Where to hike? Mobile application for guiding tourists in the Bükkalja Region, Hungary
Keywords: hiking, Android, mobile application, GIS mapping, OpenLayers
Abstract. Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor sports activities in Hungary. Despite not having many mountainous areas, a wide network of hiking trails crosses the country’s landscapes. As online tourist maps and thematic mobile applications become more and more popular among hikers, the role of paper-based, analogue tourist maps decreases. However, no thematic application has been issued that contains detailed surveyed (or crowdsourced) data on attractions or the natural circumstances (coverage, difficulty) for a certain area in Hungary yet. Nature tourism in the Bükkalja Region, Hungary is mostly based on geological-geomorphological features that are completed with cultural facilities. The length of the hiking trail system is more than 370 km in the examined 354 km2 large sample area. We have developed an OS mobile application that offers guidance for tourists based on four basic pillars: the physical condition of the trails, the attractions along a trail, dangerous trail segments and hiking trail marking quality. These pillars are visualized with an OpenLayers-based online map. The result is a multi-purpose smartphone application. Its main aim is to offer a planning platform for tourists by examining the difficulty of the trails and designating the attractions to visit. There is information on the most important attractions of the area: cultural and geoscientific sites are also presented. We also encourage users to report changes to the map data content via the crowdsourcing menu. These comments and remarks are continuously checked for validity and the database is modified with the use of them.