Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mobile maps offer untapped resources for parks

Mobile maps offer untapped resources for parks

Ever since GPS technology has been integrated into mobile phones, most people have become accustomed to reaching in their pockets for directions or to look at a map of their surroundings. And while most mobile map services require cellular service, more options are surfacing that feature embedded content that allows map access in remote areas like state and national parks.

The Pocket Ranger application, developed by New York City-based Parks by Nature Network, functions as a mobile, self-service tour package, said CEO Richard Dubi. By partnering with state parks departments, the Pocket Ranger app has access to in-depth maps of parks, trails, amenities and activities.
After downloading the free app, users can search by geographic location or category and any map or information they choose becomes cached to the phone — the benefit of the cache being that the content is then accessed without a cell signal. The app also has an alert feature for emergencies, Dubi explained, where the user sends out a distress signal that triangulates their location through satellite. Although the alert system does require a cell signal, Dubi said it offers those in a dire situation a chance to get help.
The application offers peace of mind to park-goers, Dubi said, as well as a tremendous marketing opportunity for businesses looking to expand their brand presence.

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