Posts

Plan Map Goodies #1 A Whiteboard Coating?!

Draw on it. Then erase it!

All you need is a whiteboard marker, which you may even have in your house right now!

...

It’s super durable, and infinitely reusable.

Use different colours for different route options.

Or maybe each person gets their own colour to draw with – it’s up to you!

Much bigger than any computer screen, and way more versatile too.

Can this map get any cooler?!

(Hint: Yes. Yes it can. Just you wait!)

Write on it. Erase it. Then do it again!

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
Image may contain: text

Mappy Goodies #RESET!! Trip Map vs. Plan Map

We’ve been keeping a secret. A big secret.

Bigger than Glow-in-the-Dusk inks? Ohhh yeah!!

...

For the last few weeks, we’ve been going over alllll the wonderful features that we have on our awesome camping maps.

But, it turns out…

We’ve been only showing you half of the map!

We actually had two entirely different maps this whole time, just on the other side of the map!!

Say what?! ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
What you’ve seen up to now, is what we call, the Trip Map.

It’s super detailed, and meant for navigation.

Flip the map over and what do you get?

The Plan Map!

It looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and comes loaded with a buttload of features specifically designed for…

You guessed it. Planning a trip! ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Just think about it…

When you’re paddling in your canoe, you’re looking for super detailed information about where you are and where you’re going.

When you’re at home planning your trip, you’re looking over the entire park or map and evaluating potential route options.

So, why shouldn’t your map reflect that? ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Starting tomorrow, we’ll be revealing a BRAND NEW Plan Map feature every single day!

Holy moly, we're so excited to finally be able to share this with you guys!!

Keeping this one a secret was so hard... ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Strap yourself in. This is where things start to go *bananas*!

(P.S. This is what convinced Jeff to join Unlostify)

What. The. Flip. A second map?!

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
Image may contain: text
Reviews
5.0
2 Reviews
Tell people what you think
Randy Mitson
· January 2, 2018
Just for the fact that Jeffrey McMurtrie has joined your team. Great things are bound to happen at Unlostify with Jeff and Algonquin Park now.

Randy Mitson
Marketing Director
Algonquin Outfitters
Photos
Posts

Mappy Goodies #12 It… Glows In The Dusk?!

The sun is starting to fade… you start to paddle faster... desperate to reach your campsite before dark...

You look at your map and the routes look like… they’re getting brighter?!

...

What’s happening???

SURPRISE!

See those Yellow, Orange, and Red routes on the maps you’ve been looking at this whole time?

They actually… glow-in-the-dusk!

They’re printed using special fluorescent inks.

That means a couple things.

1) They’re EXTREMELY bright and vibrant in regular light

In fact, the colours are so vibrant that we can’t actually show you how bright they are!

No computer screen in existence is capable of displaying them. (This is how we kept this secret in plain sight! )

2) They actually look EVEN BRIGHTER and MORE VIBRANT as you start losing daylight (while the other parts of the map printed with traditional inks begin to look duller and monotone)!

This means that if you’re losing daylight and need to hurry to your campsite before dark, the route to your campsite will be popping off the page!

Instead of boring you with the technical details of how this works, we’ll just say…

It’s soooooooo awesome!!!

Words don’t do it justice. You really have to see this in person.

Super bright in daylight, Ultra bright in twilight.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #11 Lines, Lines, and More Lines!!

After releasing the maps online, one of the biggest pieces of feedback we received was about... Contour Lines!

Well, we heard you, and came up with a solution!

...Continue Reading
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #10 Streams, Rivers, Creeks…

Did you know: Rivers and creeks are kind of important for canoeing?

If you’ve ever seen a map before, you know the drill.

...

They’re a bunch of identical-looking, thin blue lines covering the map from edge to edge.

It’s what everyone does!

We’re fans of that idea - sort of…

Just as important as knowing the location of a stream, is knowing how BIG of a stream you’re dealing with.

Some could fit ten canoes side by side. Others could barely fit one.

Kind of important, right?

That’s why our streams are different widths!

So the wider the line on the map, the wider the stream is in real life

In fact, just like in real life, the tiniest creeks are tapered and become smaller and smaller until they practically disappear, while the largest rivers get the thickest, darkest lines.

Knowing is half the battle… the other half is paddling it!

Wide river or narrow creek? It’s SO obvious!

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #9 – How Steep Is This Thing!?

Portages.

Love them or hate them, it’s something we all have to do.

...

Wouldn’t it be nice to know which ones want to kick our butts?

We sure think so.

That’s why rather than making you guess where the steep portages are, we simply tell you.

Steep. (Translation: A decent workout)

Very steep. (Translation: “The Pig”)

Now, just because our system is super easy to use, it doesn’t mean that the math behind the scenes is simple.

In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Think about it.

When someone tells you that a portage is steep, they’re not out there with a protractor measuring the angle.

They’re telling you it FEELS steep.

It’s not just about how much elevation you gain. It’s more about how quickly you gain that elevation.

To solve this problem, we actually spent weeks carrying and ranking over 100 portages, in an effort to understand what’s happening numerically when someone talks about the steepness of a portage.

That allowed us to design and create the mathematical model underlying this feature and provide you with consistent and easy to understand answers to a surprisingly difficult question.

To climb, or not to climb. That is the question.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #8 – Seasons Change Everything.

Alright, so you’ve picked your difficulty colour and you’re now ready to start planning your trip.

But wait… what?! This route has two colours! What the heck is going on??

...

Seasons!

Depending on what time of the year it is, water levels change.

That means a nice, easy route in July can become an impossible-to-paddle, muddy swamp in September.

So, every time you see an alternating two-colour route, the map is telling you…

The route's difficulty is easier in the summer, and harder in the fall!

Easier in the summer. Harder in the fall.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #7 - Mild? Moderate? Extreme?

So, you’re planning your next canoe trip. Great!

But… where should you go!?

...

Well, are you looking for an easy and relaxing trip? Or perhaps you’re looking for some mud, lots of sweat, and a sprinkle of tears?

On most maps, it’s hard to get a sense of which routes or areas might fit the type of trip you’re looking for.

Not with Unlostify!

It’s a simple 2-step process.

Step 1) Pick a colour that matches the difficulty you’re looking for on this trip.

Step 2) Look at the map for routes of that colour.

That’s it!

How did we categorize these routes?

The route’s difficulty indicates how difficult its HARDEST parts are.

After all, if a mostly easy route has one absurdly difficult part, it’s quite doubtful you’d be calling it “easy” while you’re keeled over, desperately gasping for air.

That single, difficult section becomes what defines the route in your mind. The easy parts become overshadowed and forgettable.

Not only that, but if you didn’t have the ability or know-how to successfully get past that difficult section, then it wouldn’t matter how easy the rest of the route was. You shouldn’t have started that route in the first place.

Imagine finding a route impossible to complete half way through, and having to turn back. What a crappy experience that would be!

Knowing what to expect on your trip will allow you to have a much more enjoyable experience, whether you want relaxation, or mud and pain

White (Newbie): Routes for brand new campers!
Yellow (Mild): Great for gaining experience before diving in the deep end.
Orange (Moderate): Typically easy to find and follow, but can have difficult stretches.
Red (Extreme): Can be extremely difficult and in terrible condition.

Colour-coded routes. Difficulties illuminated.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Happy Goodies #6 - Owl Vision

*Squints Eyes*

"Wait, so which way are we going?!"

...

Sometimes it’d be perfect… if you could just ZOOM in.

So, naturally, we added a zoom feature!

Any area of the map, where having details can take you from being confused to knowing where to go, we added…

Owl Vision! – enlargements with up to 4x zoom.

Don't squint like a human. See like an owl.

More zoom, more detail.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
Image may contain: phone

Mappy Goodies #5 – Map Case (Not Required!)

It’s waterproof. It’s buoyant.

It’s unbelievably tear resistant.

...

Yet, it’s almost half the weight of other maps!

(You might think that you can't feel a 40g difference, but believe us, you can!)

And, surprise!

As an added bonus, it’s the first map you’ll ever own that has a special wear-proof and rub-proof coating.

Super strong AND super light.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #4 – Are We There Yet?! (Part 2)

So, last week we showed why Time Blocks are awesome.

This week?

...

Let’s talk about why you need to trust the Unlostify times (over your own mental math!).

As previously mentioned, there are many ‘ingredients’ when trying to calculate time. Distance, while an important one, is merely one of many.

So then, what else is there?

Well, let me see…

Is it a flat portage? Hilly? How many hills? How big are the hills? Is it up and down constantly or just one big climb? How about the water? Is it a large lake? Small lake? Typically windy? How windy? Is it a river? Winding river? Lots of beaver dams? etc…

You get the point.

There’s just so many aspects to take into account when calculating how long a route might take.

Unlostify times don’t use memory or guessing - it’s based on statistics, mathematical models, and complex algorithms.

Complex Technical Details simplified into 8 Steps!

1) Gather a ton of sample data from different paddlers across a ton of different routes.
2) Break down the data and analyze against the conditions present on each route (the goal is to understand how all those different variables influence the time taken).
3) Figure out how each factor seems to influence people’s times.
4) Create a predictive model based on steps 1-3.
5) Use the model to predict the times of a different set of routes.
6) Then, compare those predictions against a second set of data collected from different paddlers on different routes.
7) Where problems with the model appear, revise the model, and generate new predictions again and again, until…
8) The prediction model is able to correctly predict the second set of paddler’s times with at least a 95% confidence rate – 9 times out of 10.

Phew!

But what if I’m faster or slower than average, you ask?

Well, one interesting thing that the data shows is that if you’re faster (or slower) at paddling, you’re very likely to be faster (or slower) at portaging, at climbing steep hills, at navigating tight turns on twisty creeks, etc.

Why does that matter? Because you can just change the amount of time that a block represents to account for your speed!

Take a look at the picture to see the three different speeds.

We do math, so you don’t have to.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

I’ve got a VERY special announcement!!

Back in my introductory post, I explained that I got my start in canoe camping and making maps, after meeting my good friend, Jeff McMurtrie (creator of Jeff’s Map!).

Today, I have the pleasure of announcing that... Jeff has decided to join me at Unlostify!!

...

I’m so excited for what this means to Unlostify’s future, and I know that Jeff is as well!

Now for the second surprise.

Jeff has more than 10 years of experience of creating some truly awesome canoeing maps (he actually started way back in his high school days!), but more importantly, he’s also got a life-long history with Algonquin.

That means… Yup! We’re going to be working on the Unlostify Algonquin map together!

I hope all of you are as excited as I am… because you really should be!

Best of all, this is just the beginning.

Follow us here over the next few months as we continue to share news about the Killarney, French River, Kawartha Highlands, and Massasauga maps we’re releasing March 1, 2018.

There are a lot of surprises yet to come!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming… (which will continue on Thursday!)

See More

Mappy Goodies #3 – Are We There Yet?!

Distances suck at telling you time. Why?

Because distance is just one of the many ingredients in the recipe for ‘Time’.

...

It’s not just that portaging is inherently slower than paddling.

Flatter portages are faster than steeper portages. Creek travel is way slower than lake travel. Smaller lakes are usually much less windy than bigger ones… Whew!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So what’s better?

Time Blocks.

Each route has a set of Time Blocks beside it, that show you how long it’ll take to travel that route.

Other maps have tried to show times by writing it down.

The problem?

1) If you need a portion of a route, you can’t use the time at all.

(How long is just the portage? No idea.)

2) If you look at the map in overview, for planning, they’re impossible to read.

(How long would those two routes take? No idea, can’t read it.)
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Answer!

Time Blocks solve these problems, awesomely.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Solution 1) Time Blocks can be used for any part of the route.

Written times can only show a single, total time for a route.

Time Blocks have the advantage of segmenting the total time into a series of blocks, with each block representing 15 minutes (for most paddlers).

So “How long until the next portage”?

Two blue blocks before the next black block.

That’s 30 minutes until the next portage.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
Solution 2) Time Blocks are simple to use, and easy to see at a distance.

Times are very important when planning out trips. When you’re planning, you want to see ‘big picture’ things.

Should I take this route or that route? This loop or that loop?

Time Blocks have a huge advantage over the written times other maps use here too!

For starters, they’re big, coloured blocks, as opposed to tiny text.

Not only that, but it’s so easy to visually compare routes. More blocks = more time!

Where they really shine though, is when it comes time to add a bunch of routes together.

The Time Blocks eliminate most of the mental math of route planning, and boil things down to basic counting and comparing.

It’s something that our brains have evolved to do much easier, and much faster, than doing mental additions.

Let’s say you had to add up the times of three routes to figure out how long it’d take to get to your campsite.

Take a look at the second photo in this post, and try it yourself!

Time Blocks are easier to count, easier to see, easier to use, and so much more flexible…

Need I say more?

Don’t guess. Just count the blocks.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #2 – Point Out My Interests!

So… everyone loves seeing cool stuff, right?

That’s the stuff that can make any camping trip even more fun and interesting!

...

The problem?

People have all types of different interests and they’re scattered all over the map.

The solution?

Create a set of easy-to-see, colour-coded icons that help these Points of Interests (POIs) pop out from the background!

Step 1) Put the POIs into 4 colourful, logical groups (remember from last week’s post!):

Green: Nature
Blue: Water
Brown: Historical
Purple: Activities

Step 2) Give each POI as simple and obvious an icon as possible.

And… That’s it!

You can either:

1) Pick an area of interest (e.g. Nature), and then look for POIs of that colour

or

2) Pick a specific type of POI you’d like to see, and look for it. (so obvious!)

It’s that easy!

Take a look at the picture for a full list of POIs!

An easy, simple POI system.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.

Mappy Goodies #1 – Clean. Simple. Consistent.

You’ve probably seen maps FILLED with super random icons and designs.

Red dashes, black dashes, bigger black dashes, small black squares… what the heck!?

...

Maybe you’ve familiar with some of them. But others… who knows?

You could try and guess, of course. The problem is, they’re seemingly random, and so arbitrary.

But... what if it didn’t have to be that way?

The Unlostify solution is insanely simple.

1) Wherever possible, BE OBVIOUS!

What’s the icon for a building? A building.
What’s the icon for a railroad? A railroad.

What about a more complicated idea?

Let’s say a trail.

How it’s used is the same as a road, but unlike a road that paves itself right through nature, a trail lets nature into its path intermittently.

That means?

A road is a solid line – no background showing through.
A trail is a dotted line – background shows through between dots.

2) Always BE CONSISTENT!

In the Unlostify design, every feature and icon is designed and chosen with purpose.

Why? A consistent design makes it easy to understand what a symbol means, even ones you don’t know.

Black: Canoeing
Red: Backpacking
Blue: Water
Green: Parks & Nature
Brown: Historic & Crown Land
Purple: Activities
Grey: Civilization (Stuff you probably want to avoid!)

So the line of purple dots beside the purple hiking icon? Yup, that’s a hiking trail.

What about the line of red dots? You guessed it. That’s a backpacking trail.

The grey trail? Yea, that’s a rough trail. (ATV trails, snowmobile trails, etc.)

Clean. Simple. Consistent.

Coming March 1 to www.unlostify.com

See More
No automatic alt text available.
No automatic alt text available.
Image may contain: text

Hey everyone, thanks so much for coming to check out the page! If you'd like to keep up to date with all the new updates to the maps and other exciting things as it gets closer towards March 1st, please follow this page!

I really appreciate all of the support, kind words, and excitement that everyone's shared with me the past couple days, and it's made me even more excited and geared up to make these maps the best ever!!

Thanks so much everyone! Talk to you again, soon!