We, two EVS Volunteers, mapped tracks and geographical features in Sharr Mountain National Park with Open Street Map during the last weeks. This work will help tourists to find their way around the area and it can also be used as a data base of citizen science on flora and fauna.
Hiking connects to nature and nourishes the wish to protect it, that is why we see this project also as a part of nature protection. Especially since we did not only map the tracks but also put up self-made signs saying with images that “If you love the mountains, do not litter!”. On our way we collected rubbish next to the path, to increase the mental barrier of further littering. Hopefully it helps to keep the newly mapped paths clean.
In a greater perspective tourism creates job opportunities for the communities in the national park and with this income source people are more likely to protect their valuable nature.
In Sharr National Park hiking is a yet to develop summer alternative for the ski resort. It is a great opportunity because the infrastructure and paths are already given. This also means that the area is already influenced by human activities and further impacts are kept to a minimum.
We promote responsible and sustainable hiking, which means to reduce the impact on nature and not to leave anything else but footprints and great memories. At the entrance of Brezovica Ski resort a freshly painted signs tells visitors about this “leave no trace” policy by giving advices on how to behave responsibly.
In Sharr National Park the best source for hiking trails ist Open Street Map. Which is a great project because it provides and produces Open Data which can be used created by anyone. It as a map from people for people and geographical personal data is not given to big monopolistic companies.
Local Knowledge about the area can be shared and published with open street map by locals and visitors as a common project.
Open Street Map
OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.
OpenStreetMap emphasizes local knowledge. Contributors use aerial imagery, GPS devices, and low-tech field maps to verify that OSM is accurate and up to date.
OpenStreetMap is open data: you are free to use it for any purpose as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors. If you alter or build upon the data in certain ways, you may distribute the result only under the same licence.
Hiking Trails and Sites
To give an idea about hiking possibilites in Sharr Mountain here are some sites listed. Often companies offer guided tours, but when the mapping of hiking paths continues individual, autonomous hiking and planning will become easier. Some of them offer maps online which show good hiking trails.