Hiking - or rambling - is becoming more and more popular as a leisure activity across Europe. Hiking gear has modernised, gained flexibility and lost weight. GPS devices for ramblers are gaining popularity. Since three and a half decades, the European Ramblers Association has been active in the integration of national long-distance hiking trails into a European-wide network of trans-frontier footpaths. In spite of these valuable efforts, information about these footpaths is is still very diverse in terms of source, structure, availability and language.
This is why it is still difficult for cross-frontier hikers to get all the hiking path information they need. WalkOnWeb wants to overcome these problems by integrating existing information about European long distance walking paths, by defining a new business model based on electronic publishing of this information and by developing the necessary applications for the online and mobile consultation and maintenance of hiking trail info.
Descriptions of trails - now published on paper by national or regional organisations - will be transformed into a standardised XML-based format. An interactive geographic map will enable users to search for and navigate through paths. Tourist info such as hostels, restaurants and shops, will be integrated. At home, users can print all information about a trail on paper or download it to a mobile device, which will guide the rambler throughout the trail. Authors of path descriptions will be able to edit their work online.
By introducing an electronic publishing system for their hiking path descriptions, ramblers associations will move towards a new business model. WalkOnWeb will study issues that might arise in such a model, such as copyrights, intellectual property rights and system maintenance. Based on this work, the project will define the business model enabling the future economic viability of the electronic publishing framework.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
75019 Paris 19