails.com. I also pay for books, magazines, software, movies and other things that I think are worth what they cost. Just my $.02

Bill O
01-11-2008, 05:39 PM
Sorry, I got into this from a business standpoint. At the moment I doubt that wmgonline is generating enough revenue to be a long lasting site. I've given the AMC my opinion on this matter. We'll see what happens, but my guess is that wmgonline will undergo major changes within a year.

For $12 though it is a good deal though if you use the service more than once.

Tim&Val
01-11-2008, 06:30 PM
We signed up, but I have to admit I feel more excitement during the planning of the trip if I spread out a couple maps on the floor and pour through my old-fashioned trail guides. We've got multiple editions of the WMG in real paper, plus a couple other maps by other makers. Some show shelters and tent sites, some differentiate 3-season vs. winter parking lots - reviewing them all and comparing is part of the anticipation.

And I still use ViewsFromTheTop for trail conditions, mostly out of habit.

Mike D
01-12-2008, 01:25 PM
Advertising is one way to bring in money without putting up the pay site barrier to users. People are increasingly expecting their web services to be free. This is a problem for news sites, because quality journalism costs a lot of money. What we do with our Premium Content, and what the AMC could do with their MWGonline, is make web features available as a benefit of membership.

Whatever AMC's reasoning, it is easy to second guess it now. They are grappling with the same conundrum we all are: how do you make a profit from your website without asking users for money?

Bill O
01-12-2008, 02:18 PM
Advertising is one way to bring in money without putting up the pay site barrier to users. People are increasingly expecting their web services to be free. This is a problem for news sites, because quality journalism costs a lot of money. What we do with our Premium Content, and what the AMC could do with their MWGonline, is make web features available as a benefit of membership.

Whatever AMC's reasoning, it is easy to second guess it now. They are grappling with the same conundrum we all are: how do you make a profit from your website without asking users for money?

I think the MWO situation is a good deal because its just a fringe benefit of membership. I was going to be a member anyway so this is just a bonus for me. Plus its another incentive to keep my membership. The AMC is in a tougher spot because they risk cannabilizing books sales if they offer free web content. Personally, I'd still buy the book, its fun to flip through.

mtruman
01-12-2008, 07:44 PM
We signed up, but I have to admit I feel more excitement during the planning of the trip if I spread out a couple maps on the floor and pour through my old-fashioned trail guides. We've got multiple editions of the WMG in real paper, plus a couple other maps by other makers. Some show shelters and tent sites, some differentiate 3-season vs. winter parking lots - reviewing them all and comparing is part of the anticipation.


I agree that spreading out the maps and going through the books is a big part of the fun and we still do this in addition to using the various electronic sources. If you can't be in the mountains every day you can still be planning and dreaming...

mtruman
09-19-2008, 04:45 PM
The AMC just released a new version of the White Mountain Guide Online. While it doesn't deal with some of the issues that people raised in this thread when I initially posted (including still not being free) it there are some really good new features.



Ability to save custom routes for later viewing, printing, editing
Ability to download routes to your GPS (as GPX files)
Support for adding custom labels to maps
Updates to include the content of the latest (28th) edition of the WMG

I have continued to use the WMGOnline since it was first introduced to do route planning and route visualization in Google Earth which I really love. The ability to save (yes, that should have always been there) and download to the GPS are really useful additions. I'm still a loyal fan...

The What's New page is here: http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=13344

TrishandAlex
09-19-2008, 04:52 PM
I agree that spreading out the maps and going through the books is a big part of the fun and we still do this in addition to using the various electronic sources. If you can't be in the mountains every day you can still be planning and dreaming...

Agreed! I love to spread them all out, calculate distances and elevation gain between point A and point B, figure out which we can do this year and which will need to wait until next year or beyond, read up on the trails using various guidebooks, etc. It's the next best thing to actually hiking.

There has to be a name for this -- a cross between a geek and a hiker -- someone's who really (perhaps too much) into hiking..

Heek?

Giker?