The Sherpa project

This project originates in the problems associated with giving hikers information about which terrain, cabins and certain routes to follow. Making such information may be done dynamically with the use of a database and dynamic webpages. Such solutions are mainly expensive and the "market" for such an application is not big - considering the fact that these are often non-commercial activities.

Based on my own experiences in Trondhjems Turistforening, a local hikers association in Norway, I have developed an information system for hiking associations. The system is well suited for use among the operative member associations of the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association.

Several problems are addressed:

Static information: Dynamic info:
  • groups
  • office-hours
  • Do's and Dont's in the mointain
  • Equipment
  • routes (to/from/winter/summer/boat/walk/ski/etc)
  • cabins (beds/open/owned by/UTM/etc)
  • places(parking/mountains/rivers/etc)
  • activities (planned meetings/guided tours/and more)
  • pictures related to nodes, huts and
  • online password protected editing of most information

Mountain associations are often based on voluntarily work. this work is primarily based on voluntarily work done by Ragnvald Larsen

This particular project is based on several ASP-scripts generating webpages based on information residing in an Access 2000 database. The system is run on an Microsoft IIS-server.

The most interesting part of this solution is probably the node-system:

I the database the main units are huts, segments, nodes and lookups. Se both table beneath and diagram above:

Hut (H) Segments (S) Nodes (N) Lookup (L)
  1. The Old Cottage
  2. Johns Hut
  1. The Old Cottage to Blue peak
  2. Blue Peak to Johns Hut
  3. Johns Hut to The Old Cottage
  1. Old Cottage node
  2. Blue Peak node
  3. Johns hut node
  1. The Lion formation
  2. The Blue Peak




By building the database supporting this structure one may build a substancial network of nodes and segments with different types of Lookup-information. This has been done for Trondhjems Turistforening  where currently 171 segments, 59 cabins and 118 nodes are described in an implementation of Sherpa.

In this Open Source project we aim to make a all-round information system for hikers and hiker associations. The aim is to use the robust database design(?) to support different modules. Some work lies ahead. I hope for your help!