Work has commenced on the development of the Android version of the More To Explore app as well as on the next version of the iOS/iPhone version of the app. We are hoping to release the revised iOS version as well as the full Android version in September 2018, with stagged releases of updates as new functions are finalised between June to August. The key improvements to be incorporated into the new releases will include:
- Improved road and track data, including information on seasonal road closures
- Improved public land tenure information, showing the boundaries and names of parks and forests
- Improved search and filtering functions to make it easier for you to find the sites and tracks of interest to you
- richer interpretive information, including audio and video information for some sites and tracks, to tell you more about the history and points of interest in Victoria's forests
- Ability to favourite sites and tracks and share on social media
More To Explore mobile app
Released in December 2017, Forest Fire Management Victoria’s More To Explore app aims to provide comprehensive information to help people use and enjoy Victoria’s 3.1 million hectares of State forest and its network of approximately 400 visitor sites and 250 recreational trails. At present the app is only available for iPhones from the App Store, but an Android version of the app is planned for release in mid-2018.
The app provides an interactive map, descriptive information and photos of our visitor sites and recreational trails and enables you to download maps for use offline, when out of mobile phone range. The data is maintained directly by Forest Fire Management Victoria field staff and provides the latest and most up-to-date information available (includes the latest information on any visitor site or trail closures).
Answers to some frequently asked questions are detailed further down the page.
For more information on the More To Explore app email the More To Explore team.
See also the app's Terms and Conditions of use.
More To Explore FAQ's
Where can I get the app?
The app is available only for iPhones from the App Store. An Android version is currently under development and is anticipated to be available in mid 2018.
Why isn't the app available for Android mobiles now?
For development reasons, we limiting the initial roll-out into one mobile platform (iOS). After this iOS version has been out and in use for a few months and we have evaluated its performance and received public feedback on possible improvements, we will then finalise the development an Android version of the app (for release in mid 2018).
Will the app use a lot of storage on my phone and use lots of data?
The More to Explore app uses less than 40MB of storage space on your device. You can also download map areas for use when you do not have a network connection - these map files can occupy 100-500MB of storage space, depending on how many map regions you save for offline use.
More to Explore will consume data comparable to Google or Apple Maps. If you have a small data cap for your phone, we recommend using Wi-Fi to find places you would like to visit and using the Offline Maps feature to save maps to your device ahead of time.
How fast is the app?
Maps will load very quickly with a 4G network connection. You may notice a significant difference in load times on 3G or slower connections. Otherwise, the performance of the app is snappy and responsive.
Will More to Explore have lots of pop-up messages and notifications?
We have built a general News Feed feature for which you can opt-in to receive Push Notifications (a prompt to your mobile that a news item has been posted). Not all news items will be accompanied by a Push Notification. We will only use notifications for big announcements or emergency and safety information.
Otherwise, the normal news items will be about track or trail openings and closures, community events or other events that may interest people who regularly visit our State Forests. News Feed items can be accessed at any time by clicking on the News icon in the app.
Is my private information retained or recorded?
More to Explore doesn’t store your location or personal information. Location permissions are only used to plot your position on maps and to display your location onscreen. Read about what Mapbox does with your location data here.
If you provide us with information using the app’s feedback function, it does not provide us with any information other than what you type and send to us. If you expect a reply, you will have to manually type in your email address to enable us to respond to your comments or questions.
What is the map base/roads data used by the app and how reliable is it?
The data for recreation sites and trails is drawn directly from Forest Fire Management Victoria's recreation dataset (called RecWeb) and is maintained by our Forest Fire Management staff, who manage these assets.
The other base layer data, including topographic information, land tenure and roads information is drawn from Open Street Maps. Open Street Maps is free editable data using crowd-sourced data from public contributors and data from open-licensed sources.
As with all map sources, particularly for more remote, less visited places, some information, such as road names or road alignments, can occasionally be incorrect. You should not rely on the app as your single source of mapping information. We strongly advise you to also take detailed hardcopy maps with you when visiting unfamiliar areas.
The planned release of the Android version of the app (and then next version of the iOS app) in mid 2018 will replace Open Street Maps road data with Forest Fire Management Victoria's road data, which is a more complete and reliable road data set, particularly for our more remote forest areas.
How will the maps work when I am out of mobile range?
If visiting areas that are likely to be out of mobile phone range or have limited mobile reception, you must download maps of the area you intend to visit, while still within good mobile range or while you have a Wi-Fi connection.
You can then use these downloaded maps and see your location on the map even when out of mobile range, provided you have your mobile's GPS location function turned on - which works whether in or out of mobile range.
Is there a limit to how many maps I can download?
Yes, there is a soft limit of map tiles that can be downloaded into your mobile phone. The size of the map tile is generally dependant on the complexity of the map’s area. If you reach the limit, we will alert you when downloading and to manage this, you can remove existing offline maps you have saved. This limit is part of the licensing agreement for the mapping technology used in the app.
Will using this app drain my battery?
All apps with GPS location services on can drain your battery more quickly. We recommend turning on your location services only when needed, as this will help to extend battery life.
Given mobile phones can be accidentally dropped, can break or have batteries go flat, we strongly recommend that you always take hard copy maps with you when visiting unfamiliar areas. Consider also taking a backup portable battery charger or spare battery pack for your mobile.
Can I use the app on iPads?
More to Explore has not been optimised for iPad but will still function well. From your IPad go to App Store. Type More to Explore into the search bar then hit search. Then go to filters and select iPad Only. The More to Explore app will now appear in your search results for downloading. An iPad-optimised version is planned as part of the next version release of the app.
Will information about sites and tracks within parks be included at some stage?
This app is Forest Fire Management's first venture in delivering detailed visitor information and interactive maps for mobile devices. It would be great to include information about the many visitor sites and trails in parks, however we are starting by road testing this technology for attractions in Victoria's 3.1 million hectares of State forests. Hopefully in the future the reach of this service can be extended into other public land areas.
Will road closure information display on the map?
This option is currently being reviewed and it’s anticipated that it will be included in future versions of the app.
Will users be able to rate sites and link to social media?
This feature is being explored as an option for future app updates.
I want to give feedback on the app – how do I do this?
You can provide general feedback via the app’s feedback option located under More/Leave Feedback. You can also provide feedback about specific sites or tracks using the feedback button at the bottom of the detailed site or track information screens.
Does fire and emergency information integrate into the app?
We have included links to fire and emergency source information, which you can find under the Tips section.
In addition to the More To Explore app, the interactive map MapShareVic is also available for use on computers and mobiles, providing information on State forest recreation sites and trails and Victoria’s public land and road network and any current closures that are in place.