The application try to be a guide to publicize, to anyone who wants to enjoy of the Upper Oka Estuary, the important natural and cultural heritage concentrated around him.
Language: Basque / Spanish / English / French
Runs offline: partially
Last update: Android 13/03/2015 – iOS 30/04/2015
Website of the developer: Departamento de Medioambiente y Política Territorial del Gobierno Vasco
Oka Urdaibai is an application to publicize the main heritage and natural resources of the Upper Oka Estuary, enclave included in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. The application is divided into 4 sections:
- “Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve”, where is offered a description of the enclave, highlighting some of the values for which this area was included in 1984 in the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.
- “Upper Oka Estuary”, which also includes a characterization of space, focusing on the restoration project that is running to restore the habitats of these estuarine ecosystems. Within this section, are included two tabs to access to “Points of interest”, with 53 points divided into different categories (architectural heritage, natural sites, towns, information concerning the recovery project and main species of flora and vegetation) and to “Video Library”, from where you can download/display 4 videos of the area.
- “List of itineraries”, with 9 routes for walking, cycling or, occasionally, horseback riding. Each route has a description, technical data of the route (difficulty, slope, kilometers, duration, etc.) and a track profile and a gallery of images of the main points of the way. It is remarkable also the option of augmented reality that is included at the bottom of each data sheet that allows the identification of different elements of the environment through this technology that displays useful information in real time through the mobile phone camera.
- “Map of itineraries”, where it represents a general map with the different routes marked, incluiding main towns of the area along with the different existing public transport options, car parks, etc.
Images: Screenshot 22/07/2015. © Gobierno Vasco
The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, that also host three enclaves classified as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is also included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands, is one of the major natural enclaves of the coast of Biscay. Among its main values, are remarkable the formations of Cantabrian oak and oak groves, besides its rich fauna, especially represented by numerous migratory birds and wintering species. The relevance of the area has become a tourist attraction, so a mobile application like this was a necessary . However, the review carried out for the Android version has detected several shortcomings/problems that is recommended solve for future versions if the aim is convert this app in a resource useful and attractive.One of the main problems is that the current version is basically a functional copy for smartphone of Adobe Flash version that shows the restoration project which can be downloaded from the website of the Basque Government (see link in “More information”, Only in Spanish and Basque). This source generates certain difficulties since, for example, is not the same display information on a computer that in a mobile device (screen size, reflections, etc.). In this way, is lacking a general map of the natural area that allows the user to locate oneself. It is also imperative fix encoding problems in the Spanish version, as well as the links to videos in the “Video Library” (at the date of the analysis the download is broken). There is also some information, such as describing some characteristics of the project, which are almost unintelligible in phones with small screen because if you zoom, the image appears pixelated. It is also surprising the low importance that it has been given to the wildlife values of the area. With respect to the information included in the itineraries, this is correct, although it would be necessary to include a legend about the symbols used in the technical description. It is also interesting note if the route is adapted for persons with physical disabilities or not.On the positive side, point the possibility of obtaining information via augmented reality. Although it has not been proved its functioning because this analysis is not performed in Urdaibai, the mere inclusion is a factor to consider, especially considering the many uses that offers this technology to increase knowledge and promote interaction with natural areas.