Intermap Technologies Launches iPhone AccuTerra Applications

Despite the high level of sophistication in today’s GPS technology, there is something that GPS devices are lacking: quality off-road mapping. As long as you stay on the road, your GPS device can help you get to any destination, but as soon as you veer off into an unmapped area with no roads, you are on your own. Or rather, you were.

The Denver-based digital mapping company Intermap Technologies recently launched its new iPhone application, AccuTerra, which allows users to view maps of U.S. national and state parks whether they are on- or off-line. Hikers and outdoors adventurers now have a possibly life-saving tool at their disposal that will guide them to where they need to go, even when on foot and far into a wilderness area. With its easy-to-use interface and performance, it’s no wonder that Intermap’s AccuTerra received an Apple Design Award for best iPhone OS 3.0 Beta Application at the 2009 Apple Design Awards.

Apple praised Intermap’s application for its usability, performance, technology integration and adoption. The launch of the app was expected at the beginning of the awards conference, but the first maps hit the Apple store only afterwards, due to the length of the approval process, but they definitely live up to the hype.

Intermap’s main business, and this explains in large part why the AccuTerra app is so successful, is not iPhone application development but rather high-tech, aerial 3D digital maps. Intermap had drawn up contracts with Magellan GPS and the U.S. government to provide them with usable 3D map data. To come up with the more than 3 million square miles of high quality, digital 3D maps, the company employed more than 2,530 airplanes that had to fly over the U.S. for more than 10,000 hours, all together.

The release of this new app marks the first time that Intermap has developed a technology specifically meant to be used in consumer electronics. Intermap’s past clients have been mostly governments, military organizations and large engineering companies. Intermap’s first mobile phone application thus benefited from the company’s previous experience. In order to come up with AccuTerra the company set up a completely separate business unit solely dedicated to applying their existing mapping technologies to the iPhone’s capabilities. The results were very good indeed.

AccuTerra fulfils a need left by GPS systems lack of off-road mapping. Concerning this topic, Kevin Thomas, vice president of marketing at Intermap, stated that while GPS does a great job on the road, it becomes useless once you get to the end of the pavement. AccuTerra has a varied collection of available maps that include sate forests and national parks for each individual state. These include popular hiking and biking trails.

AccuTerra works perfectly even in the most remote trails or forests, since it does not require a wireless connection, so regardless of weather or place, you can find your way with this app. AccuTerra displays a users distance from the nearest roads, trails, rivers and warming huts. Terrain information is displayed as well. State park maps will be sold for $1.99 each and national park maps will go for $2.99.

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