This applet is best viewed at 800x600 or greater.

Please note that TrackProfile is Work-In-Progress. Getting the data together is quite time consuming. It's a "spare time" exercise (and there isn't much of that).

About TrackProfile

The Idea

I have used Microsoft Excel to plot profiles for planned bushwalks or mountain bike rides a few times. When I had decided to learn Java, I needed a project to help the process.

The intention is to provide distance and climb data to enable trip planning. Hours of walking can be estimated using distance and climb (eg. one hour for each 3km plus each 300m of climb). Choose the start and finish points to see what you're in for! If I've missed a major start/finish point please let me know.

Data Collection

Obtain topographic maps of the track to be plotted. Pencil in marks every 1km along the track. Look for stretches of consistent gradient (eg. "From this creek crossing to this spur seems to be a consistent climb"). Plot the points where the gradient changes.

Australian Alps Walking Track

The distances and altitudes for major points on the track have been sourced from "Australian Alps Walking Track - Walhalla to Canberra" Third Edition 1998 by John Siseman. He included a disclaimer in his book about the accuracy of the distances and although I found that disclaimer to be justified (eg. 2km from Mueller Pass to Carruthers Peak ?!?), I now know how difficult it is to estimate.

The route includes Siseman's side-trips (Bogong, Jagungal and Bimberi) and detours (Main Range and Gungartan/Mawson Hut). Hence the total distance is 683km, not the 655km specified in the Australian Alps National Parks brochures on the track.

Between the major points, I have filled in the detail mostly using 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 CMA and VicMap topographic maps with the occasional use of an Auslig 1:100,000 where buying a whole new map for 5km of track in one corner was taking it a bit too far.

Currently the detailed plotting has been done from East Riley Road (Barry Mountains) to Tharwa with a gap from Johnnies Top to Misery Trail where I haven't purchased the map (yet).

One day I'll walk it to do the field checking. One day.

Milford Track

I found a map of the track amongst my collection (I walked it in 1991). It has 100m contours so I've only estimated the heights of the major points to the nearest 50m.

The profile includes the out-and-back "spur" trip to Sutherland Falls.

Appalachian Trail

I've plotted three points on it and probably won't do much more. I just wanted to see it on the list. I've followed some hiker journals on TrailJournals.

My Ride to Work (Garran to Russell)

Slapped together one evening - all the altitudes are guesses. It looks like I'll have to do something that allows the vertical scale to be adjusted. It makes a hardish ride look too easy!

Modification History

Date Description
26/03/2008 The source code for TrackProfile is now hosted on Launchpad
02/06/2005 Moved to the LiberatedComputing server.
28/02/2002 Plotted from East Riley Rd to near Mt Murray.
24/02/2002 Plotted from Mt Blowhard to Maddison Hut Site.
22/02/2002 Moved TrackProfile to FreeZope.
11/07/2001 Changed to be able to plot the track in reverse.
16/11/2000 Added "My Ride to Work" from memory. The altitudes are guesses.
14/11/2000 I nearly lost the source code!!! It was on a borrowed Mac that I was to return and I did some cleaning up and erased it - I thought I had the source on my PC as well. Eventually managed to unerase it on the Mac. I was lucky it wasn't overwritten - the Mac is used by my 3yo son (a real agent of entropy). On the other hand if I did rewrite it I'd probably do it better. Now I just have to psych myself into more plotting...
16/05/2000 Having seen the TV and newspaper coverage of John McGrath finishing the Australian Alps Walking Track I can feel another round of plotting coming on. I decide to move TrackProfile from Geocities to WhichWay.
20/02/2000 Plotted points for Maddison Hut Site to Gill Creek.
19/02/2000 After reading Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods", I've caught the bug again. Plotted points for Gill Creek to Johnnies Top.
12/08/1998 Plotted points for Misery Trail to Cowombat Track.
30/07/1998 Replotted points for Dead Horse Gap to Grey Mare Mine. Hooray - finished replotting!
29/07/1998 Replotted points for White's River Hut to Grey Mare Mine.
28/07/1998 Replotted points for Grey Mare Mine to Happy's Hut.
27/07/1998 Worked out how to get the Choice controls working (using invalidate() and validate()).
25/07/1998 Found a map of the Milford Track and quickly plotted it. Tried to get the display of the second profile going but having a few problems getting the Choices to display the list of points in the second track.
23/07/1998 Added the Track choice at the top.
21/07/1998 Got the "From" and "To" choices to work.
18/07/1998 Plotted points for Happy's Hut to Pocket Saddle. Stopped displaying the detailed points between Dead Horse Gap and Happy's Hut as they were derived "the old way".
14/07/1998 Plotted points for Pocket Saddle to Oldfield's Hut.
10/07/1998 Plotted points for Oldfield's Hut to Booroomba Rocks.
09/07/1998 Found that the Canvas class did not work with Java 1.0 browsers (I'd like it to work as widely as possible). Learnt how to do it with a Panel class. Plotted points for Booroomba Rocks to Tharwa.
08/07/1998 Worked out how to put the plot on a canvas and how to make a checkbox influence the display or hiding of place name labels.
06/07/1998 Added Climb and Descent calculations. Decided to change the method for choosing points for plotting. Originally it was simply the altitide at every kilometre. Now it is the points where the gradient changes which will give a more accurate calculation of Climb and Descent and a more realistic profile. Looks like being only a small increase in the number of points. Replotted the Cowombat Track to Dead Horse Gap points for this new method.
03/07/1998 Added points for Dead Horse Gap to Happy's Hut.
01/07/1998 Putting some things in their correct places (ie. an init method). Started playing with User Interface Elements.
30/06/1998 Added points for Cowombat Track to Tin Mine.
25/06/1998 Included points for each kilometre from Tin Mine to Dead Horse Gap.
22/06/1998 Sorted out a "Place" class to represent each point. Included the plotting of place labels.
21/06/1998 Got a basic profile going (for 11 points - 68km apart).
20/06/1998 "I know what I'll build in Java!!!"