Out of print guides in Rockfax app

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 tech 14 Feb 2024

Why are only in print guide books available in the app?

By not having out of print guide books available the range of crags is considerably limited. A prime example is the Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering guide, which is a Rockfax publication and covers a wide range of crags that are not currently supported.

I understand that it is not in a format that matches with the zoomable image topo of the app, but in sure that this is not a limiting issue.

I feel like the inclusion of only currently sold guide books will have a focussing effect on the crags that have easily available information, making them more crowded and overused. Conversely, less traffic will be seen at un-supported crags, causing them to become overgrown and possibly even inaccessible. 

The benefits of having this information in a digital format do not seem like they are being fully realised. I'd like to know the logic behind this.

Post edited at 14:50

Would the Rockfax app be more useful if it contained out of print guides as well?

No, the limited range is better for me.
Yes, I want it all included.
Hell yes, and I would even pay for the add on.
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In reply to tech:

It's mainly due to the workflow from InDesign to something we can use in the App. Something like Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering is so old, it would take months to process. None of the current data pipeline would work for it.

Post edited at 15:51
In reply to tech:

Paul has summed it up well. Any guidebook pre-2007 is pretty much impossible for us to port to Rockfax Digital. It would be far quicker to start from scratch. Every guidebook post-2007 is already on the app.

Areas we have covered before 2007 that are not on Rockfax Digital:

Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering (2000) - It is certainly not possible to convert this one but, rest assured, we are currently working on a new version which will be digital first - maps photo-topos, the lot.

Costa Daurada (2002) - Partly digitized with Siurana and a few other crags around Barcelona, but some of the other crags in the book have not been converted.

Lakes Bouldering (2005) - Another one that is too old but we are working with the people behind the current Lakes Bouldering guide and hope to get something out from that soon.

Sardinia (2002) - This was only ever a small PDF.

I don't think there are many more than that so it isn't a huge back catalogue of redundant information and I doubt it is actually causing honeypotting, or neglected crags.

Additionally, we don't include only currently sold guidebooks on the app. Rjukan for example, is available on Rockfax Digital but it has been 12 years since it was in print, North Wales Winter was in the North Wales Classics guidebook which is now sold out, but is on the app.

Here is a full list of our 'digital-only' publications -

Also, many areas have significant extra coverage as digital-only - Peak Bouldering, Costa Blanca, Peak Limestone, Pembroke especially but most have a bit more.

Thanks for posting the question.


OP tech 15 Feb 2024
In reply to Alan James - Rockfax:

Hi Alan, thanks for a full description. It is good to know that there is an update to the Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering guide in the pipeline.

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