More To Explore mobile app
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. The app is available for iPhones from the App Store and for Androids in the Google Play store. See Latest News below for more detailed information regarding the latest releases.
A brief description on how to use some of the key app features are detailed below in the section on Key App Features. Answers to some frequently asked questions are also 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.
On the 11th December 2018, we released the More To Explore app for Android, plus an improved iOS version for iPhones and tablets. Since our first release back in December, we have made the following improvements:
- A new interactive offline maps function (called My Maps) allows you to select the areas you wish to download for use when out of mobile range.
- Upgraded road information - We have swapped the Open Street Map road data for our own roads data layer, which delivers more reliable and comprehensive information on our forest road network as well as seasonal road closure information.
- Upgraded public land tenure information - We are now using our own (rather that Open Street Map's) public land tenure data, so the spatial information showing underlying land tenure (eg. National Parks versus State forest) is now more comprehensive and accurate.
- Improved the search function to include searching for 'places' (towns, etc.)
- Re-designed the layout of site and track information with improved photo display.
- Improved search functions (there is a basic search by activity function in the Android release and a more detailed search/filter function in the iOS release. The Android version will be brought up to parity with the iOS version in its next release).
- Added an emergency location function which helps you report your location to 000 in an emergency.
What's coming up next?
In 2019 we will release the following additional improvements:
- Advanced search/filter options for Android
- Upgraded Tips and Safety information
- Improved news and notifications information
- Hunting information to show where hunting is permitted
Key App Features
Zoom in and out using the + and – buttons on the right or, using two fingers on the map, separate or bring together your fingers to zoom in and out. Use one finger to move the map left or right/up or down.
To find your location on the map, click on the location finder button on the right.
To orientate the map, click on the compass button on the right.
To show all the sites and trails as a list, click on Show List on the bottom left of your screen. To restore screen back to map view, click on Show Map.
Accessing detailed site and trail information
On the map, click on an icon to bring up a preview box with summary information. Click on the preview box to jump to more detailed information and photos. Scroll down the detailed contents page to access Driving Directions to launch Google or Apple Maps to direct you to the start of your chosen site or track (Note: The driving directions are determined by Google/Apple Maps not by Forest Fire Management Victoria. Use at your own discretion).
Leave Feedback (to help us do better or to let us know what we’re doing right).
To filter the map display to only show the one activity you are most interested in, use the quick filter bar at the top of the screen (eg. Select Bushwalking to only display information on walking tracks).
Download maps for offline use
This app, when within mobile range, pulls data through your mobile network to display information. If you are travelling to sites likely to be outside of mobile range, you must first download the data for the area you intend to visit into your mobile phone. If you don’t, the app will have limited data (including no detailed road data) to display. You can download maps for offline use through the menu option at the top of your screen called My Maps (but always take hardcopy maps as a back-up!).
Advanced filtering (iOS only. Coming soon to Android)
Click on the filter icon in the top right of the app. In the filter screen the default is ALL selected - Click on the track type or activity you wish to see on the map. The filtering is inclusive so if you select camping and bushwalking, it will display on the map any site or track that has either camping OR bushwalking. If you wish to filter to show (for example) only camping, set the Tracks filter to None and select Camping in the Activities filter. With the one item selected, the map will now show only camping sites.
Note: Don’t forget to reset your filters to display the full suite of available information.
Bottom of screen menu options
Explore – Returns you to the map view.
News (iOS only. Coming soon to Android) – Access the newsfeed for news and events. Note: You must allow Notifications to access News items.
Tips – Important information to keep you safe on your visits.
More – Turn on/off your Notifications (to receive News) and Location Services (to show your location on the maps), access the Emergency Location Function to show your location and report it into 000 if within mobile range. It can store also your location details for later reference.
More To Explore FAQ's
Where can I get the app?
The app is available for iPhones and iPads from the App Store. The Android version is available from Google Play. Search by the app's title 'More To Explore'.
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?
This Application may be used anonymously and collects anonymous usage information using Google Analytics for Firebase and Firebase Crash Reporting (Crashlytics). This information includes actions taken in the app like button presses, page views, and detailed technical information about the app and technical information about the device. We use this information to observe customer retention, to help make decisions about how to improve the app for our customers, and to record and resolve any application crashes.
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 roading information and land tenure information is drawn from datasets maintained by the department and to which Forest Fire Management Victoria staff contribute to keep the information current. Other base layer data, including topographic information and place name 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.
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 tablets?
More to Explore has been optimised to work on both iPads and Android tablets.
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.
Discussions have commenced with Parks Victoria to investigate the possibility of importing their site and trail data. We hope to undertaker a small pilot in 2019 to better understand the technical issues with sharing this data into the app. 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?
Seasonal road closures now display in the app.
What about recreation site and trail closures?
Recreation site and trail closure information will also show in the app. The closure information will include an explanation as to why the site/trail is closed and the expected re-opening date.
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.