A Rockfax App for Smartphones

For the last 2 years we have been working on creating an App version of our Rockfax guidebook data. I say 2 years, but in reality it is more like 14 years – ever since we created the first Rockfax Route Database for Dorset back in 2000, the aim has been to develop the information into a more portable digital format. In fact it started even earlier than that. I remember back in 1996 working with Adam Greenwood (the person who first registered the domain UKClimbing.com) and putting together a web page where you clicked on route lines on a topo of Malham to display a description. The problem then was that we realised pretty quickly that you couldn’t carry your computer to a crag.

Well now you can and I am pleased to say that we are in the finishing stages and the Rockfax App. It has been in testing for many months and we are completing the preparation of the data and should be ready to launch soon.

Our intention when creating this App was to build something that was as useable as a printed guidebook but also made use of the full capability of a modern smartphone to become something that was even better than a printed guidebook. We were also determined to get as much of our Rockfax data as possible into the system as soon as we launch.

The App

Using the App you will be able to view big crag photo-topos that make the most to the touch screens and zooming capabilities. Touch a route line and the description appears, touch a description and a route line appears. The photos are taken straight from our guidebooks so they have excellent resolution. You will be able to get a full crag photo then pinch-zoom right up to see small detail down to pitch or even move level.

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The south face of the Marmolada. The yellow box is the zoom location on the screenshot below.

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Zoomed in on the iPad to reveal full detail.

But a smartphone offers more than that. Using the GPS location capability, the phone will be able to link with a navigation app to guide you to a crag, it will show you crags, shops, walls and accommodation near by. It will also enable you to link with your UKC logbook. On set up you will be able to download your logbook ticks and synchronise with routes on the phone. As soon as you have done a route you can tick it on the App and add it direct to your UKC logbook. You can also access your Wishlist, upload a photo of the route, and even see photos of the route uploaded by others.

Approach maps to crags

Approach maps to crags

The Rockfax App will be available on Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad) platforms. The App itself will be a free download and many Rockfax crags will be available straight away, also for free.

The Crag Data – How Does it Work?

Once in the App you can buy full guides, or individual crag guides, via the in-App purchase system via the Apple Store or Google Play. The guide data – photo-topos, crag and route descriptions, maps and overview photos – will then be downloaded onto your device and stored there. This means that you will be able to access it at all times, even when there is no signal.
There will be a lot of data available and this could well take up storage space on your smartphone. To allow for those with limited storage space on their device, you will be able to delete crags/areas from the phone and then download them again when you need them.
Crags will be sold at four different price bands 69p, £1.49, £1.99 and £2.49 corresponding to their popularity and size. Full guides will correspond to an equivalent publication and be priced at around 60% to 70% of the price of the book – so around £20 for a £30 book.
One of the main advantages of an App is that it is easy to update everyone’s copy. So if there are access changes, rock falls and new routes, these can all be added and will update automatically on the phone.

Book to App links

Books and App guides will be sold separately although we will maintain a link between successive versions of the App guides, and new editions of a printed book. When a new edition of a book is published, there will be a corresponding new version of the App guide.
There will be scope for special offers and we hope to offer discounts on successive purchases on versions of App guides, and coupons for those who buy the book from the Rockfax web site for buying an App version.

We can’t be sure of precisely when the App will be available but we are working full steam ahead on getting it out during 2014. Keep an eye on this web site for more information.

 



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The Dolomites has been published

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The Dolomites : Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata has been published and is now available for next day delivery!

Anyone who pre-ordered their copy should have it by now, and Specialist Outdoor Retailers should have stock too. Please contact us with your order number if you experience any delivery problems.

The book has been authored by James Rushforth who, together with his partner Lynne Hempton, has spent several years documenting the climbs and VFs, and taking some amazing photographs for the book.

More info on the Book here
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New Northern Limestone Guidebook – 2014

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The end of 2014 will see the publication of a new edition of the Northern Limestone Rockfax. This version covers all of the limestone sport climbing and selected traditional climbing venues in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lancashire (the Peak area has migrated to its own guidebook – Peak Limestone in 2012).

 More about the book



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The Dolomites Rockfax Now Available for Pre-ordering

The Dolomites : Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata guidebook is now available for pre-ordering at a special offer price of £25.95 (RRP £29.95)

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Delivery Date
Pre-order now to receive your copy as soon as possible. We anticipate the book being published on around 6/7/8 August and ‘Pre-orders’ will be sent out directly after this. UK orders should arrive on 8/11/12 August, pre-orders to the rest of Europe, overt the next week or so. Shops should have stock by the weekend of 16/17 August. It could be several weeks before shops in Italy and the rest of Europe have stock.

More info on the shop page…



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Rockfax Donations to Bolt Funds and the ACT – April to June 2014

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Six months into the year and it is time for the second set of donations to the various Bolt Funds and the ACT that we support with online sales of Rockfax guidebooks. Once again the largest donation has gone to the North Wales Bolt Fund which received £436 making a total £1233 donated since the North Wales Climbs book was published in November 2013. The ACT  received £281 which was boosted by some very generous Point of Sale donations and the success of the Peak Bouldering guide.

We have also made a donation to the El Chorro Bolt Fund and welcome approaches from all bolt funds, from anywhere in Europe covered by a Rockfax guidebook, to get involved. Contact us using the form.

Thanks to everyone who supported this by buying direct from the Rockfax web site, or making a generous PoS donation



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