PREFACE

This is a Community App for the South Downs Way presently awaiting the plonking of all 110 "Plonk-a-Panos" (see above) as for the completed Walk 9, so the default when you Enter App above is East Sussex in Frame 2, Walk 9 in Frame 3 and one of the fully plonked panos in Frame 4. But then you can select as you wish starting in Frame 1, maybe even plonking-a-pano yourself. In fact nothing is set in concrete and if you have a better pano for Walk 9 then please tender it for consideration.

END OF THE BAD NEWS

Back in March 2016 this article suggested that "Googlemania" (in England's green and pleasant land) might match Beatlemania of the 1960s. They called it the Google effect -

And the architect Anne Clark announced her rollout plan -

... along with the timing -

So that 2 years is now up and here is the Report Card showing by 2018 all progress (the GREEN lines) had come to a grinding halt with the RED lines showing work yet to start, and the only addition in 2017 being 40 miles for horses (in BLUE).

At first blush one might use the same language as below to say it simply needs an extra "straightforward" 2,000 miles

Clearly (for reasons that are obvious and best left unsaid but about cakes, however see under Sat Nav) that project was a "lost and buried" UNLIMITED FLOP. And even for those completed like the North Downs Way and finally the Cotswold Way there was no attempt to go to the next step of SHOWCASING the panos in an app (or whatever).

But now there is a glimmer of hope that is essentially Google initiated on this page where Google has effectively downgraded the formerly "futuristic" Cyborg (Trekker) in favour of small cameras & smartphones to allow the MAN-IN-THE-STREET to create a blue dot STREET VIEW in Google Maps featuring their own panorama.

So whatever politics/technical problems there might have been that were causing the roadblock with Trekker panos, these are no longer of any concern and we can now all operate in a "Social (enterprising) Network" to achieve the desired photography (and ultimately PROMOTION) of an area, free of bureaucracy. Broadly speaking the alternatives at the initial (photography) stage range from specific "fisheye" 360 cameras to using your smartphone with a camera app like the Street View "eat the yellow dots" app.

As shown in the video the contributor first takes panos from their car, skateboard, bike, cycle, boat, drone or just walking/jogging and then hits the "publish" button to upload to Google products (including Street View). The speed of takeup of this technology is amazing and can be seen by exploring Google Maps locations all over the world and finding a whole new bunch of panos datemarked 2018.

But JUST A MOMENT. Let us NOT make the same mistake as Walk Unlimited where although we CAN turn all those red lines to green (and don't forget those horses) we must use the POV of the potential WALKER on these trails to make the whole deal attractive and well informed and not just say (to use the Cotswolds as an example) "we put 1,000 panoramas on the Cotswolds AONB to join the 100,000 Google panoramas already there so take a look at the Google effect". Here is what they would actually see:

OK, we have the epitome of the needle in the haystack (of blue spaghetti) where Walk Unlimited then invites you to find a brilliant panorama in that haystack and then switch to their own "Victorian/Domesday/Ogilby" style map like this to see how to get there:

So although both maps have blue lines there would not seem to be any way to use them together to plan a trip. WRONG, there IS a way but it sure ain't user friendly. Here is how it goes, all starting with a "heads up" below this map by way of a GPX file, seemingly INVITING someone to do something better by providing that Missing Link.

  1. download the GPX link below the Victorian map
  2. source conversion app and convert to KLM
  3. open in Google Earth Pro
  4. divide into the 15 Walks
  5. email each Walk to your email client
  6. save each Walk as KLZ
  7. open each Walk in My Maps
  8. save each Walk in My Maps
  9. "drag" a directions track to best fit for each Walk
  10. save in My Walks
  11. purchase hosting space
  12. design a website/app that passes the Google Mobile Friendly Test of 2015
  13. design & record (WMV) a tour of each Walk (Fly Over) in Google Earth Pro
  14. edit videos and convert to MP4 (both directions) and map them into the app
  15. design a map for each walk and "map" thumbnails for 11 panos/Walk
  16. construct an elevation for each Walk in Google Earth Pro
  17. map elevation for each Walk into the app
  18. design hierarchy frames to facilitate selection of individual Walks
  19. Design sat nav routes (both directions) for each Walk (using locations not drags)
  20. map the sat navs into the app
  21. purchase a domain name
  22. purchase an FTP Client and upload the whole content to the host.
  23. create a You Tube channel for the Fly Overs (optional)

OR, for the case of the Cotswolds, simply go to Holiday-in-the-Costwolds to see all of that in action and get instant access to:

  1. all 15 Official Walks of the Cotswold Way (plus our extra one to Bradford-on-Avon)
  2. 12 Official Circular Walks
  3. 12 Car Trips we have devised for a lovely stay in the Cotswolds' "green and pleasant land"

In other words it has taken us over 3 years to develop this framework (pun intended) which now comes in a "relatively straightforward" manner to us for each new app, but you are welcome to spend the time to reinvent the wheel rather than simply taking that holiday. Or in a more positive manner, create a similar app for say the Pennine Way.

We call these Missing Link "things" apps rather than the long name of "a website that works perfectly (passing the Google Test) on all devices without the need of the ubiquitous RSD shoehorning or visits to app shops".

And so it is for the subject of this app, the South Downs Way, or at least in the walk (Walk 9) from Alfriston via the coast to Eastbourne. Our hosting space/domain name at steps 11 & 22 above is slowweb.tours as what Google terms third party sites, per:

"Published content may also appear within third party sites that use Google embeddable widgets or the Google Maps API."

But back to the present, we have done most of those 23 steps for the South Downs Way but as it missed out on the Trekker exercise we need your help to provide some amazing panos along the full length.

However we can get the juices flowing on the "from your living room chair" bucket list at item 23 above with our You Tube Playlist of the Flyovers featured in the app (or at least the eastbound ones for now), giving the potential walker (and money spender) a proper bird's eye view of every yard of every walk.

In the article the "living room chair" reference is obviously associated with viewing Street View so would seem to be a chair pulled up to a desktop computer, but for that more comfy chair in front of the TV the new technology of Chromecast displays our Flyovers with amazing clarity, and ditto for the panorama slide shows. NOW we are really talking about "all of the family" style promotion.

Then, having decided on one or more walks, the walker is provided with yet another set of tools described above under the heading of "About Sat Nav" once she/he goes to the "Digital Track Card".

But back at the initial stage, to better understand the pros and cons of the various camera methods you can ENTER this app above and select the panos 89 to 99 in Walk 9 while reading the notes above "Now for the GOOD news".

Then it is our intention to create similar pages for the other 9 Walks by way of what we term a "Social Exercise", whereby you can use our "Plonk-a-Pano" (see above) to inform us that you have taken and uploaded (published) a Panorama to Google and would like it to be showcased as one of OUR 110 Points of Interest/Insertion. Hopefully we may be able to complete other Walks (Thames Path is near completion) but these notes are really directed at "others" to create similar apps.

Once all spots are "habitated" the app will cease to be a Social Exercise and will become simply an app, but one that is equally "at home" either "from your living room chair" or "on the trail". However Google gives you credit for any panos you upload so you will remain "up in lights".

But most importantly take onboard the edict of the Google video above - "The future of mapping is in your hands" and contribute to this Social Exercise, noting that Google uses the holistic word "mapping" and not just photography.