Welcome to Judging Earth by its Cover.
This is my personal blog about the outdoor adventures I’ve taken since mid 2006 and pictures I’ve taken on these trips. There is also a short text description, a Useful Links section, a Google Terrain Map embedded and a local weather indicator including a forecast.
You might notice some big gaps in the bay area. I actually grew up in the east bay and while I’ve hiked a ton of trails out there, it was before I started this website project and before I started taking pictures, and I don’t feel obliged to post something about those hikes so long afterward. I hope to be able to spend some time along the trails of Mt. Diablo and other areas again soon.
The primary purposes of this project for me are:
• A journal for personal use. I wanted a means to organize my outdoor hobbies to look back on with both a set of photographs I took and a short textual description.
• I’m using this to keep fresh on WordPress, one of my favorite Content Management Systems.
• Improve both my photography and writing skills. I haven’t been modifying the photos after taking them other than to crop and resize them so visitors don’t have long wait times while the images load. As for the writing, I always wish I had more time and could do the writing immediately after the trip. This is a challenge for me to focus on going forward.
• Gain familiarity on Facebook’s Open Graph technology. Each blog post is becoming it’s own Facebook page as well, automatically. This technology has changed a lot already since I started this blog.
• Practice with organic SEO and website optimization. I have been viewing Google Analytics, using Google Webmaster Tools and running tests with Google Web Optimizer which serves different versions of things to different visitors.
• Create lots of Google Maps. I do enjoy looking at maps and love Google’s web applications. One of my favorite parts about this project is looking back at the maps and finding gaps where I need further exploration. On occasion I am using Google My Tracks, an app for Android that tracks the hike via GPS and gives some (questionably accurate) statistics, but it causes the maps to be very slow loading. You will find these as blue lines within some of the blog post maps but I’ve taken those out of the main category maps.
• And finally, what better way to push me to continue adventuring in new places? While I do frequently re-visit the trips described on this site, I haven’t been posting each time I visit. At most I will add a few new pictures to the initial existing post.
Going forward, the posts will evolve in content and the site navigation and theme will be enhanced. I have a long list of to dos. All of the pictures on the site were taken by me on the trips described and I will continue that trend.
If in fact you have stumbled on to my site I hope that it will prove helpful to you as so many sites and books have for me. I encourage you to use the “useful links” to determine rules and regulations as well as any safety concerns if trying out any of these adventures yourself.
Thanks for visiting and here’s wishing you pleasant weather and proximity to many beautiful places.