Nov 18 2015

PR: AvaTech launches crowd sourced AvaNet

Desktop view of an Avanet topo map showing high risk zones and the path followed.

Desktop view of an Avanet topo map showing high risk zones and the path followed.

Editors Note: The following press release comes from Backbone Media, Avatech’s public relations firm. Ordinarily I’d rewrite the information a bit, but this is a fairly straight forward announcement of a software platform that has the potential to dramatically improve the understanding of the snowpack in regions that we like to ski. The key to that understanding is for people to use the tools and platform Avatech has developed. Similar tools have been developed before, but they are aimed at avalanche professionals.

That may sound like an endorsement, and I do applaud the theory of what they are offering, but I have not personally used an AvaTech probe, or Avanet, their platform for sharing snow pack observations in the form of data collected by their probe, or any other mode of observation they allow. Just sharing a whole bunch of information may simply be, in the near term, a case of information overload. But with time and some collective brainstorming this public database of snow information could be transformed from mere knowledge, albeit too much information, into a system of understanding that empowers better decisions about what, where, and when to ski. That is not to say this system has that power yet.

My suspicion is that we will look back in a decade and marvel that we did as well as we did without a system like Avanet, and that we gleaned as much as we did from the first generation Avatech probes, even though they seemed revolutionary at the time. But we have to start somewhere and the potential improvement in understanding that this offers is sufficient for me to help promote it. And please note, Avatech is NOT advertising here, so this is not a paid advertorial.

PARK CITY, Utah (November 18, 2015) Avatech, an outdoor technology company focused on developing breakthrough, mountain safety technologies, announces the launch of Avanet, the world’s first crowdsourced, real-time platform of mountain safety information. Avanet is now available to both recreational and professional users for download on the web at www.avatech.com and on mobile at the App Store.

“At Avatech our mission is to build a safer mountain community. The Avanet platform helps everyone communicate and share information in the mountains more easily than ever before. Our global mountain community can now share real-time, geo-tagged observations of snow conditions, weather, wind, avalanches and more. Now all mountain travelers – skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, snowshoers, mountaineers and the professional snow community – can benefit from the information shared on the Avanet mountain safety platform. And when we share information, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
— Brint Markle, co-founder and CEO of Avatech

Logging an observation from a mobile app.

Logging an observation from a mobile app.

The new Avanet mobile app allows users to upload an array of mountain safety observations including photos, videos and comments, as well as view alerts or observations from others traveling nearby. Avanet mobile is built for the mountain environment and works both in and out-of-cell reception. The mobile app also includes a route-tracking feature that allows users to monitor key statistics from their tours. Users can select over 20 different topo and aerial maps all on a single platform fully integrated with observation information. All mobile data is synched with the Avanet web platform, where users can plan and share routes and dynamically visualize terrain on Avanet’s new GIS platform.

“Avanet could generate an influx of mountain observations from both recreationalists and snow professionals. This will benefit individual backcountry users, and we are working together to create a seamless way for those observations to reach forecast centers such as CAIC that rely on observation data to create regional forecasts.”
— Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Packaged to serve the most appropriate mountain traveler, the Avanet mobile and web app is available in three versions: Avanet, Avanet Tour and Avanet Pro. Avanet is a complimentary version for recreational mountain travelers and includes such features as basic topographical and aerial maps, tour tracking and the ability to submit and view public observations. Avanet Tour ($5 per month) includes additional features like terrain visualization and route planning tools. Avanet Pro ($10 per month) is the most feature-rich platform designed for professional guides and snow safety professionals and includes such additional tools as advanced route planning, professional-grade observation sharing, pro data access and more.

“The more knowledge you have the better. Crowdsourced, real-time information about what’s happening in the mountains, in the backcountry, benefits professional forecast centers and backcountry users everywhere. I use Avanet in the field and trip planning, and it’s been a game-changer in how I prepare to go into the mountains.”
— Chris Davenport, professional skier and mountaineer

For additional information regarding Avatech, or its new mobile app, Avanet, please view the current brand video:

Avatech is building the largest and most intelligent network of mountain-safety information in the world, powered by connected hardware and software. For more information on Avatech, visit http://www.avatech.com

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© 2015