The app of Montseny Natural Park shows all necessary information to visit the natural park: facilities, services and the most stimulating itineraries to enjoy of your stay. There are also references to restaurants and accommodations, as well as a wide range of cultural activities that take place in the park area

Source: Android description (translated) / Image: JoseLee CC BY-SA 2.0

Useful information

Download: Android 2.2 (12.2MB) / iOS 7.0 (31.5MB)

Price: free

Language: Spanish / Catalan

Runs offline: partially

Las update: Android 28/08/2015 (v. 1.0.1) – iOS 05/02/2016 (v. 1.2.0)

Website of the developer: Diputació Barcelona (Natural Parks Network)

Description

The application of Montseny Natural Park allows visitors of this natural space, the oldest of Catalonia, to know the main points of interest and travel through the proposed routes, in addition to access information on services (restaurants, hotels, etc. ) and facilities (parkings, campgrounds, visitor centers, etc.) located in the area.

The application shows 7 major groups described below:

  • “Información general” (General information), where the following options are included
    • “Bienvenida” (Welcome), with a small introductory text.
    • “Ventana 360º” (Window 360º), which incorporates 10 images in 360º of various areas of the park.
    • “Cómo llegar” (How to reach), with the geographical location of the main information points of the area.
    • “Plano del parque” (Map of the park), that lets you download a pdf with the boundaries and park resources.
    • “Binocle virtual” (Virutal binoculars), section in which, through augmented reality, you can see the location of various services, amenities and landmarks on the ground.
    • “El tiempo” (Weather forecast), with the weather forecast in the main towns of the park.
    • “Agenda”, option that displays a list of the different planned events and exhibitions open to the public.
    • “Noticias” (News), where the actuality related to the park is gathered.
    • “Avisos” (Warnings), with warnings about areas with restricted access and other notifications from the guards of the park.
  • “Disfrute” (Enjoyment), section that incorporates the following resources
    • “Itinerarios” (Routes), with routes that can be filtered by difficulty. Each one includes a detailed map, a general map, an option to download the route in GPX format and a list of points of interest. Some of the tracks also have option to be shared. It also incorporates a small description and some basic information such as length, approximate time and the main theme of the route (landscape, heritage, etc.).
    • “Puntos de interés” (Points of interest), list with the main landmarks of the park, as well as some of its facilities and services.
    • “Recomendaciones” (Recommendations), with tips to avoid accidents and behaviors that should be considered during the visit.
  • “Equipamientos del parque” (Park amenities), section that includes points of information and documentation centers, cultural facilities, parkings, etc. These resources are shown on a map with a link to the respective entry in “Points of interest”.
  • “Servicios” (Services), where restaurants, hotels and companies dedicated to organizing guided tours can be found.
  • “Redes sociales” (Social networks), with links to the different profiles of the Natural Parks Network.
  • “Documentación” (documentation), which allows downloading pdf files with detailed descriptions of some routes (some are in English), planned tours, etc.
  • “Contactos” (Contacts), with options to contact the Provincial Government of Barcelona, send your impressions about the app or change language.

More information

El Parc Natural del Montseny posa en servei el primer aplicatiu per a mòbils de la Xarxa de Parcs Naturals

http://parcs.diba.cat/es/web/montseny

Images: Screenshots 31/10/2016. © Diputació Barcelona

Rating
3

Analysis

The Montseny massif is, in addition to natural park, a space classified as “Biosphere Reserve”. Its natural wealth is reflected in its rich biodiversity, with presence of numerous endemic species, and the variety of its landscapes, including ecosystems common of the Mediterranean, Euro-Siberian and boreal-alpine bioclimatic regions. Given its proximity to the metropolitan area of Barcelona and the Maresme region, plays an important role as green lung, serving a potential population of more than 3.5 million people.

As this web has advocated on numerous occasions, the creation of apps related to natural areas is a very good way to publicize the values of an area and, in this regard, the Provincial Government of Barcelona through the Natural Parks Network, is strongly committed to this technology, creating mobile applications for all natural areas included in the provincial network. However and despite the application of Montseny is quite useful (including, for example, issues related to the accessibility of persons with disabilities), some lacks and malfunctions have been identified. For example, and even though the app offers an option to change the language, most of the texts are only in Catalan. A map with geolocation of the user and the various services and amenities to replace the pdf that can be downloaded from the “Map of the park” option and a search engine that allows textual introduction of different places is also missing. Nor can it understand well the distinction between “Park amenities” and “Services” and why aspects such as public transport are only listed in the section “Points of interest”. Similarly, during the tests carried out, some malfunctions have been detected, like in the case of weather forecast (different icons are not loaded) or in the query of some of the routes of high difficulty (the application closes when consulting some of the cartographic options).

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Técnico de medio ambiente, community manager y content curator especializada en temas de medioambiente - Environmental technician, community manager and content curator specialised in environmental issues