ViewRanger helps Natural Resources Wales promote walking and cycling in Wales


24-02-2014

Natural Resources Wales and its Local authority and voluntary sector route managing partners have seized the opportunity to add value to Wales’ rich legacy of walking and cycling routes by making them more readily available to the public with ViewRanger, an intuitive route publishing website and award-winning smartphone app.

Jill Meyer of Natural Resources Wales said: “We have collated a fantastic data resource for promoting walking and cycling. Wales is a land of stunning scenery and a great place to find walks and cyclepaths to suit all ages and abilities.

“We chose to work with ViewRanger to make some of our routes available to a wider audience through digital media, for example accessible on a smartphone or tablet. The digital format provides people with key information, such as distance, how difficult the route is, ease of access and what can be seen along the way. 

“Making it easier for the public to discover these routes and to enjoy the outdoors and the health benefits it brings are a key part of our targets. The added benefit of this is that encouraging recreation in Wales often provides a much needed economic boost for local communities.”

Currently, Natural Resources Wales “ten of the best” walks and rides taking in castles, churches and chapels’ routes published on VisitWales.com website are also available to download within the ViewRanger app and this is being extended as Jill explains:

“We are currently working with partners to put together a number of cycling and walking routes that link either to the Wales Coast Path or to one of our three stunning National Trails (Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Glyndwr’s Way and Offa’s Dyke). The walks can be viewed on the Visit Wales website or via my.ViewRanger.com where they can be downloaded onto a smartphone or tablet.”

Natural Resources Wales is working with ViewRanger which offers an ‘off-the-peg’ solution that brings this information together. ViewRanger has two parts; a website my.ViewRanger.com that allows users to find relevant mapping and recommended routes and a smartphone GPS app that supports navigation in the field.

Google voted ViewRanger one of the ‘Best Apps of 2013’. ViewRanger has millions of downloads and provides a robust platform for public-sector use. 

Craig Wareham, co-founder of ViewRanger, explains that the platform is widely used by tourist boards, as well as walking and cycling festivals to facilitate promotion of their routes.

“The public are used to slick websites and easy-to-use apps. It is difficult and expensive for the public sector organisations to maintain this quality.

“By partnering with us, Natural Resources Wales retains the ownership of the content but also has free access to the latest technology as well as a vast audience of people with a proven interest in the outdoors.”

Jill confirmed that the process of uploading the data had been straightforward.  

“The existing GIS data was converted into GPX files and then uploaded into my.ViewRanger.com.  We then check the routes, adding photographs and descriptions to enhance the user experience using the tools supplied, which were easy to use.”

ViewRanger has an extensive trail guide library with thousands of recommended routes from leading travel publishers, tourism organisations and local experts from the ViewRanger community.  To promote its routes, Natural Resources Wales has a branded section within this guide showcasing recreation opportunities across Wales. 

Jill explains; “It is also possible to add points of interest such as public transport, pubs and local nature reserves.” 

It is recommended that the route and maps are downloaded on to the phone before leaving home and then it can be used without the need for a mobile signal. The app’s active navigation uses GPS to help the user keep to the trail providing confidence for people who may struggle to read a map. We would advise people to take a back up map in case that battery runs out.

“Every year we contact our partners and contributors to check that the walks are still available and if they have new routes to promote.  This is something we would do anyway, but with ViewRanger there are additional benefits for the public and for the regions as it provides up to date information which helps people to enjoy the countryside. We are also looking to add further routes across Wales beyond those linked to the National Trails and Wales Coast Path which allow people to experience our rich heritage and landscape.

Notes to editors

Image © Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales


About Natural Resources Wales (www.naturalresourceswales.gov.uk)

Natural Resources Wales is a Welsh Government Sponsored Body. Its purpose is to ensure that the natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, enhanced and used, now and in the future

To see trails published by Natural Resources Wales on ViewRanger http://my.viewranger.com/user/details/345048

For more information about the Wales Coast Path - www.walescoastpath.gov.uk

For more information about National Trails - www.nationaltrail.co.uk

About ViewRanger (www.viewranger.com)

ViewRanger is the app for adventure – it is how active consumers worldwide discover, create, navigate and share their outdoor adventures on smartphones, tablets and online. ViewRanger is also trusted by search & rescue teams and other outdoor professionals. 

ViewRanger is free to download for Apple iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones and tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire, Blackberry10 and Symbian devices and is fully functional with global mapping that can be stored offline and thousands of free trail guides are available. Additionally highly detailed topographic mapping sourced from national mapping agencies and premium publishers from most European countries, USA, Canada and New Zealand can be purchased in-app.

 The global community of ViewRanger users store and share their adventures using the app and the web based tools at www.my.viewranger.com

ViewRanger was named one of the ‘Best Apps of 2013’ by Google Play and is a Top 10 Best Selling app in it's category on the Apple app store & Google Play in over forty countries. The app is also #1 in it's category on Amazon apps store and regularly see's top 10 placement in the Nokia Store.

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Media contacts

Augmentra/ViewRanger:

Rachel Holdsworth / Victoria Ellis, Holdsworth Associates PR consultancy, Tel: 01954 202789, Email: victoria@holdsworth-associates.co.uk, www.holdsworth-associates.co.uk 

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Outdooractive is the world’s leading digital platform for outdoor adventure, a virtual home for all outdoor enthusiasts. With our solutions we support people in living an active lifestyle. We encourage them to explore the great outdoors and inspire moments of connection in nature. In late 2019, Outdooractive acquired Cambridge-based ViewRanger, who had built a profitable business delivering an outdoor navigation app to a worldwide community of active consumers.

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