The Crosstown Trail Coalition is a group of organizations and individuals in San Francisco who love and actively support trails.
The SF Crosstown Trail is a 17-mile route connecting San Francisco neighborhoods, open spaces, and major trails. It runs from Candlestick Point in the southeast corner of the city to Lands End in the northwest corner. The route is usable by both pedestrians and bicyclists, and it connects many parks, business districts, residential areas, and public transit.
Since the Crosstown trail weaves its way through a combination of parks, alleyways, hidden trails, and urban streets, the Coalition knew it needed to give people an easy way to navigate the trail. As the newly-minted trail launch approached, the Coalition reached out to OuterSpatial for a solution.
After just one meeting and a few email exchanges of some geospatial data and maps, the SF Crosstown Trail was loaded and ready-to-go in OuterSpatial. Each section was turned into its own curated Outing with a start and endpoint, a detailed route and description, maps, and cue sheets with turn-by-turn directions.
In Manager, a local respected cartographer who was part of the Coalition — Ben Pease from Pease Press — georeferenced a detailed PDF map for each Outing as well as one for the entire trail. Each of these Paper Maps allows visitors to see their location via the GPS on their phone, which makes it easy to navigate along the trail and not get lost.
The SF Crosstown Trail is broken into five manageable sections, each of which is transit-accessible and between 3-5 miles long. Outings proved the best way to break up the trail into sections that hikers could pick and choose from. Bikers can also bike the entire trail in one go, going in either direction. Since the alignment is different in some sections if you are on bike or on foot, it was important to have the bike routes separated into their own sections. So the Coalition created two bike Outings — one for each direction.
Cartographer Ben Pease created some incredible maps of the trail, each one depicting the hiking and biking alignment, paved and unpaved trails, and other key features along the trail for context. Georeferencing these maps and loading them up as Paper Maps gave trail users an effective way of safely navigating the trail. Now, recreationists have the option to navigate using the route alignment in the Outing or the Paper Map.
Since the trail naturally falls into the five distinct sections, the Coalition wanted a way to group them together so hikers and bikers could see all the relevant sections together. Using the Featured Content option in Manager, the Coalition bundled all five Outings together within the app. This allowed app users to easily get to the entire trail from the Crosstown Trail organization screen in the app.
With over 250 people coming out for the hike, run, and bike ride on opening day, it was clear the SF Crosstown Trail was going to be a huge success. Since the launch, the trail has captured the imagination of locals and visitors alike, and there is now a steady stream of hikers and bikers using the trail every week.
The OuterSpatial app has helped thousands of people plan their adventure and safely navigate the SF Crosstown Trail, highlighting all the right turns and ensuring recreationists are on the right path for their entire outing.
A New York Times article highlighting the trail has only increased interest and drawn more folks outside to enjoy the new trail.
"OuterSpatial is a key tool to safely enjoy the Crosstown Trail!"
"There are very few actual signs of it on the ground. The map is an app."