Make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, and prepare to while away some time gawping at Stanage in a brand new light.
“It’s a whole new take on route information,” says ZoomTopo co-creator Dan Arkle. “It’s like bringing the crag to your computer. No, it’s better than that actually, it’s like transporting you to the crag!”
ZoomTopo is a new creation from Sheffield-based geeks Dan Arkle and Roger Brook. Combining three of their great obsessions – photography, programming and climbing – they have produced a resource for climbers the like of which you have never seen before.
ZoomTopo is a fully interactive way of viewing crags on your computer and tablet. Route lines, along with grade and stars information, are overlaid on superb, high definition pictures of the crag. Hover the mouse over the line and get the info. Filter your search for grade or stars and see what’s on offer for you and what appeals.
First to get the treatment is everyone’s favourite grit crag, Stanage. Have a look at this, and be prepared to be amazed. Scroll around, se what you like, then click to get closer… closer… closer… and even closer.
We think you’ll be amazed at the detail you can pick out. It’s even possible to see what size of runner you will need for the crux. Is this cheating? Probably.
Using it is pretty intuitive. Use the “Display” menu on the top right to select what filters you want. Deselect them all to see the rock in its full glory, or select All to see all the routes. Refine your search in terms of grade or stars to be more selective.
Best of all, just have a play around to see how great this new tool is.
ZoomTopo is still in development and should soon get even better. It currently works best on computers as it needs a bit of space to get all the information across, although it should also work fine on tablets and other touch-screen devices. It currently doesn’t work so well on phones, but we’re on the case.
There are more to come, so keep your eyes open for some of your favourite high-mountain crags. So go on, fill your boots with this amazing tour of Stanage Popular End on a busy day. As a little game, just how many examples of bad crag-craft can you spot?
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