Mobile app for lovers of the great outdoors

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The canton of Zurich’s forestry and countryside agency has launched a mobile app that allows iPhone and Android smartphone users to see the canton’s woodland in a brand new light.

Features include the forest guide “Eifach erläbe”, 18 forest trails, directions, as well as location-based attractions and activities. GPS technology means that – even in a network blackspot – the walker always knows where she is, and how far it is to the nearest watering hole or bus stop.

Offline access for open data

Liip has developed a new OpenLayers module for the app, which saves all geographical information on a given route offline. As well as maps from Openstreetmap.ch the deep-zoom function allows users to access the official maps of the Geographic Information System of the canton of Zurich (GIS-ZH). Track points and directions as well as maps are stored on the canton’s WFS and WMS servers. The app was developed using HTML5 and SenchaTouch, while PhoneGap ensures its multidevice compatibility. Liip’s in-house designers worked closely with the web development team to create a simple, clean and user-friendly interface. This means that the app is available both on Google Play and in the AppStore.

Key feature: Offline functionality

The central feature of this cross-platform app is its offline functionality. Tablet, PC and mobile phone users can also access the content on a responsive website, which is particularly handy when planning trips in advance.

Amt für Landwirtschaft und Natur Zürich

«Naturally, we knew from the outset that network access may be patchy in woodland areas. So, we had to come up with a solution that involved storing the maps, walking trails, photos and texts offline. Liip solved this challenge perfectly, making dead spots a worry of the past.»

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