South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is one of the UKs longest and most popular National Trails. We designed, built and hosted the South West Coast Path website in 2011. In 2013 we launched a lightweight mobile version. The site integrates Google maps and Ordnance Survey maps allowing users to build, save and print walking itineraries.
We developed the interface and functionality around our Python based MapMentor system – an online mapping engine built on PostGIS and Django. It facilitates complex GIS searches and behind-the-scenes management of walking trails and can integrate with Google Maps, OS Maps and other base map systems. We also included a Walkfinder tool so people can filter walks those that suit their needs (short, circular and with a Pub at the end!). We also integrated dynamically generated Google Earth Fly-throughs and interactive elevation graphs so walkers can see what their walk actually involves. We then created a printable version that dynamically integrates the selected walk with the appropriate Ordnance Survey maps for people to print-off and take with them.
With all this dynamic stuff going on and a vast number of users we had to squeeze more performance out of the server. We deployed the Varnish Proxy Caching server and then set up the CloudFlare Content Delivery Network (CDN). This provided some greased lightning performance improvements.
We built the system to be SEO friendly and it has proved to be so. It is #1 or in the top 5 on Google for pretty much every key target phrase/term.
In 2013 we delivered a mobile version of the website to make it as user friendly as possible for those on the go. it strips it down to what the majority of people need who are looking for walks nearby when out and about.