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Daily App: Footpath is a routing tool that'll tell you how far and how high you'll travel


Footpath is for outdoor enthusiasts who want an easy-to-use route planning tool that measures how far and how high a route will take you. The iPhone and iPad app allows you to zoom in on a map and draw a route on a road, trail or river so you can plan your next outside adventure. Footpath then analyzes your route and calculates both the distance and the elevation that you will travel. It's handy for the outdoor runner, hiker cyclist or river kayaker.

Footpath allows you to toggle between a street view or satellite view when you are drawing your route. The street view is part street and part topographic map, which is hit or miss for the area in which I live. I appreciate the topo maps as they allow you to see elevation and other aspects of the terrain, but the maps in the app are misaligned (see below), which makes it difficult to plan a mountain hiking route based on map details only. Though you lose the elevation details, the satellite maps are much easier to use for planning an off-road hike. If you are keeping to the road, then the street view is just fine for road runs and bike rides as the roads are very easy to follow on the map.


The route planning tool has a few useful features that simplifies the route drawing process, including the ability to snap the route to known roads or trails. This feature allows you to draw your route loosely and let the app automatically select the appropriate roads/trails. You also can freehand your route, but this is difficult, especially in those forested areas where a trail or road is not already visible on the map.


Besides snapping to a trail, Footpath also allows you to automatically fill in your route by selecting the "Loop" or "Out & Back" options when planning your run or hike. This feature will analyze the existing waypoints on your route and use a trail or road map to choose the best route back home.

You should know that Footpath is a planning tool only that is best used before you start your run or ride. It does not include any navigation options that tell you which way to go when you finally make your way outside.

Footpath is 99-cents in the iOS App Store, with limits on the number of routes (up to five) that you can save. You can open up both unlimited saves and the ability to export your routes for US$2.99 via an in-app purchase.