I cycle a lot, and have done various rides, both organized and otherwise, that have taken in some of the most beautiful mountains in Europe. Such is the desire for keepsakes from these adventures, it’s now common for photographers to position themselves on mountains such as the Stelvio or Alpe d’Huez to snap you as you ride and then offer that picture for sale afterwards.
These kind of photos, or the ones you take yourself, are often the only keepsakes you have of the day (other than some unbeatable memories of course). Now, a new company are using 3D printing technology to offer a novel new way of sharing your adventures.
The project, called Nice Trails, aims to turn GPS files of your hikes, cycles or other outdoor adventures into a 3D model that shows off your route. The process is as simple as it sounds, with users required to upload their GPS file to the website, and Nice Trails then take care of the rest.
They suggest that each customized model will take around two weeks to produce, with the model containing details such as lakes, forests and even snow. The route the user took through this landscape is plotted in red.
As with so many innovations, the inspiration for the project came from the founder’s own expeditions, and particularly his desire for a memento of his hike up Mount Rainier in Washington.
“One day, back from climbing Mount Rainier, I was revisiting the trail with my phone, and while I was so proud and happy of the hike, I felt that that line on a flat map didn’t quite represent the awesomeness of the day spent conquering the top,” they say. “So I really wanted to view my track in 3D, to see the crests and valleys that I crossed.”
The models range in price from $55 for a 5cm one up to $167 for a 15cm one. Whilst I can certainly see the motivation behind such a project, I’m in two minds as to whether I’d ever want such a model to commemorate any of the rides I’ve done down the years.
The outdoor adventure market is certainly a big one though so it will be a fascinating project to follow.