Porirua Pathfinder

A case study of NSG NZ working in partnership with Porirua City Council in the development of a powerful GIS map viewer, to make the best use of Porirua’s extensive track network.

Poriura City has extensive terrain for walking and cycling, accessed by an intricate 90 km track network. The problem was that, with so much to choose from, the community had trouble deciding which track best suited their needs.

Porirua City Council’s Manager Leisure Assets and Services, Karyn Stillwell, says that “the Council recognised that our sizable investment in track infrastructure needed to be matched with smart delivery of information. With increasing diversity in recreation activities, there was a growing need to provide more specific and detailed guidance about the recreational infrastructure.”  

Karyn says that it was also identified that users wanted to be able to define their own search queries and cross reference these against different criteria, to develop their own personalised recreational searches.

NSG NZ had the answer. “NSG NZ is part of the Porirua City Partners Programme, one of 16 other organisations who are working with the Council on a variety of community initiatives. The Pathfinder project was launched as an ‘in kind’ collaboration, because it both showcases Porirua’s recreational environment and is a tangible product, directly related to NSG NZ’s core business”.

Porirua Pathfinder is an easy to use and exciting interactive map viewer, that showcases the amazing outdoor recreation opportunities throughout our City”

Karyn Stillwell, Manager Leisure Assets and Services, Porirua City Council

Karyn says that a continued reliance on hard copy printed material for track information provided only a basic level of information but the Council wanted to utilise advanced technology in the delivery of information for an active community.

“We needed to provide a tool where visitors and locals could engage with up to date track network information and plan their activity for that day”. 

At its simplest, the map viewer enables users to see where all of Porirua’s tracks are. They can then ‘zoom in’ to any track that they are interested in, using the navigation tools.

Having identified the walkways or cycle tracks that are of interest, more information can be found by simply clicking on each track. The application brings up a rich set of information, including access limitations and features, about any track that is selected. The GIS technology provides much more useable information than any standard printed map, with layers of data such as; wildlife habitat areas, picnic facilities, public amenities, lookout points, playgrounds, and dog friendly areas.

“Perhaps one of the most exciting features of the GIS map viewer is the ability to design your route with specific characteristics in mind. It is easy to plan a walk of a certain distance, level of challenge, or even guaranteed push-chair access”.

People can now explore Porirua with the confidence that the route taken will meet their needs – the breathtaking scenery will do the rest.

Karyn says that Porirua Pathfinder helps the Council deliver a very high standard of service to the community.

“Porirua Pathfinder delivers track information in such a user friendly way. We are delighted with how NSG NZ’s GIS innovation benefits our community.

The ability to add further information layers to the interactive walking and cycling track viewer, at minimal cost, also makes good business sense”.

Porirua Pathfinder is accessed via the Porirua City Council website – http://www.pcc.govt.nz orwww.poriruapathfinder.co.nz