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Welcome to MountainViews
If you want to use the website often please enrol (quick and free) at top right.


Uploading walks and comments to the MountainViews service.

Anyone registered can upload contributions.
There are three sorts:

Shared GPS Tracks - usually shows a complete walk (Also known as a route or trail)
Place Info - describes a hill, mountain, coastal feature or island.
Motley Views - forums of general interest

For Shared GPS Tracks, go to the Tracks, Walks=> Upload a Track.


For a Place or its environs the procedure is navigate to the mountain, find the box which says "Comment on xxx " and click it. (ensure your browser is not set to "block popups".) A new window should appear to the left. This has a place for you to enter the comment. After entering it, press "Add Record".   If you have made a mistake you can press the "Edit" button and correct it.
Have a look around at comments that have already been entered to get an idea about the style.  The best comments generally tell the reader something new or  interesting about the mountain or places near it.  Usually they are specific about how to get to the summit or other place, for example with grid references for starting points and outline routes. When you include grid references they will appear as a red triangle on maps.

When you have made a comment we would ask that you also "Rate Mountain".  Your score about the mountain is retained and averaged with other users ratings.  Visitors to the site can then see at a glance an assessment of the mountain.

Where a particular mountain has many good comments, please do not simply repeat similar opinions.  However, for every mountain news is always welcome.

There are also other forums for other matters of interest under the heading "Motley Views" There is a general forum, another for suggestions and a bibliography.

Coordinates
You may see "ITM" in places besides a pair of numbers such as 648138 733226 or 6481 7332. ITM (Irish Transverse Mercator) is a grid reference system that the Ordnance Survey of Ireland have moved to for some purposes particularly large scale maps used for site maps and town planning. Conversions from 11 character Irish Grid references (e.g. W12800 52054) to 12 digit ITM references are reasonably accurate (within 3 metres usually). However conversions for a place described by a 7 character Irish Grid reference (e.g. W128 520) to an 8 digit reference may be out by one in the last digit of the easting or northing (for W128 530 that would be 8 or 0).


The Elevation Profile graph
An elevation profile diagram is shown for each GPS track. This is a graph with track height in metres on the y-axis and distance along the track in km on the x-axis. It can give an indication of the severity of slope of different points on the track. Please be aware that like other aspects of data we present the information may not be accurate.

Height may be derived from what the recording GPS or phone app indicated. This is called "GPS height". Or it may be derived from taking the positions recorded on the track ("trackpoints") and deriving a height for each from the SRTM DEM. This is called "SRTM Height". SRTM means the NASA Shuttle Radio Topography Mission of 2000. DEM means Digital Elevation Model which can be used to estimate a height for any place based on its longitude and latitude. SRTM height is provided on MountainViews for the island of Ireland only.

For any given track the display gives an indication of the amount of climbing and the severity of the climb at different distances into the track. We hope it is useful general indication.

Errors. Handheld GPS devices/ mobile apps have a wide range of error types. For example some GPS devices report height using inbuilt barometers and these may not be correctly calibrated. In some cases the barometer also self calibrates in use where its results are found to be different from the GPS derived height causing slow changes in reported height. Mobile apps often do not have access to barometers so they depend on GPS height, however this is notoriously inaccurate on consumer devices and particularly bad in forested areas or gorges. SRTM heights are limited because of the 3 arcsecond resolution of the original measurement and inaccuracies of the measurement. MountainViews attempts to correct or at least smooth out the errors of both forms of measurement, however this is not entirely possible.

There are also other characteristics of the display. For example where a user zigzagged up a summit the distance along the track as shown includes as best as possible the distance to and from the zigzags in the profile. This however would be different from a profile derived as a straight line up a mountain. A straight line up a mountain would appear steeper. Do not use the ratio of height change to distance in the elevation profile to estimate the slope of a hillside.


General Points

Others may choose to rate your contribution.  The individual scores of many people are averaged and displayed.  For mountains, the position that your comment has is decided by the score that people have given.

Point out safety hazards. For example if access to an area is by crossing a river that can flood and cut off return, say so.

Please be very careful not to recommend routes that are likely to provoke access problems.

It's also good practice to suggest more than one way to attain objectives to lessen the risk that excessive trampling will occur.

MountainViews particularly welcomes contributions about the less used areas.  If you have been walking in less trodden areas please do write it up.

You are welcome to change your comments later. If you have news such as access or environmental changes please do amend your comment. If you believe someone else's comment is in error, contact MountainViews (who will try to contact the contributor).

The conditions concerning uploading GPS tracks and comments are detailed in the section "Conditions of Use".   Note that MountainViews reserves the right to alter submitted material.


Contribution Points

As a member contributes place comments, tracks etc they are awarded a certain number of "Contribution Points". Some reports show this and the score is used to determine whether the member can have access to certain facilities. The points are, as of March 2014, calculated as follows:

Place comments.
5 points per comment plus 1 point X score plus 3 points for having a photo

Short Summary entries (per person)
3 point per comment plus 1 point X score plus 1 point for having a photo

Forum comments.
3 points per comment plus 3 points for having a photo

Tracks
If rated then other users quality assessments are taken into account to a max of 3 points or up to 3 points depending on size, more formatted comments are favoured to a max of 2 points, number of pictures and whether they have captions to a max of 5 points

Bibliography entries
7 points per comment plus 4 points for having a photo

Summit or other place position amendments
4 points per entry

Place rating
2 points per rating

In the contributor's reports a further .1 point is added per login, however this is not put into the contribution points stored for each user. So it is not used for assessing whether the user can enter Short Summaries, participate in member forum etc. MountainViews may change the basis of calculation of points. This could arise for example if new features are added or old types of contribution are removed. MountainViews will strive not to cause historical scores to change significantly.


Mountain Views is associated with "Simon Stewart's Hillwalking in Ireland".