A comparative study of interactive rockclimbing guidebooks and conventional hardcopy guidebooks

Lean, Jeffrey Robert (2010) A comparative study of interactive rockclimbing guidebooks and conventional hardcopy guidebooks. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Climbing guidebooks have been in existence ever since people started climbing cliffs for recreation. It has only been recently that these guidebooks have started to include photographs to help identification of climbs. To date, there are very few interactive guidebooks that are available online which include the ability to filter climbs and climbing areas based upon specific characteristics. Being able to interrogate a database of climbs and climbing areas by grade, style of climbing, quality of climbing,and length of climbs would be a significant addition to the guidebooks that are currently available. Integrating a fully illustrated database of climbs with open source mapping software such as Google Maps would extend the utility of current guidebooks significantly. As portable devices become more commonplace, the ability to further combine these guidebooks with GPS technology would make the location and identification of climbs much simpler. This study compares conventional hardcopy guidebooks with several online guidebooks. In addition, several Decision Support Systems are analysed to assess the ways in which Geographic Information Systems are integrated to assist in decision making. A prototype interactive guidebook was developed after presenting a survey to a group of climbers to assess what they would find useful in an online resource. This survey found that most climbers would like to see climbs represented on a map of the climbing site in order to aid in locating them. They also suggested that being able to filter climbs by various criteria would be useful. These features were subsequently integrated into the prototype. After review by several climbers it was found that this system has many benefits over conventional hardcopy guidebooks; however, it was also noted that to be even more useful further work needed to be done to improve the functionality of the prototypes. This work would include an ability to print a selection of climbs from those ranges searched.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 39151
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Walker, Arron & Hayes, John
Keywords: rockclimbing, interactive guidebooks, print guidebooks
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2010 05:13
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:00

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