05.07.2011 03.Tammus, 5771
An online map application, conceived as a place for users to recommend off-the-beaten track gems, has turned into an arena for political fights.
Israeli trekkers making their way across the Israel Trail now have something else to carry in their packs. Between the laminated maps, canned foods and water bottles, next to the muddied Source sandals and the wafers wrapped in tin foil, many now pack an iPhone or iPad. These delicate technological marvels are at some risk out in nature, but it seems that trekkers have a hard time navigating without the Amud Anan application, which has been downloaded 25,000 times on iTunes.
Amud Anan is an app based on one of the most stable projects on the Israeli Internet, "Hamadrich hashitufi le'yediat haaretz," the communal encyclopedia of trails in Israel. It is a topographical map on a scale of 1:50,000 onto which surfers have uploaded over 11,000 spots, most of them directly from the field. Some of them are familiar from annual school trips and guided outings, but there also thousands of hidden pearls of nature that were known only to a select few and today are accessible to those who use the app….