App Review: PeakFinder
The PeakFinder app is the perfect addition to any mountain buff’s smartphone. This app provides users with 360° panoramic black and white line drawings of skylines as seen from peaks from all over the world. If you’ve ever wondered what peaks you can see in the distance, this is the app for you. PeakFinder’s massive library of virtual peaks makes peak identification as easy as tapping your finger.
PeakFinder maintains a giant database that is stored on your phone so that it works both online and off – making it ideal for backcountry travelers. It’s easy to bring it to the top of your favorite peak. With the tap of your finger, you’ll get the names of all of the peaks in view within 200 miles. It’s actually quite impressive.
The app utilizes your smartphone’s GPS, compass, and accelerometer to help pinpoint your location and view. PeakFinder is easy to use and is well designed. You can dial in the view you want to see with the Peak Directory, Nearby Peak Search, Google Maps, Entering Coordinates, or a selection of Favorites. Then with a swipe of your finger left of right, you get a smooth scrolling panoramic view. Plus, a set of “digital binoculars” allow you to zoom in on distance peaks for a better view.
For each peak in the database you can get info like name, elevation, lat/long, and current distance from your view. With a simple tap of the small hiker icon, you’ll be standing on top of a new peak with a new panoramic peak view. You can also zoom in on satellite images to find the view from just about anywhere.
The PeakFinder app actually comes with four different versions covering different areas of the world. In total PeakFinder has nearly 100,000 peaks listed. All versions of the app work the same, but they are all sold separately. They are:
- USA West – 30,000+ Peaks
- USA East – 30,000+ Peaks
- Earth – 250,000+ Peaks
- Alps – 25,000+ Peaks
- Canada West – 12,000+ Peaks
It would be nearly impossible to list every peak out there, but PeakFinder manages to capture the majority of major peaks. It’s probably more accurate in large ranges like the Cascades than smaller ranges like the Hilgards. My only complaint is that sometimes I want to know the name of a peak that isn’t in the PeakFinder database. I guess that’s why I have USGS maps or the Topo Maps app close by.
Don’t miss the PeakFinder website too. It’s arranged slightly differently than the apps, but offers a very similar product. Plus, it’s free. Whether you use the app or the website, PeakFinder is ideal for hikers, mountaineers, climbers, iphone users, armchair travelers, and anyone who enjoys a view. It’s amazing what you can actually see when you know what you’re looking at.
Pick up your copy of Fabio Soldati’s PeakFinder apps today. It’s the perfect addition to other great backcountry apps like Topo Maps, Google Earth, or GaiaGPS. PeakFinder is available on Apple, Android, and Nokia for only $3.99. It’s cheap and PeakFinder consistently gets high ranks and reviews pretty much everywhere.
Here are a few additional links that you might want to check out: