MITA Online Guide Gone

Not sure if this is an appropriate topic here. If not, mods, please feel free to delete.

I’ve been a member of MITA off and on for close to two decades. Last couple of years, the Online Guide has been a major attraction of membership. Not that membership isn’t worthwhile simply to support the group – it is! But… this was such an awesome asset, and really well done I thought.

I emailed MITA about it, but no response.

I wonder, is MITA somehow in decline? What the heck is going on? I can’t find anything anywhere on the 'net about this. There’s no MITA forum that I’m aware of. It saddens me to see this gone…


Not in decline
there is a big MITA event this weekend at Cobscook State Park and a cleanup this Sunday. I suspect that the staff is pretty busy.

The event celebrates the addition of many new islands Down East. To me that does not signify decline.

Here is the email I got in July regarding the discontinuation of the online guide. You should also have received it and I suggest you check all your mailboxes.

July 25, 2014

MITA announces an end to the Online Guide website, continuation of online access to Guide materials via the new MITA smartphone app.

Dear friends,

Due to recent changes in software and licensing, the platform underlying MITA’s Online Guide website is no longer supported and is now obsolete. This means that MITA can no longer guarantee the full functionality of the Online Guide website, or the accuracy of all its data. Rather than offer our members an unreliable resource, we have opted to dismantle it. As such, the Online Guide website will be taken down in the coming week, and will no longer be accessible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Please note that our primary website,, will remain up for use and will not be affected by this change.

As for continuing electronic access to Guide information, we encourage virtual explorers of the Maine Island Trail to make use of our new smartphone app, available for free download from the iTunes App Store (iOS) or from Google Play (Android).

The Maine Island Trail smartphone app includes everything the Online Guide website offered in the past, plus so much more: fully interactive and scaled NOAA charts of Maine’s coast, site-by-site pages, local tidal information, the ability to save island pages to a customizable “MyTrail” folder, user commentary posting on site pages, a MITA photo gallery, and more. For more information about the app, click here.

MITA will, of course, continue to provide all members with the annual paper Guidebook as we have since the beginning, ensuring all members have reliable access to updated Trail information for the current season.

Thank you for your understanding, and as always, for your generous support.


The MITA crew

I somehow
missed that email. Looked just now and found it. Thanks.

I still find it odd and a little upsetting. A smartphone app can’t possibly be as useful as the old guide. There’s a major difference between viewing a map on a 22 inch hi def computer screen, and being able to navigate the page (no pun intended) with a mouse, as opposed to using your fingers to move around on a tiny iPhone screen.

I don’t mean to sound un-appreciative. I have great respect and appreciation for the work the MITA volunteers and staff do. I just wish there had been some way to continue the product. It strikes me there has to be a back story here, it’s just too weird that it dropped off the face of the planet with one week’s notice.

Anyway, thanks for responding.


I can try to find if there is a back
story this weekend at the Cobscook event and Down East Cleanup

The mobile app is neat but having a mobile app on the water seems odd to me too.

Reading on a computer for planning is ever so much easier for me.

Very much doubt there is a back story
That email is probably in my husband’s email so I missed it… I guess I need to call MITA about name changes.

I do the web site (and the Facebook page and a few other online things) for one of my orchestras. I really have to get that over to a different platform in the next year, because the one I am using is perfectly respectable and current but not one that I could ever expect any other Board member to maintain. It is a platform that works better for large organizations with staff that are dedicated to maintaining a web site.

I was helping with the web site of a local bike club for a bit a couple of years ago, when the member who had been maintaining it for free for about 17 years decided he had to get back more of his own time. It was on a perfectly respectable, quite powerful platform that over the years had gotten less market share and required a high level of skill to manage. I had to leave that endeavor, but I have noticed that the new web master has moved the site to a newer and more easily managed platform.

I would be very surprised if he “back story” was anything more than I have seen in my own experience. A web platform becomes less manageable for any of a number of reasons, and its content needs to be placed on a platform that is itself more current and there are staff present who can manage it.

The tools out there are quite good for smartphone apps at this point,and any migration takes far more work than the users start to understand. If I were to be the person choosing among priorities, I would probably have also said to move it to a mobile platform. It is one of the pressures on my own orchestral web site - it can be read on a smartphone, but it is not truly enabled. That is going to be a priority is selecting the next platform because of who the most active users are.

Had a camping weekend with the
entire MITA staff.

One issue was website maintenance and the other was mobility. The chartlets can all be downloaded to a phone for use offline.

That is exactly what we did this past weekend. There was no cell service.

thanks for following up
And also for your trail work.

Interestingly, today I finally received an email response from MITA regarding my inquiry, as well. It was a thoughtful, fairly long response, explaining the difficulties with the platform etc. The most surprising thing to me was, apparently there wasn’t actually that much use of the Online Guide. I gather there is some possibility of another attempt in the future. But in the meantime, I guess I’ll do what everyone else is doing, and download the app.