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Do you think it would be nice to have an online (live) route database
Poll ended at Wed Nov 15, 2006 12:14 pm
No, I'm being bombarded with more info than my brain can handle already, go away please! 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, I think it's a schweet idea! 100%  100%  [ 15 ]
Total votes : 15
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 Post subject: Route database
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:39 am
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Location: Pretoria
Hi There,

Don't you guys think it will be nice to have an online route database for South Africa, kinda like rockclimbing.com are doing?

The latest info (routes) about a climbing area will then always be available on the web. I mean the only reason most of us still visit saclimb.co.za is cause they have online route guides, and it hasn't been updated for a long time now... Other nice to haves would be to associate pictures with a particular route, add your name to a list of ppl who have climbed it, style eg. redpoint etc, etc. Pretty much rockclimbing.com but local.

Users should offcourse be able to add new routes, vote on grading for a particular route etc, etc..


Bad idea / too much effort?

- twiga


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:15 am
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Real Name: Niel Mostert
Dude, how do you vote in the poll? My path is shrouded in confusion...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:49 pm
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log in first then go to the page and you should be able to vote.

Another route database? So all the time we spent entering stuff on climbing.com and 8aNu was a waste of time? It takes ages to enter all the info, do you think ppl will bother? Maybe talk the MCSA into making data input compulsory club work, then we can get all those old journals finally in an acessible form.


Last edited by Grigri on Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Dunno, showed me the poll options allright....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:39 am
Posts: 58
Location: Pretoria
Grigri,

You have some very valid points there (If I may summarize):

1. Why would we need another route DB?
2. Did we waste all our time entering routes on rc.com and 8anu?
3. We need some way of getting old / difficult accessible route data into a more available format.

I will try to justify the reasons as they make sense to me:

1. Let me start this one off with a question? When we bolt / open a new line, what do we do with the beta? Firstly I think we tell our immidiate circle of climbing friends. We might even e-mail the details off to SA mountain mag (which is where I learn of most new routes btw). But, how many people enter their routes into a DB like 8anu or rc.com?

There is no official (if there can ever be such a thing) authority on new routes and beta. We need a place, that is seen by local climbers as the \"quasi-official\" or \"de-facto\" repository where they know they can get the latest and greatest route beta. I think the MCSA can play a major role in administering and hosting such a facility (just a thought).

2. Unfortunately yes. When you open a new line do you add it to rc.com or 8a.nu? Both? Non of the above? Wouldn't it be nice to only add it to one authorative source for local climbing data? I wouldn't see the current data as wasted efforts though... Take a step back to take two steps forward?

3. This ties in very closely with the 1st point. The MCSA was the authorative (or as close as you could get) source for route data many moons ago. But communications have improved over the years, and route data (espicially historical data) hasn't been brought into these new mediums. If the MCSA started a DB, loaded all the old historical shit into it, gave users the ability to add / edit routes (within reason), life would be perfect hey? So for old data, we would need buy in from the MCSA, for new routes and available route data, I see no reason why we couldn't build this thing ourselves. The involvement of the MCSA would give it some \"official\" flavour, as mentioned earlier.

Any of this makes any sense? Or do I need to just shut up now?

- twiga


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:33 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Riki Lawson
Hi All,

If climbers send us RD's we can publish them on the Climb ZA. In our experience it's better to have one or two people administrate the data otherwise things tend to fall into disarray.

On the home page you will see we have posted rd's (that were sent to us) We compile all RD's into PDF format (we still have one outstanding for Truijieskraal, which will be going up soon)

If climbers were to send us route info on a regular basis, we can create a dedicated download page for all RD's to be stored.

Climb ZA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:49 pm
Posts: 293
Well as you lay it out that was the original idea behind the DBs on existing sites. The problem is there is a huge amount of information to be entered. This takes a long time to do. Personally I lost interest in doing it after a few sessions with Rock climbing.com in the end only entering one crag, and even that took forever!

Its a nice idea but who is actually going to sit there for hours and hours inputting all the routes??? If you want it for trad routes as well then the numbers run into the thousands of routes at hundreds of different locations around the country. Its not a simple or small thing you are suggesting. Its not as if there are thousands of climbers locally who would participate, in fact its only a handful. I wish you all the best with this venture, really I do, but I think you will struggle to find people who are willing to devote hundreds of hours without any pay to do the work.

Even gathering the info is going to be problematic as much of it resides in existing publications that are protected by copyright. You cant simply go and scan off reams of info and convert it to text. Guidebook authors such as myself are going to be pissed if theyre work starts to appear on the web without their permission. I for one wont hesitate to bring lawsuits to bear on plagarists!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:39 am
Posts: 58
Location: Pretoria
Grigri,

Quote:
You cant simply go and scan off reams of info and convert it to text. Guidebook authors such as myself are going to be pissed if theyre work starts to appear on the web without their permission. I for one wont hesitate to bring lawsuits to bear on plagarists!


Agreed, I'm referring to data that is not under copyright or where authors have given permission for data to be published.

Quote:
This takes a long time to do. Personally I lost interest in doing it after a few sessions with Rock climbing.com in the end only entering one crag, and even that took forever!


I feel your pain. But my point is if we DO enter the data somewhere eg: mailing the info to sa mountain mag. Let's use that effort and also enter the info into the DB. Surely it's not that much more work? Also who cares if it takes ages, what's the rush?

ClimbZA,

Yes the RDs are nice, but a DB has certain advantages over PDF docs. The biggest is ofcourse search functions. Eg: show me all routes within 50kms of Cape Town that is between grades 18 and 22. It is offcourse not impossible to generate a PDF (on the fly, containing the latest data) for an area that has been captured in the DB, rather than doing it the other way around. I just feel your efforts will be better spent on getting the data together first.

Pipe dream? I don't think so ....

- twiga


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:49 pm
Posts: 293
You sound pretty determined so dont let my negativity throw you off the sent (s'cuse the pun). I agree a functioning database is way preferable to pdf topos. If the MCSA agrees there is software that can convert scans of old journals to working documents (text) if electronic versions do not exist. Takes a bit of editing as the writing recognition software aint perfect but its still good. One good publication to tackle would be the original 'Western Cape Rock' by Andrew de Klerk and Jeremy Colenso (with their permission). Lots of good trad routes covered in it.

These sources may be old but the more current sport and bouldering is covered in current and upcoming publications (copyrighted). We print guidebooks (rather than distribute them electronically) for a reason, to protect the work that goes into them. I certainly dont want to spend hundreds of hours researching and editing simply to have it pirated and put up on the web.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 7:45 am 
Hi Twiga

I have thought about this very thing not that long ago. Even have the basics coded (PHP & MySQL).

Here's a run down of what I thought of including:

- all users able to browse and search for routes
- registered users be able to add or edit routes, new areas etc.
- registered users be able to record their ascents against routes in the DB
- users able to get stats on the routes they have climbed i.e hardest redpoint, hardest onsight, average grades, rock rally handicap etc.
- front page with average grade for all climbers, highest grade etc.
- top 10 climbers list (like 8nu). (Users would be able to choose whether they are included in ranking or not.

To address the point of having to enter all this data manually. I would try negotiate with SA Climb to get their database (perhaps in exchange for replacing their route DB with a more functional one). Their pages appear to be generated from Paradox so should have all this info in a usable database. This would give a nice base without having to reenter a lot of info.

New routes and stuff not included on SA Climb would need to be entered manually.

What would differentiate the site from:

8nu:
- Most routes already in the DB so no need to renter route info.
- South African specific


SA Climb:
- Dynamic route generation, new routes available as soon as added.
- 8nu like functionality for recording ascents etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:36 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:33 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Riki Lawson
Hi All,

Agreed, a 'routes database' is going to be the way go. We're a little short on time at the moment... should anyone wish to get it started we at Climb ZA would be happy to provide you with a server and DB to use.

Should anyone be interested in getting this initiative started, contact us at info@climbing.co.za

Best regards,
The Climb ZA Team


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:28 pm
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Everyone has the right to opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


Last edited by guest on Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:15 pm
Posts: 27
It sound like a great idea, especially for all the older route descriptions, it will make them a lot more accessible for people who do not have access to the MCSA Journals and some of the more classic lines should see some more traffic.

I do agree that it will take quite some time to capture all the RD’s but as the interest is sparked the climbing community might assist.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:09 am
Posts: 434
Is it be posible to have maps, topos, sketches & photos of crags in the updatable DB?


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 Post subject: MCSA Routes Database
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 23
Well, the MCSA has been working on setting up a routes database. In fact it speccing and building it, it is not very different to an access (not MS) database. Check it out on http://www.mcsa.org.za/cent/a_climbing/ ... routes.php

Just to explain some of the thinking.
1.It was not supposed to be a hit print button and get routeguide for x location all nicely formatted with topos.
2.The idea was/is to have a repository of the most up to date route and access info, with the ability to add pics/topos/files.
3. The idea was to have any MCSA member being able to login and post a new route (or update info on old ones), and that there would be certain route administrators to check no garbage was being posted. The idea behind a lot of people being able to post is that we get the best information as quickly as possible.
4. There is a need to update old route info as many of the \"tree as thick as a mans wrist\" is now a tree the size of a large house. Also typically many of the old RDs are very verbose.
5. A nifty feature is being able to slot new routes in between existing ones.

The problems.
1. It is not entirely bug free.
2. We need to get huge volumes of data on. Scanning or Word docs are ok, but you can't search etc.
3. After repeated requests for people to post there, not much has happened.

Roland


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:09 am
Posts: 434
I wondered if those who think it's a good idea, have ever packed a pen & paper in their climbing bags. You know...recorded some routes. It is not fun. Then transfer them onto a data base in a manner that makes sense. The type of usable info that is posted on this site by for instance, Gareth Frost, takes huge comitment & effort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:06 pm
Posts: 47
As something to aim at, have a look at:

http://www.klettern.frankenjura.com/deu ... e_nom.php3

Sorry, it's in German, but the idea is the same. In the field \"Name\" type \"beavis and butt\", then press \"Ausführen\". Then under the list of routes found (only one) click on \"Beavis and Butthead\". Check who the \"Erstbegeher\" is (first ascentionist).

There is also a really good characteristics based search (sorry, even the grades are in German!):

http://www.klettern.frankenjura.com/deu ... route.php3

I know the Frankenjura has way more climbers than we do, but it also has way, way, way, way more routes. And most of them are on this site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:06 pm
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Roland, what is the difference between \"Crag\" and \"Buttress\"? I mean in the context of the MCSA route database. Isn't this further subdivision of the data confusing/unnecessary?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:20 pm 
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How many routes are there in the Frankenjura? I mean, are there more routes there than the whole of SA?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:51 am 
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There are probably more crags in the Frankenjura than there are bolted routes in SA - that is, into the thousands.

My browser extracted 5744 routes from the frankenjura.com database before hanging.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:40 am 
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That's lots of routes...wow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:12 pm
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Here is a route wiki for SA:

http://climb.shorturl.com/

Go ahead and add some route info, and it could become pretty cool


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:33 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Riki Lawson
warreng wrote:
Here's a run down of what I thought of including:

- all users able to browse and search for routes
- registered users be able to add or edit routes, new areas etc.
- registered users be able to record their ascents against routes in the DB
- users able to get stats on the routes they have climbed i.e hardest redpoint, hardest onsight, average grades, rock rally handicap etc.
- front page with average grade for all climbers, highest grade etc.
- top 10 climbers list (like 8nu). (Users would be able to choose whether they are included in ranking or not.


If anyone has other criteria that they would like to see on the route database, please let us know so we can design it accordingly.
Thanks,
Climb ZA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:12 am 
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Posts: 47
Hi Justin,

my suggestion is KEEP IT SIMPLE. Leave all the recording of ascents etc to 8a.nu (initially anyway) - that is a huge house-keeping nightmare. You can add this later of you can't resist it.

Have three data objects: area, crag and route. (e.g. Cape Peninsula, The Underside Main Crag, American Idiot). Allow only the administrator to create areas, but all users to edit areas, and create/edit crags and routes.

Note for areas: further distinction based on provinces is artificial. An overview map will provide the info as to where areas are. So a data object \"province\" is superfluous.

Note for crags: a crag is any piece of distinct cliff. So the Underside is actually three crags: Main Wall, Killers Wall and Faithless Wall. The distinction crag->buttress as appears to be attempted on the MCSA site is just complicating and superfluous.

Lastly - why reinvent the wheel? Have you looked at frankenjura.com...? Your wife speaks German so you have no excuse for not looking at this awesome route database for ideas!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:31 am
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Location: Montagu
Real Name: Justin Lawson
Wow! such precision... swear you've implemented a few SAP systems!!

I'll ask the wife to trawl over the Frankenjura site as soon as she finishes making me my Wiener Schnitzel & Kartoffel Salad :lol:

Thanks for the input and link 8)

_________________
Climb ZA - Administrator
justin@climbing.co.za


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:55 am 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:48 pm
Posts: 265
Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Guy Holwill
My 2c says that the following fields would be useful:

Area - eg Cape Peninsula
Crag - eg Underside
Sector - eg Faithless Wall
Route name - eg Tarantula
Grade - eg 28 (none of this slash grade nonsense like 28/7c/5.12d/E6 6c/IX/27)
Quality - eg a 3 star system 0 = shite, * is ok, ** = good, *** = excellent

With this info - someone planning a climbing trip could search for (say): all 3 star, grade 25's in Montagu and the DB would return the route names, crags and relevant sectors.

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There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:31 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Pretoria
Go check out [url]www.thecrag.com[/url] for (what seems to be) a very useful route database! It takes a quick few minutes to open a user account and then one can start browsing. The site has A LOT of info (maybe too much), and covers the whole of South Africa, and the world. One can add crags, new routes, photos, view stats etc.

Any update on the Route Database situation?
[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:50 am 
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 12:48 pm
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Location: Cape Town
Real Name: Guy Holwill
I did look at The Crag (see my comments elsewhere in the forum). If I recall correctly, it has loads of data but the search tool is very unhelpful.

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