Trail Data Processing Software

Period of Performance: 05/01/2001 - 12/31/2003

$319K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Beneficial Designs, Inc.
2240 MERIDIAN BLVD STE C
Minden, NV 89423
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This project will help people with and without disabilities enjoy the outdoors by providing them with the access information needed to identify trails that match their abilities and desired hiking experiences. A trail inventory process has been developed to collect pertinent access and maintenance data. Objective information on grade, cross slope, width, surface characteristics, obstacles, and trail features is then processed to produce Trail Access Information. This project will develop stand-alone Trail Data Processing Software (TrailWare) that will enable trail managers to efficiently process trail data, create simple trail signage in formats similar to the nutrition facts label found on packaged foods, identify areas requiring improvement, and determine compliance with accessibility standards. The usability and effectiveness of TrailWare will be demonstrated through evaluations by in- house personnel, trail managers, and others with a range of computer and trail experience. A new section to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines is being written for outdoor recreation areas. This information processing tool will be needed to determine the accessibility of complex trail environments. The software will enable land managers to identify portions of trails to be improved and to provide trail access information to visitors. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Land management agencies and organizations throughout the U.S. will use the Trail Data Processing Software to produce signage, generate maintenance reports, and identify access improvements. Providing objective information on trail conditions will facilitate access to the outdoor leisure and recreation environment for millions of trail users, particularly those who are inexperienced or have mobility limitations.