Today, the 4x4 Explorer App was officially launched by iconic Australian mapping company Hema Maps destined to help consumers to get off the beaten track as they prepare to explore Australia.
With domestic regional tourism set to explode in the next 12 months, Hema Maps has released the ultimate platform to allow consumers to not only plan their next adventure, but also navigate it, record it and share it with their friends, family or the broader Hema community to enrich their experience.
“Two years ago we had the vision to bring the best map of Australia together with the best content and technology to empower travellers into remote parts of Australia. The release of the 4x4 Explorer app and the new Hema Cloud see the realisation of that vision,” Emprise Group CEO Rob Gallagher said.
“The new products break new ground into the way consumers will plan trips and record tracks, which are leaps and bounds ahead of earlier generation products by utilising the power of the map content as not just a reference image, but a vital tool in navigating in remote and regional areas of Australia”.
The new App is the first of a new generation of Hema branded digital products being developed for the 4WD and Touring market. 4x4 Explorer is the first app to bring together the new Hema Vector maps and the traditional Raster Maps in one product which allows users to choose the map style most suited to their usage.
“Mapping is at the very heart of what we do, and when we sat down two years ago to plan out what our new platform needed to look like, we all agreed that making the map and our regional road network the centrepiece was key,” said Hema Maps General Manager, Matt O’Meara.
“The new 4x4 Explorer app expands on a fantastic legacy of mapping applications we have delivered into the Australian market. This platform has been built from the ground up with our users top of mind, it has allowed us to deliver a totally new experience to help people to navigate in remote and off-road locations.”
The 4x4 Explorer App is being built by Hema Maps specialist digital partner, HemaX, and has delivered cutting edge technology to the market leading content Hema is so renowned for, especially within the 4WD community.
The Hema Explorer Vector Map delivers a whole new digital experience for the consumer within the App with dynamic content layers streamed into the app and advanced visualisation capability including quick zoom and 3D topographic views.
“The feedback to the new Hema Explorer map has been extraordinary and we are very proud to have been able to deliver a fully navigable, multi-scale vector map of Australia in a modern Hema cartographic style with the Hema off-road content. This project seemed impossible to many but the hard work of the team has delivered an amazing platform for us to build on and shape the way people navigate off-road into the future.” Hema Maps Head of GIS and Cartography Pierre Kurth said.
“Working with HERE Technologies to ensure we have the most complete road network in urban / city areas is vital to ensuring the consumers have the confidence to use the Hema mapping in all areas. When you combine the HERE data with our own off-road and remote data, the map becomes so powerful as a navigation tool for regional Australia.”
The Tracks function was a key feature of the old Explorer products which has been enhanced to work within the new 4x4 Explorer. The ability for users to save and edit their tracks in granular detail is critical in enabling safe and easy to use navigation while touring on un-marked or un-graded tracks.
O’Meara added “We have collected over 5.0 million kilometers of tracks in the old Explorer cloud and we have seen the power of this data. The new products will not only enhance the cloud data available to consumers, but will create a vital data source for the continuous improvement of the Hema Map.”
The 4x4 Explorer app has a range of in-built features which will assist users in personalising their experience within the Hema Maps ecosystem. These features include:
45,000+ Hema Maps verified POIs - part of the 100,000+ available POIs delivered via the HemaX platform
User generated POIs, reviews and photos - uploaded and moderated by the HemaX team
Full trip plan / itinerary builder - establish your own trip plans or take inspiration from other people’s inspiring journeys with quick and easy edits pre-trip or while you are en-route
My location - with GPS coordinates, street address (where applicable) and What 3 Words location identifier.
Single account sign in - sync your data & content between devices and save offline
Map subscription upgrades - access deeper levels of content with Premium Map subscription products
Another advantage of the new app is the performance improvements which have been assisted by the reduction in file size of the new maps from 5.5GB to 2GB compared to the old Raster Tiles. This reduces the impact on the users phone and storage as well as delivering a far more responsive experience.
For further information and comment, contact: -
Matt O’Meara, Hema Maps, General Manager
Rob Gallagher, Emprise Group CEO
4x4 EXPLORER APP - KEY LINKS
Hema Maps Cloud: https://cloud.hemamaps.com/