You can walk, roll, paddle, horseback ride and even snowshoe on the Trans Canada Trail. But you can also explore it with the click of a mouse, thanks to advanced mapping technology available on tctrail.ca, the Trans Canada Trail website.
By clicking on the Explore the Trail tab, website visitors can view the Trail in various formats – map, satellite, hybrid or canvas – get information about specific sections of the Trail, peek at content shared by registered Trail users, create personal maps to help plan their Trail expeditions and export co-ordinates to their GPS device.
The map's interactive features also allow users to locate the nearest segment of the Trail, choose a route based on what they want to do, such as hiking, biking or cross-country skiing, and – here's where it gets super cool – zoom in for an up-close-and-personal perspective.
"As you zoom in tight, you see details of the Trail, right down to the trees and shrubs," explains Alex Miller, president of Esri Canada, the Toronto-based geographic information systems company that provided the online Trans Canada Trail map – a $1-million donation of software, hardware and services.
The map went live on the Trans Canada Trail website in 2011, but Esri's work with one of the world's longest and grandest trails dates back to the early 1990s when the Trans Canada Trail organization was created. In addition to the online map, Esri has also given the organization operational software for tracking and managing assets along the Trail.
Mr. Miller says he's particularly excited about the Trans Canada Trail map's sharing feature, which lets users post comments and photos to Twitter and Facebook.
"Most of us will probably not be able to experience the entire Trail, which is why we really encourage people to share their experiences," says Mr. Miller. "By doing this, we will make the Trail more familiar to all Canadians."
Filmmakers Marco Carboni and Nicholas Posthumus (pictured left) serendipitously chose a portion of the TCT as a setting in their music video of indie artist Daniel Beausoleil. Since then, the filmmakers have embraced the TCT and its connection to their passions: Canada’s outdoors and indie music. SUPPLIED
Filmmaking team makes music on the Trans Canada Trail
Arriving late one night in Peterborough, Ontario, to record a music video of a local indie artist, filmmakers Marco Carboni and Nicholas Posthumus had a transformative experience on the Trans Canada Trail.
When their Peterborough shoot with singer-songwriter Daniel Beausoleil was delayed until long after dark, and with no lights and just one camera, the team “grabbed some candles and found a beautiful railroad bridge over the Otonabee River that provided great views of the city at night,” Mr. Carboni recalls.
It was only later that they realized the abandoned bridge that they had recorded on was part of the Trans Canada Trail.
The Trail has since become central to their production company, Current Sessions, as it fits perfectly with the owners’ twin passions: Canada’s outdoors and Canadian indie music.
Mr. Carboni says they want to use their skills to ensure that “every measure is taken to preserve the one-of-kind beauty of Canada’s rich music scene and natural heritage.”
When Current Sessions was later asked to produce a benefit concert in Toronto, it was an easy decision to donate the funds that were raised to the Trail. “Canadians are connected by our love of music and Canada’s outdoors,” adds Mr. Carboni. “Whether you’re in Penticton, B.C., where I’m from, or in Newfoundland, we have that in common.”