In unserem heutigen Gastbeitrag berichtet unsere Praktikantin Keni Han über ihr Semesterprojekt an der TU München, in dem sie den Kalorienverbrauch beim Wandern in einer Webanwendung dargestellt hat.

Idea of the project

Schloss Neuschwanstein is a 19th century castle which is famous for its amazing views and its cameo in the Disney movies. The castle is a popular destination for tourists. However, many people do not realize that there are many beautiful hiking routes near to the castle and that it is situated in such a picturesque area. This student project aimed to make members of the public and tourists aware of these opportunities by creating a map that shows many different hiking routes around Schloss Neuschwanstein. The current paper map given to tourists upon their arrival is very basic and limited in the hiking routes it shows around the castle, and does not depict the number of calories that could be burnt, therefore it seemed a perfect place to base this project.

Schloss Neuschwanstein, Source: Wikipedia (cameralends –, CC0,

The overall aim of the project was to create a web app where users can obtain a vivid perspective of how many calories are burnt by taking a particular hiking trail as well as showing users some of the best hiking routes in the area.

Workflow of the project

Firstly, nine hiking routes were chosen with different difficulties and lengths. They were downloaded from Wikiloc, a website which allows crowdsourced hiking, cycling and other activities routes to be uploaded with ratings and photos added to each route. After downloading, the routes were converted into shapefile data format, and then the geographic coordinates of each hiking point were extracted.

Tobler’s hiking function (a method to calculate the hiking speed whilst taking the variation over different slopes into account) was used to calculate hiking speed over the mountainous terrain. After this, the geographic coordinates were calculated through Tobler’s hiking index. The output was an average velocity between two continuous points. Then, velocity, body weight (averages for German men and women) and the sum of the distances between two points were used to calculate calories burnt between these points, which were added up in the end to give the calories burnt throughout the whole hiking route.

Tobler’s hiking function, Source: Wikipedia (Darekk2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

As for map design and display, ArcGIS Online was applied as it gives a clear view to users of both the calories burnt on each route and geographic information. ArcGIS Desktop was applied to demonstrate how the calories differ from each other with the changes of height difference as well as visualizing the differences between hiking routes.

2 routes with color showing how much calories burnt between two closest points displayed in ArcGIS Desktop (the warmer the color is, the more calories are burnt along one route anti-clockwise)

Results and Outlook

The final story map displays a multitude of hiking routes with the calories for each clearly displayed visually through symbols as well as within pop-ups along each point within the hiking route. This map is the first one to present hiking routes with a calorific content.

The final story map for hiking around Neuschwanstein – short URL:

The outlook for future work currently would be to focus on repeating the same process for different areas and, as more people become interested, an interactive map or app for mobile devices could be created, allowing the user to input their own data.

Kaidong Ao, Kate Doyle, Keni Han
Students of International Master Programme in Cartography, intake 2015, Technische Universität München