This link goes to our current work in progress prototype:
Right now there is just one app available for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. It looks like little more than a guidebook with a gps locator attached to it:
But this site is old and incomplete, and I don't think anyone in his or her right mind would use just this app instead of the guidebook. It's just redundant, or a slight convenience at best. Your guidebook isn't going to run out of batteries in the middle of the woods. What hikers need is an app that provides additional information that can't come from a book, and shouldn't try to replace anything mission critical.
About a thousand hikers attempt to thru-hike the appalachian trail each year, and many more hike sections of it. The app could also be useful to friends, family members, hostel owners, park staff, and trail angels.
To create a shared, social map for the trail. Hikers could post trail condition warnings, keep track of friends further up the trail, etc. Bear activity on the trail? Post it on the map. Going to have a cookout at a trailhead? Post it on the map. Ideally this would be a social network of sorts, and you could see what kind of progress all your friends are making if you get separated. You could put in town information and GPS too, but the app would stand on its own without those.
Roles and Tasks:
Jeff: Programmer and webmaster
Reed: Designer and researcher