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How to Build a Community Trail and Park Guide

Community trail systems are an important asset to a community for the quality of life of residents, attracting visitors, and for economic development. However, if residents are not aware of where trails and parks are, these assets can fall short in delivering their benefits.

This guide provides a how-to for building an interactive community and trail park guide using Elebase.


STEP 1: Create a Team and Project at Elebase.io

  • Go to Elebase.io and select the 'Get Started' button. If you already have an Elebase account you can jump past this step.

  • Create a Team. Your Team can be for yourself, your organization, or company.

  • Create a new Project. The Project name is what you would like to call your Community Trail and Park Guide. For example, it could be 'Your Town's Name' Trails.


STEP 2: Start a Data Model for your Trail Guide.

  • We'll start with the basics. The guide will have two primary Types of information: Trails and Parks. Select 'Types" on the left side navigation and then '+ NEW' at the top right. Add a Type called 'Trails' and then another called 'Parks.'

STEP 3: Start adding some Elements for information about the parks and trails.

Elements are the fields of information used to describe the parks and trails. Feel free to add more Elements as you need them.

  • Let's first create a text Element that is a "Description" of a park or a trail.

  • Select 'Text Markdown' for the text editor, so that longer form text descriptions can be created.

  • Next, let’s add a File Element so that we can add images for the park or trail. Set the allowed file types to “Images files: web only”.

  • Next, add an Option Element to identify the types of uses that are allowed on the trail.

  • It will be very important to add a Geo Element so that we can add the trail's location and route.

  • Finally, let's add a Contact Element so that we can include specific contact information for the trail or park.

You can also add any additional Elements for various additional information you’d like to create and manage for each trail or park.


STEP 4: Connect Elements to each Type.

Select specific Elements that should be assigned to each Type.

  • Select 'Types' from the left navigation and then select the Trail type.

  • Select the specific Elements you want to assign to your Trail type and then put them in the order you want.


STEP 5: Add a few Geo Feature Types.

Geo Feature Types allow you to designate the specific geo features you would like to map for your trail guide. For example, you can create a Geo Feature Type for 'Dirt Trail' path segments and another for 'Paved Trail' path segments. You can also just have features that are generic 'Points', 'Paths', or 'Areas.'

Learn more about how to create and use Geo Feature Types here.

By using Geo Feature Types we can make our Trail and Park guide more powerful, by helping to delineate what specific map information is.

  • Go to 'Settings' and then select Geo Feature Types.

  • Select '+ NEW' to create a new Geo Feature Type.

  • You may want to simply add a ‘Point’ a ‘Path’ and an ‘Area’ to get started. You can add more Geo Feature Types or modify these ones later if you want.

  • Assign the Geo Feature Type for use in the Geo Element. To do this, select Elements from the left side navigation and then select the specific Geo Element you would like to assign this Geo Element to. Assign the Geo Feature Type to the Element using the selector.


STEP 6: Now you're ready to add your first trail.

A complete guide to adding a new entries is available here.

  • Select Entries and then Select '+ NEW.'

  • Input information for the specific trail.

  • Use the Geo Element, to either manually enter the trail route, or we can upload the trail route.

  • You can upload pre-existing trail data or use a geo tracking tool or even a trail tracking app (there are many that are free) to get the precise detailed route of the trail, and then upload that route to your trail entry.


STEP 7: Invite others to help add trails.

By sending invites to Users, you can allow one or thousands of people help create, manage, and update information in your Trail and Park guide.

  • Select 'Users' and then select '+ NEW' or 'INVITE' at the top right.

  • You can learn more about Users and the various User levels here.


STEP 8: Publish an Interactive Map to an App or Website using the Elebase API.

Now you’re ready to start publishing your trail guide through a fast and flexible API by any web or mobile developer to create interesting and useful interfaces.

Here is an example of such an interface and user experience.

We have a few pre-built user experiences that we can help you with or make available to you.

Let us know if you'd like us to know more about that!