Monday, February 20, 2023

Paul Smith’s College VIC releases new mobile app that offers interactive trail map

Paul Smith's College VIC.

PAUL SMITHS- The Paul Smith’s College VIC announced the release of its new mobile app that provides an interactive trail map with location services for ease of use on trail system. Content development began in July 2022. App Released in BETA mode to the Public in August. The past two years have been a story of growth, particularly in terms of technology. In August, the VIC
announced a “soft launch” of its new mobile phone application, that would allow users to view their location on an interactive map and explore points of interest along the trails. The app was developed by Frameless Technologies, whose mission is to “create immersive engagement opportunities for innovative brands to attract clients, visitors, and talent.”

Chief Executive Officer, Michaela Gaaserud a seasonal resident of Rainbow Lake, noted that her company “appreciated the opportunity to team with Paul Smith’s VIC to provide enhanced services to
the public and enable enjoyment of the wonderful facilities and outdoor experience they offer!” Frameless Technologies has worked with several North Country Organizations before the VIC, including Paul Smith’s College, The Wild Center, and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST).


Aaron Schwartzbard, Frameless Technologies Chief Technology Officer noted that the company is “excited to provide the VIC with an app that not only features geo location services to visitors while on the trails, but also allows staff to update information such as animal sightings and trail conditions in real-time.” The location feature is the most notable component of the app, allowing users to pan in and out of the trail system. Also, clickable points of interest have photos and educational information for each location.


Director of the VIC, Scott van Laer says that he “appreciates the location function that gives people a sense of direction and place. The trails at a Nordic Center are often very different, and they are groomed in the winter. We hope that the app serves as a tool for visitors in enhancing their experience of the trails.” Over the next year, the VIC plans to expand its content to include audio of its interpretive signs. The App is available for free download for Apple and Android phones through the Apple Store and Google Play, respectively.

Photo at top: Paul Smith’s College VIC. Paul Smith’s College VIC website photo.

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6 Responses

  1. Charles McManus says:

    Terrific!! I marveled when I used the beta and am looking forward to the full launch version. Please give us the app’s name so that we can locate it in the Apple App store or Google Play.


  2. Wayno17 says:

    It a great idea and very helpful but still a little glitchy. I first downloaded it this weekend and twice it has dropped the trails off the map. I have had to delete and re-download the app to get them to reappear. Once all the bugs are worked out it should be super helpful but in the interim you might want to have a more conventional trail map with you just in case.

  3. JohnL says:

    Sounds pretty neat to me but I’m wondering what purists think about this newfangled, susceptible to being ‘dropped’, electronic way of navigating our beloved Adirondacks. Is this intended to be a primary source of information and direction for hikers or a ‘backup’ to maps and trail information books. Depending on the intent, it could be relatively simple or not. The more it’s intended to do, the more glitch-free it better be.

    • scott van Laer says:

      It is not for navigating the “Adirondacks.” I would never recommend anyone rely on a digital only method for Land Navigation in a wildland situation. This is for use in what is primarily a nature center with extremely well marked trails that for the most part, loop back to the lodge. In that context it is great for users. The interpretive component and additional informational are useful as well.

    • Balian the Cat says:

      I think there are some signposts along the way to getting “old” and this is another one for me. I have a smart phone and I think it’s very cool. I have a Kindle too and I like it okay – but I really love maps. Large maps that can be folded up, smaller maps that show more detail, the wonderful Nat Geo maps printed on Tyvek that allow for good compass work and, when studied, a sense of spatial security when I am in the backcountry. Now, I confess that I do take pictures with my phone, but the thought of depending on it and it’s battery and connectivity for my life is…I’ll be generous and say unrealistic. I will add that it’s not just the age of books and maps that is passing us, but the greater the reliance on Apps and phones, etc, the greater the need for coverage. There are those of us who remember pining for the wonder represented by blank spots on maps, soon we’ll only have memories of places one can go without receiving spam calls from somebody warning that my vehicle warranty is about to expire…

  4. geogymn says:

    Blank spots on the map = underappreciated.

    The biggest concern is the diminished awareness that accompanies the electronic gizmos.

    The fear of getting lost conjures up our atavistic instincts.

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