How to add a walk to Malverns Walks

If you would like to explore adding a walk in the Malverns – Teme Valley area to the Malverns Walks app
please get in touch.

What you will need to provide

  • A map that clearly shows the intended route and the exact location of the ‘points of interest’.
    The final map seen in the app is normally prepared by myself, based on an OpenStreetMap base.
  • A set of photographs to illustrate the route and any interesting features.
    See the guidance below on preparing these photographs and how to submit them.
  • The text to accompany each of the photographs.
    To help you assemble all the information required please download and use this template.

This section of map from the Hills and Valleys walk has two points of interest. If you examine the walk on the app you will see that point 1, with the title ‘Start of the Walk’ has 4 additional screens, each with its own sub-heading and text. Each point of interest can have up to 11 additional screens. In many of the walks these are used to illustrate intermediate route guidance between points of intrest. In other walks, an example is Tenbury Wells, the additional screens are used to provide extra information on buildings along the walk. The template (link above) is structured ready for the addition of additional screens as required.

Extra information option

 

Each screen can have additional text.
Additional text can extend to around 300 words and if required enter it in the template.

When additional text is present the ‘+’ button is displayed in the left margin. This control toggles to a return icon on the additional information screen. Additional information text may be resized by the user.

Image overlay

 

Each screen has the option of having an overlay/additional image. Additonal images are assigned in the template (jpeg or png – which supports transparency). The additional image can also have its own heading and text.

When an additional image is assigned the app will display the ‘i’ button and the return icon button below the overlay/additional image.

Audio player

 

The option to have audio assigned to each point of interest is supported.

Specify the audio file (.mp3 format) in the template. The app will display the audio player when an audio track is specified.

Currently no examples of audio are used in Malverns Walks, the example shown here is from the 9 Sons of Kempley walk in the app Daffodil Way, which employs the same software engine as Malverns Walks.

Synchronise images to audio

Synchronise content to audio

Malverns Walks will also support a sequence of images and text displayed at specified times (defined in milliseconds) in an audio track.

If this is a facility you would like to employ for your walk, then you will need to discuss what you require when you make contact. Setting this up is not supported in the template.

The example shown here can be found in the Deep history section of the Geoheritage app, which features eleven walks, with a geological and mining heritage theme, in the Forest of Dean. No examples of this are currently used in Malverns Walks.

When audio is used in this way, the audio player will be placed at the app screen footer. When playing, jump forward and back controls are also enabled by the player.

 

 

The following explains the requirements for images, with guidance on creating the optimum photos to accompany your walk. Plus how to submit all the files.

Images

File format jpeg (.jpg)
Use a simple systematic naming system for the files, matching with the ‘points of interest’ numbering.

Image size 2000 pixels wide by 1333 pixels high,
a ratio of 1.5 : 1

Without the user swiping left their view on a typical device will exclude the right hand area shown in pink. Bear that in mind when composing your pictures. Make the ‘navigation focus’ offest towards the left side of the view.

 

Feature up close

Taking photographs of the route

In this example you are directing the walker via the wooden gate, but think of the view of this gate the walker will have as they approach it from some distance away. Try and take pictures which show more of the surrounding context of the feature.

Wider view of feature

This view is more informative as it sets the gate in the view the walker will experience as they approach the gate.

The addition of a navigation arrow(s), will add clarity to where the walker should proceed.

Note how the gate – the focus of navigation in this example – has been set left off centre as recommended above.

Adding arrows can be done in various image editing tools. If you feel unable to carry this out yourself, then you will need small copies of the images with your desired direction arrows roughly drawn on them using a tool like Word.

The arrows with perspective that are used on many of the walk photographs have been created in Photoshop. The following explains the process. (The version of Photoshop does not matter, although the screen appearance may differ slightly from the images shown here).

Create new layer

With the inage loaded in Photoshop and the mage cropped to  a 1.5 to 1 ratio and sized to 2000 x 1333 pixels before the next step.

In order to be able to apply a perspective distortion to the arrow, the arrow needs to be created on its own layer, not drawn directly onto the image.

To add a layer click the menu button pointed to by the pink arrow and select New Layer. Optionally you can name the new layer, then click OK. Make sure you have this new layer selected when you draw the arrow.

 

 

Set a colour for the arrow

Select a colour for the arrow. I have often used a green-blue shade as it generally contrasts well with the image colours – but it is your choice.

The colour picker is opened by clicking the foreground colour rectangle in the tools menu of Photshop.

Settings for line with arrow head

Select the Line tool and in the properties set the line thickness to 24 px and for the line to have an arrowhead on the End, setting width, length and concavity of the arrow as shown.

Once all these things have been set they can be used for all subsequent arrowed lines you draw.

 

Draw the arrow

Draw the arrow – don’t forget to ensure you have the new layer selected, not the actual image layer.

Select to distort the arrow

With the arrow selected, select Transform then Distort, from the Edit menu.

Distort tool control points

The arrow will now display the distort control points around it. If nothing is showing you have probably not set the layer with the arrow as the active layer.

Use your mouse to pull the control points about to get the perspective effect and final size of the arrow you want – it can take a bit of getting used to! If the arrow gets in a mess, delete the layer and create a fresh one.

If you want to add additional navigation arrows on the same photo, make new layers for each arrow so they can be sized and distorted independently.

Add a drop shadow

Optionally, you can add a drop shadow to the arrow, with the shadow direction matching the direction of illumination in the image.

The eraser tool can be used to carefully remove parts of an arrow where the arrow would be obscured if present in the actual scene – this adds realism and provides better visual communication of the intended route.

The image should then be saved as a jpg file compressed to less than 400Kb if possible. You may wish to keep a .psd version of the file for any future editing.

 

Sending your photos and other data for the walk to BrooksDesigns

The free WeTransfer file transfer service provides a simple and reliable method.
Sending the files to walkdata@brooksdesigns.co.uk

As a check your package of files should include:

  • Word document produced from the template.
  • The map of the route with points of interest.
  • All the images (jpegs) and any other media files you are using.