Outdoor sport, especially hiking, running and cycling, are several of the favorite activities for malagueños to disconnect and leave tensions at home or at work. The implementation of the Great Malaga Path (GR 249) in 2014 and the expansion of its route in successive years by more than 100 kms to exceed 850 kms, with 35 stages and 5 variants or sections, has meant a continuous effort to update this route, that is already traveled by more than 2 million users annually, for the Delegation of Environment, Inland Tourism and Climate Change.
Although from the beginning the GR 249 had a Topoguide (essential for homologation by the Andalusian and Spanish Mountaineering Federation) and tracks from each of those stages and variants or sections, these have changed as we have pointed out over the last six years. That is why, together with the enormous advance of personal computing, this Delegation has decided to launch a route meter, that is, a road map in which all the indications (distances, turns ...) are explained and whose purpose is to be able to follow the development of a route autonomously. This utility, which is based on the GPS that all mobiles have built-in, consists of a series of previously georeferenced data that can be downloaded to mobile phones and smart watches to guide the hiker step by step along the route in question.
The application chosen as a router to guide hikers and prevent them from getting lost has been Wikiloc.
Wikiloc is a free collaborative application (as it is called today) designed for the hiker. The proof is that currently more than 4.5 million users have downloaded it and shared more than 10 million different routes, a large part of them in Spain. In addition, they have uploaded more than 17 million photos to publicize the landscapes and decide which one to visit, offer tips to face the stages and tell other curiosities that are useful for others.
Another advantage of this application is that it is able to differentiate all these routes and offer the most outstanding according to the exercise that is going to be performed. The routes can be one way or circularly to return to the starting point, due to distance or difficulty. All without the need to be connected to the Internet, something ideal for the mountainous areas of Malaga, where coverage is uncertain, of poor quality or simply does not exist. And this because the app allows you to download the maps and use them later.
The App allows you to share the position through Whatsapp and the person who receives the message will always know where the hiker is. It also has alerts to warn if the hiker strays from the route. The app has also adapted to the new times of intensive use of social networks, and allows, at the end of the tour, to upload the best photos, count the impressions about the stage and provide comments so that the number of routes and followers continues to grow.