Augmentra shortlisted for British Computer Society award


ViewRanger off-road satnav smartphone software has been shortlisted for the prestigious British Computer Society award to recognise 'Project Excellence' in computing.

Outdoor enthusiasts as diverse as festival goers and mountain bikers to bird watchers and hot air balloonists are exploiting the benefits of ViewRanger, the innovative ‘off-road sat nav’ developed by Augmentra. The Cambridge-based company has been short-listed for a British Computer Society Award for its application which transforms a mobile phone into a personal navigation device complete with Ordnance Survey maps, online log book and its unique Buddy Beacon GPS tracker.

Since its launch to the market, ViewRanger has gained a loyal and growing user-base ranging from week-end ramblers, who appreciate the convenience of always having the map they want on their phone, to dedicated mountain-bikers who want to compare routes and performance times using the integral sports computer.

Co-founder Mike Brocklehurst is delighted to be short-listed for the Mobile Technology award and to be listed alongside industry stalwarts such as BT, Carillion, Deloitte, and Vodafone Group.

"This year has seen major developments to our underlying technology, enabling us to develop direct-to-handset downloads of topographic maps, points-of-interest, and leisure route guides. It has also seen greater integration with other mobile phone features, such as the camera for example. Gap year students are now able to upload photographs on to a travel-log tagged to the location they were taken and create a link to their Facebook entry.

"We have also expanded our map coverage working with in-country agencies across Europe and Scandinavia with interest further afield. Another exciting area is partnering with content owners to offer information linked to locations."

Augmentra has teamed with TVWalks to create a walking guide in which video interpretation is triggered by GPS hot spots. The same principle could be used to support art history trails or wildlife walks. Content when you need it is a core feature of ViewRanger.

"The ability to download map tiles over-the-air has been particularly welcomed by our users." Mike continues. "For example if you meet up with friends at a country pub and spontaneously decide to take a walk you can access mapping for the local area and check the website for suggested walks nominated by other ramblers.

"It is possible to view the walking trail overlaid on the map and use the GPS to show exactly where you are."

Hot air balloonists have been using the unique Buddy Beacon feature - which shows the location of the ground crew to those in the air and the vice versa. This feature has also benefited deafened festival-goers trying to find friends in a crowd.

Perhaps the biggest achievement for Augmentra is that it has created a sustainable business model. It has created an innovative application for the mobile phone that provides a service that the public wants to buy, while at the same developing its core technology to push back the barriers of what is possible.

Its partners include the Ordnance Survey, Nokia, Symbian, Geomatic Ingenierie, Star-Apic, Globalvision, The National Land Survey of Finland, Ordnance Survey Ireland and the AA.

The winners of the British Computer Society Awards will be announced in December.

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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.