The BMC is in the planning stages of updating the Regional Access Database (RAD). We're aiming to make it much more user friendly and modernise the whole system, but we want to know which features are used, those that aren't and what is missing from the current version before we go ahead with the overhaul.
In case you don't know what RAD is, it's the BMC's 'one stop shop' for all crag access information and it can be found here: http://www.thebmc.co.uk/rad (If you haven't used it before, have a quick look before filling out the survey).
In reply to Rob Dyer, BMC: Have filled in the survey.
My main gripe with the database is that it is missing lots of minor venues especially bouldering ones. These are by nature the places you are mostly likey to be unsure of the access regarding and hence need to check the RAD for. I already know access is ok at Froggatt, but I might not be so sure for say Stanton-in-the-Woods, which incidentally the BMC has done some fine access work on but isn't in the RAD.
In reply to Boy: Great stuff - thanks for that. Your point about minor venues is a good one and something we're well aware of as a potential issue. Our gut feeling is that it probably needs addressing but we want to get users views before investing time and money into any updates/changes, to make sure that whatever is done will be of use to climbers. Cheers, Rob
> Finally a point I've made before is that I think RAD should be clickable on the main BMC home page: to me access work is the most important thing the BMC does.
I'd strongly agree with this. It's bizarre to have to hunt around for it when it's the no.1 thing I want from the BMC.
Up to date information on whether birds are actually nesting at those crags where this leads to a temporary ban, but climbing is otherwise ok, would increase the usefulness of the RAD to me by a huge amount. Especially for crags where any ban is not signed at the crag.
> Up to date information on whether birds are actually nesting at those crags where this leads to a temporary ban, but climbing is otherwise ok, would increase the usefulness of the RAD to me by a huge amount. Especially for crags where any ban is not signed at the crag.
I second that point. I recently noticed that Wintour's is listed as having a seasonal peregrine ban, which could lead people to think that the whole crag was out of bounds for several months every year. In fact there has been no nesting (known about) this year and the nesting over the previous three yeras was right at the limits of the crag and affecting only a handful of routes each time.
I also noticed all the guidebook listings for the Wye Valley (also some other areas) are out of date. I will try to provide the correct info soon.
In reply to Rob Dyer, BMC: There seems to be a bug with Q7, it won't let me select a ranking number and they're just displayed in numerical order.
Martin Kocsis, BMC18 Jul 2012
In reply to Howard J: Hi Howard, I thought that too when I filled it in, but then I realised that as you give each attribute it's rank, it automatically moves into a new position, it works, it's just a bit funky. Thanks for filling it in.
In reply to Howard J: Hi Howard - I just checked that out and initally thought the same a you, but our IT guy pointed out that the survey automatically re-organises the ranked items (if that makes sense?) I'll add a line to the question to avoid confusion. Cheers, Rob
Martin Kocsis, BMC18 Jul 2012
In reply to Offwidth: Dear Mr Offwidth, there is now a free text box at the end. For those who have already filled it in and can't go back to the free text thing, put your comments on here and they'll be taken into consideration, as the judge said to me this morning.
2. 'Have you ever climbed at a banned crag?' Do you mean subject to an environmental restriction supported by BMC, or any exclusion imposed by a landowner, e.g. Woodcroft Quarry/Fly Wall and Huntsham Crags?
7. 'Rank' etc. I note this list does not include the relevant guidebook. Is it you intent to drop this now? If so I needn't spend hours updating the current info.
In reply to John Willson: Hi John, to answer your questions:
2 - either (ie when a an agreed temporary restiction or a permenant ban due to landowner is in place)
7 - our current thinking is to drop the guidebook section as this is a difficult section to keep on top of with accurate info (there are many more guidebooks being released now than when RAD was first launched) and it doesn't seem to be one of the core bits of info users are looking for. Our perception is that most users just want simple, accurate specific access info presented in an easy to read way, but if anyone feels strongly one way or the other, please add a comment to the bottom text box - all opinions are useful.
> (In reply to victim of mathematics)
> I second that point. I recently noticed that Wintour's is listed as having a seasonal peregrine ban, which could lead people to think that the whole crag was out of bounds for several months every year. In fact there has been no nesting (known about) this year and the nesting over the previous three yeras was right at the limits of the crag and affecting only a handful of routes each time.
Do you know where they did nest? I saw 4 of them playing about at the weekend, so i presume those included a pair and 2 offspring.
In reply to Rob Dyer, BMC: I wasn't aware that the background colours of the information is supposed to represent the status of that particular crag. It wouldn't be the first thing I'd notice even if I did know. Much better would be to have a quick summary of the current status and keep the background colour uniform throughout.
Yes they have been in full cry the last three weeks, but we have had no reports of any nesting. Some years ago they used to nest in the wooded area between North Wall and the ruined Chapel. Anyway, it's good to know they have been successful and that climbers have not troubled them, especially after the sad failure of the Chepstow pair this year.
In reply to all: Great stuff guys - keep it coming. The most common theme so far has been to make the RAD easier to access from the BMC homepage, so we're working on that straight away and there should be a more obvious button there in the next few days. Other changes will take longer as the whole system needs to be redesigned, but it's good to be able to make a quick fix that will hopefully be useful to lots of you in the meantime. Cheers, Rob
> (In reply to all)
> Do you have a mobile enabled site?
> I know in advance that some/many users don't/won't use their mobile to check access restrictions, but there is a sizeable (and growing) younger generation of climbers who use them a lot.
> An example of where it would be useful: Rained off mid morning - trying to find a new venue to climb within 30 mins drive. Check RAD db for access restrictions on the move.
> This sort of technology brings a tool like this forward from being a 'good' resource to a essential climbing 'must have'.
> I might be wrong though . . .
I agree. Another scenario would be when you are away for a trip, perhaps camping, with no computer to hand and no set plans. Most people these days will have a smartphone among a group, so the RAD should definitely have that in mind.
In reply to Stew 99 and Monk: Hi guys - yes it's something we've been aware of for some time now and our IT guru Paul has been working on writing an Android RAD app. This is pretty much ready to release but there are a few bits that need tweaking and are being worked on now.
Paul tells me that it's working on live data now so should be displaying accutate and up to date info, so if anyone wants to try it, you can find it here: http://t.co/5tzs4t1b
You have to enable 'unknown sources' before it'll install and if you tried the previous beta version you'll have to uninstall that as it won't upgrade.
We're hoping to produce apps for the new version of RAD too once it's made, with versions for whichever type of phone most people vote for on the survey.
In reply to Rob Dyer, BMC:...> Paul tells me that it's working on live data now so should be displaying accutate and up to date info, so if anyone wants to try it, you can find it here: http://t.co/5tzs4t1b
Comes up with a "Parse Error" when trying to install on HTC Desire, Android version 2.2.2
In reply to JDal: Hi JDal - it will only work for Android version 2.3.3 onwards at the moment. I think you can update your phone to a newer version of Android though but I couldn't tell you how to do it - sorry!