The route planning and navigation digital platform komoot has launched a new feature called Trail View that adds user-contributed photographs of paths and trails to maps so you can, for example, check whether a route is suitable for riding on a gravel bike and/or with your level of experience before setting out.
“An image recognition technology that uses artificial intelligence to curate images, Trail View has been born out of komoot’s desire to provide its community with the most information-rich portrayal of the trail ahead - through images,” says komoot.
Trail View is available to all users via the komoot web platform. You just select the Trail View map layer.
Photos contributed by komoot users who have been on that trail already show up as green dots on the Trail View map. You click the dot to view the image. But Trail View doesn’t include all user images.
“Trail View scans all uploaded images and shows only those with paths and trails,” says komoot. “It eliminates images that do not fit the criteria (images that include faces, animals, landscapes, buildings etc).
“To launch Trail View, over 15 million images uploaded to komoot by its community have been automatically scanned to identify approximately one million that show trails and paths. And it will only get better as the community contributes more informative images of trails to help others to visualise their adventure before setting out.”
We all know that what’s shown as a track or trail on a map can vary enormously. It might be well-surfaced or it might be a boggy mess. Say that you’re planning a gravel bike ride with friends who lack experience on anything but asphalt. You can use Trail View to check out whether the route you have in mind is going to be suitable for you all and the bikes you’re riding.
Also, Trail View can help you if you’re looking for a more technically challenging route.
“Clear information about the condition and composition of the trail will help mountain bikers choose the right equipment, hiking families and groups to reduce risk, gravel cyclists to avoid paths with rocks – increasing the likelihood of Type 1 fun all-round,” says komoot.
“It also provides a reason to get excited as komoot users can now visualise what awaits them on their adventures.”
Trail View is available now to all komoot users.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.