Van Bikeradar: New Komoot Trail View uses AI to help you visualise tracks and paths before you ride them

Komoot’s new Trail View feature is claimed to better inform your route planning by displaying images users have posted of tracks and roads. The functionality is similar to Google Street View, but employs user-submitted images, rather than a roving camera-equipped car or bicycle.

Komoot says image recognition technology has assigned millions of uploaded photos to locations on its base map. Existing images on Komoot are tagged to route collections and user-generated highlights, which may or may not show the lie of the land.

Komoot says its technology has excluded photos of faces, food, buildings and landscapes that don’t capture the trail.

The brand claims the feature could improve safety on the trails. For example, a user could warn other riders of an obstacle, such as a fallen tree, by uploading an image.

How to use Komoot Trail View

A line of green dots means this bridleway is well illustrated.

When using Komoot to plan a route, you can select Trail View from the map option menu. Green dots will then appear on the map above where, Komoot says, artificial intelligence believes the images were taken.

Once you click on the green dot, the image of the track, path or road appears.

You see the name of the user who uploaded the photo, when they did so and what activity they were doing, such as gravel riding, mountain biking or hiking.

Trail View is concentrated on but not confined to off-road tracks.

You can decide whether to include it in your route based on, for example, whether you’re riding a gravel bike or mountain bike.

Other factors to consider could be your skill level and likely trail conditions. This may indicate which would be the best gravel tyres for the ride.

Out of 15 million images uploaded to the app, Komoot claims AI has identified one million as images of trails and paths, and selected them for Trail View.

Some may want to root around this track.

The brand says the Trail View feature will continue to improve as users post more informative images for the technology to locate on the map.

The update brings a more visual element to route planning in Komoot, already one of the best cycling apps.

However, competition between route planning apps is fierce. Komoot’s launch comes soon after the Google Maps cycling update and the Strava Trail Routes release.

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