More To Explore mobile app
Forest Fire Management Victoria are building a mobile phone app, initially for iPhones, called More To Explore which aims to provide 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 functional build of the app has been completed and a test version of the app is being distributed to Forest Fire Management staff and a range of external recreational groups in mid August to test in the field and provide feedback on its functionality and any technical glitches encountered. This testing will continue until the end of September, after which the feedback will be analysed and final tweaks made to the app, prior to it being made publicly available to iPhone users via the App Store (before the end of 2017).
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
When will the iPhone version be publicly available?
The app is currently undergoing field testing. The testing will conclude at the end of September 2017 after which the feedback will be analysed and final tweaks made to the app, prior to it being made publicly available to iPhone users via the App Store (before the end of 2017).
When will the app be available for non-iPhone mobiles?
For development reasons, we are limiting the initial roll-out into one mobile platform (iOS). After this iOS version has been out and in use for six to twelve months and we have evaluated its performance and received public feedback on possible improvements, we will then work on developing an Android version of the app (for release in 2018/19).
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 DELWP'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. It is the best available map base suitable for use in mobile platforms. Open Street Maps actively encourages contributors to improve its data, with over three million contributors worldwide.
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 iPads?
More to Explore has not been optimised for iPad, but will still function well. An iPad-optimised version may be developed in the future if there is enough demand.
Will information about sites and tracks within parks be included at some stage?
This app is DELWP'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 from within 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 locate under the Tips section.
MapShareVic is an interactive map providing information on State forest recreation sites and trails and Victoria’s public land and road network.