There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of digital versus printed maps. While some sources include both sides of the argument, it all comes down to your purpose for consulting the map in the first place. Trail map painter James Niehaus is the first to admit that the purpose of his maps (and resort/entertainment maps in general) is to focus on readability and the relative positioning of things, rather than geographical accuracy. When you take geographical accuracy out of the equation, many of the downsides to digital maps become irrelevant, or even turn into positives.
Here are the top 5 reasons why digital maps will work best for your next resort adventure.
One of the main downsides that comes up often is the need for GPS location services, which might not be available for your next adventure mountain biking or going for a hike. Instead of trying to geolocate yourself and navigate with digital guidance, it’s likely more about finding where a lodge or trail is in relation to where you are (or last were). Digital works just fine for finding the lodge, lift, or run since it’s a different process than finding a certain storefront on a busy street, which can be hard even if you are using location services and Google or Apple-branded maps. These issues can stem from lags in connectivity with satellites, or even just errors in the data.
As mentioned above, there can be errors in the data that compound other issues. Once a map is printed, viewers will need to wait until the next print run for corrections to any errors (lodges and shops opening or closing, lift/trail access, etc). Paper maps can be obsolete, especially if the resort is expanding and opening new terrain, or have places they need to close due to changing weather conditions. Digital maps can show in real time what trails and adventures await.
By necessity, paper maps will only show you a single view of the area. You will have to choose between large scale and small scale, or topography, or location of natural occurrences, or locations of services, or a variety of other things. In the event you choose all of the above, you will need to carry around an atlas to contain all of that information. On a digital map, you can zoom in or out, or even toggle different features to see what is available in real time. You can see open or closed status on lifts and trails, or even warnings if there is a known hazard on a certain route. Paper maps may also not show the difficulty of the terrain if you are mountain biking rather than skiing (since a trail map would be mostly focused on the ski side of the resort).
Speaking of that atlas you are carrying around, you need to remember to pick that up before you head out on your adventure. Digital maps are always in your pocket on your mobile device, which you are less likely to leave at home. In addition, there is a limited supply of paper maps, and they may not be immediately available to you if you aren’t stopping by the resort’s information desk and registering for a structured activity. Using digital, app-based maps allows you to control your own adventure without having to make stops.
When you are out on your adventure your paper map can get wet or damaged, which will cause it to rip. Opening and closing it repeatedly will also cause wear, which will make it harder to read the information on the folds, and will eventually lead to ripping. Having a paper map may also lead to littering if you lose track of it, or if pieces come off as it wears out.
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The Alpine Media Platform is a simple to use yet comprehensive guest engagement (and staff communication) platform that helps ski resorts, theme parks, amusement parks, water parks, museums, aquariums, and other attractions build, launch, simplify, measure, and maximize their guest engagement strategy.
The Alpine Media Platform is a leading resort software and app solution with a range of tools, including event planning, real-time operations reporting (e.g. lift & trail status or attraction status), base area maps with POI details, F&B menus, live vehicle/shuttle tracking, emergency alerts, notifications, and much more. The Alpine Media Platform consists of a custom mobile app specific to your resort (Android and iOS), digital signage (ranging from a 10in ticket window display to an LED 'jumbotron' of any size) and an intuitive, easy-to-use content management system (CMS) to control all your content.
Mobile responsive websites are awesome and every organization should start there, but what happens when you need to get an urgent message out to all of your on-site guests? Is all the content on your website accessible when guests do not have an active internet connect? Do you have full control over the content on your website or do you have to rely on your web developer?
Moreover, we all know that every guest is different and how they decide to interact with your organization/brand varies widely. The Alpine Media Platform automatically 'pulls in' existing information about your resort and distributes it to additional channels (digital signage, mobile app, and text [coming soon]) for guests to consume wherever and whenever they want. In addition, our APIs make is simple for your team to 'pull' information from the Alpine Media Command Center CMS and show it on your website. You decide if you want to manage content through your website or through the Alpine Media CMS.
Synchronizing all of your resort information across the various channels should not require duplicate entry; it shouldn't require someone running all over the place updating USB thumb drives; and it definitely shouldn't require waiting in the IT queue for content change requests.
We make every effort to get your resort activated within 2 weeks. Most of the time, we'll have your digital signage solution up and running within 72 hours from receiving all the necessary resort information including contact information, design guidelines, logo, existing data feeds, and admin users. As soon as we activate your resort, you will have the ability to add and control all of your content and more. From there, it's up to you how quickly you want to roll it out to various locations. In fact, many of your resort partners start with general information displays across their resort and then continue to customize and add additional locations (e.g. F&B menus, ticket pricing & availability, in-room media for on-site lodging locations).
We offer four different plans, Green (digital signage only), Blue (digital signage + custom mobile app), Black (digital signage + custom mobile app + shuttle tracking and point of sale integration), and Double-Black (full customization of the platform). Plans start as low as $500/mo depending on the scope. The best part about the pricing of our software solutions is that there are no limits on the number of users and virtually all of the new features we develop are added to your plan at no additional cost. We hate getting "nickel and dimed" and we promise not to do it to you.
Schedule a demo to see the complete platform and get a customized proposal.