Major updates for open access mapping system

Walking Access Mapping System adds crowdsourcing feature and mobile version

The Walking Access Mapping System (WAMS) website has been visited more than 100,000 times since its launch in July last year.

The Walking Access Commission, which created WAMS was established by the government in 2008 to map walkways on publicly accessible land and promote walking on national tracks.

The original version of WAMS features topographic maps and aerial photography of most of the country, and uses geographic information technology (GIS) to display walking tracks, sightseeing areas, and other areas of interest.

Crowdsourcing is one of the latest features to be added.

While the vast majority of WAMS is built with the Commission’s track database and government maps, the new Partner Information Portal lets other organisations add their own track and activity data for others to see and use.

Campsites, horse riding tracks, and tourism hotspots can now be added to the database. The Commission says several organisations have already expressed an interest in partnering with it, including Fish & Game Wellington, Surf Lifesaving, the Department of Conservation and Venture Southland.

In addition, a new mobile version of the website uses the device’s GPS system to locate nearby attractions and tracks.

Walking Access CEO Mark Neeson says new features and system enhancements added last week will make discovering outdoor activities for New Zealanders much easier.

“These enhancements will vastly improve the mapping system as a tool for people planning trips into the outdoors,” says Neeson.

“The mobile functionality allows people to access the mapping system on the go, while the ability for other organisations to display their own data has the potential to make the system the go-to site for people looking for information about recreation opportunities in the outdoors.”

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