ViewRanger's phone-based mapping software is extensively used by UK rescue teams, not least because its innovative 'BuddyBeacon' feature means team coordinators can view the position of team members in real time on the hill along with the other benefits of having GPS-based mapping available on the ground.
And to illustrate that, visitors to the Kendal Mountain Festival later this month will be able to 'watch' two members of the local mountain rescue team - Deputy Team Leader Kath Jackson and fellow Deputy Dave Howarth - attempt a 128-mile epic challenge dubbed the 'Kendal Rescue Round' using a combination of mountain and road bikes, fell running and kayaking.
The aim will be to complete the round within 24 hours and live tracking will be available on a big screen at the the Kendal Mountain Festival's Adventure Sport's Village courtesy of ViewRanger.
Real Life Benefits
Of course that's all just 'a bit of fun', relatively speaking, but ViewRanger has real benefits to rescue teams engaged in real-lifer emergencies.
“It is very useful." Says Kendal MRT spokesman Kevin Knowles. Mobile navigation enhances and supports more traditional methods using map and compass, particularly when you are working out of your own area. With ViewRanger I have all the maps I need already on the phone and use GPS for navigation.”
The new night vision feature on the app - it lights the screen in soft night vision-friendly red tint - also looks like being a plus given that many rescue operations take place at night.
Even if you're not at the festival, you'll be able to follow Kath and Dave's progress online at www.viewranger.com/kendalrescueround over 16-17 November. In addition there's more information about the Kendal Rescue Round along with online donation at www.charitychoice.co.uk/fundraiser/kendal-rescue-round/.
ViewRanger Gets DOSSy
In addition to all that, ViewRanger is also involved in a pan-European projects called DOSSy (Digital Outdoors and Safety System) which is aiming to develop a navigation-style app that could be used by elderly and other vulnerable people, aimed at maintaining their mobility and independence.
Other organisations involved include the German Red Cross and the Swiss Alpine Club and the exciting bit is that the software would ' enable information about the terrain, weather and fitness of the individual to help guide the user' via pre-determined waypoints with warnings if they go off course.
Right now it's just a project, but could make a useful tool for rescue teams in the field. Watch this space I guess.