Parkovi Hrvatske with UNDP Croatia
The UNDP has been working in Croatia since 1996 and has been a self-funding Project Management Office since 2014. Its focuses are the promotion of sustainable energy solutions, low-emission development, protected areas of nature and environmental protection. They seek to improve living conditions and economic opportunities in war-affected, rural and remote areas; on advocating the full social inclusion of people with disabilities, minorities and other vulnerable groups in the country.
UNDP Croatia put out an invitation to tender for an app which would use bluetooth beacon technology to provide information to tourists visiting any of the 19 Croatian national parks. The app would be used to promote national parks to local and foreign tourists; making touring a national park an easier and more educational experience.
They wanted an app which worked online and offline. One which incorporated park maps with routes, so that users could easily find their way to points of interest, regardless of their method of transport. Once at a point of interest, the app user would be alerted with information and media relating to their location.
The app uses geolocation and Bluetooth beacons in order to discover a user's whereabouts, alerting the user if they are close to a point of interest (further information regarding the point of interest is automatically provided). Users are incentivised to visit other parks by being provided trophies based on visiting additional locations, miles walked and so on. An achievement centre lets users know how much time they have spent in parks. The Android and iOS native app works with a CMS, developed internally by UNDP in Croatia, to provide information to tourists about the 19 Croatian National parks. The app uses an OpenStreetMap of Croatia to display parks (with a custom overlay over Park areas) and allows users to search for parks within Croatia. Each park has its own individual set of pages, providing further information to visitors.
"The Parks of Croatia mobile app is the first to use Bluetooth technology in open spaces. The app uses nearly 400 beacon transmitters to enhance their experience for visitors of parks as it informs them when they are near an interesting location or attraction, whether natural or cultural sites, activities or routes available in each park" says Valentia Futac, director of the UNDP project PARCS. Installed 10,000 times on Android devices alone!