OTMOSERA

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The purpose of the fast track feasibility study 'Open Trail Map / Open Solutions for enhanced Situation Awareness and efficient Emergency Response Actions in Mountainous Regions - OTM / OSERA' was to investigate and assess the technical feasibility and commercial viability of sustainable services to support the management and maintenance of hiking paths and trail maps, to support the safety and enjoyment of their visitors, to reduce the operational cost, and to prepare the follow-on steps for the implementation of such services.

OTM / OSERA provides accessibility and connectivity for Alpine tourists and professional users through an ICT-based innovative public service.

Tourists (hikers, bikers, climbers, etc.) in all Alpine regions share the same needs when doing outdoor activities.

They require:

  • Reliable, complete, updated and easily/ freely available mountain trail maps.
  • The utmost level of safety when doing outdoor activities (especially in areas outside GSM coverage or bordering two countries).
  • Easy, reliable, timely, and efficient access to search and rescue services in cases of emergency.

The OTM / OSERA fast track study contains explorative and piloting activities for the provision of reliable hiking maps and internet-based information with a collaborative web 2.0 approach. OTM / OSERA implements transnational integration of distress call and location service for emergencies and accidents.

Users and their needs

OTM / OSERA provides accessibility and connectivity for Alpine tourists and professional users through an ICT-based innovative public service.

The number of people doing outdoor (sports) activities (hiking, biking, climbing, etc.) in mountainous regions is continuously increasing. In addition, there is a strong trend for "free routing" through the mountains which creates new risks for personal safety and environmental damages.

The user communities for OTM / OSERA are:

  • Mass market e.g. Alpine tourists e.g. hikers, bikers, climbers, etc.
  • Professional market e.g. tourist organisations, event organisers, and search and rescue organisations.
  • Mountaineering associations and Alpine nature park and hut operators
  • GIS and mapping experts

Mass market, professional users, Alpine nature park and hut operators and mountaineering associations were involved in the OTM/OSERA fast track study.

Members of the largest mountaineering associations in Austria, Germany, and Northern Italy (Austrian, German and Italian Alpenverein and Austrian and German Naturfreunde), event organisers (http://www.bergfuehrer.com), and of the mountain rescue organisation in Austria, Germany, and Northern Italy were involved. The Alpenverein and Naturfreunde are also large operators of Alpine huts. Thus, this important user group was also directly involved in the study.

The majority of Alpine tourists are unfamiliar with the area and have little experience with the specific challenges, constraints and possible threats they will face.

Thus, they need guidance to find their chosen trails, to keep them as safe as possible, and to protect the very sensitive environment.

In some areas first steps for improving the situation have already been addressed. E.g. the French Alpine Club operates a series of refuges high up in the French Alps to provide accommodation and shelter to visitors. The Alps are a paradise for climbers, snow sports fans and hikers but can be dangerous too, and in an emergency communication problems can be fatal.

With no landline links and limited mobile connectivity at high altitudes, communication between the mountain refuges and the valley stations could not be relied on, so the French Alpine Club chose to fit the refuges with satellite internet access.

Service/ system concept

OTM / OSERA provides accessibility and connectivity for Alpine tourists and professional users through an ICT-based innovative public service.

Within the analysis of the user requirements, 6 primary services were identified:

Service 1

Locating & Tracking Service

Service 2

Emergency Call Service

Service 3

Map Provision

Service 4

Advanced Communication Service

Service 5

Desktop Web-Access

Service 6

Tour Provision

"Offline Data Provision" and "Data Transfer" are important parts of multiple services and therefore not mentioned as single services but described within corresponding services.

Additionally, 4 secondary services have been identified:

Service 7

Geocache Data Provision

Service 8

Augmented Reality

Service 9

Social Media Link

Service 10

Add Photo Function

Secondary services were not analysed in detail within the OTM/OSERA study but were used to define system requirements that allow the integration of those services at a later stage.

Space Added Value

OTM / OSERA relies on the following space assets:

  • Satellite navigation data for guiding the tourists, providing the coordinates of the tracks and providing the coordinates in cases of emergency.
  • Earth observation data for contributing to, establishing and maintaining the open trail map layer and for quality checking of incoming track data.
  • Satellite communication to establish internet connectivity in remote areas through solar powered satellite hubs e.g. ASTRA2Connect as well as mobile satellite connectivity through Iridium for professional users.

Product Benefits

Specific users/stakeholders include::

  • Alpine nature parks and hut operators:
  • Mountaineering associations:
  • Dissemination, Media, Industry Bodies & Networks

Product Features

OTM / OSERA uses state-of-the-art and robust smart phone devices e.g. SONY®'s XPERIA GO. These devices can connect via Bluetooth®(BT) to e.g. the SONY® SmartWatch for remote operation, to BT headphones for hands-free communication and even to most innovative goggles with head-up display e.g. the Oakley Airwave.

OTM / OSERA implements the following functionalities:

  • Provision of free, always updated and reliable tracks for Alpine regions to be downloaded on mobile devices by tourists, in a first step for hikers and bikers and in a second step for other outdoor activities.
  • Provision of geocaching targets and selected points of interest to attract tourists, steer them to safer trails, and protect sensitive environmental regions.
  • Provision of internet connectivity for tourists in remote areas e.g. in Alpine huts to download important travel information e.g. weather reports and to upload track data to the OTM / OSERA server.
  • Provision of distress call and location services in emergencies and accidents.
  • Providing highest levels of accuracy and reliability of maps intended for professional users (e.g. rescue teams, mountaineering associations), integrated among diverse geographies.

OTM / OSERA relies on the following space assets:

  • Satellite navigation data for guiding the tourists, providing the coordinates of the tracks and providing the coordinates in cases of emergency.
  • Earth observation data for contributing to, establishing and maintaining the open trail map layer and for quality checking of incoming track data.
  • Satellite communication to establish internet connectivity in remote areas through solar powered satellite hubs e.g. ASTRA2Connect as well as mobile satellite connectivity through Iridium for professional users.

The overall scope of this study was to design an integrated solution, which provides a combination of services improving the management of walking and biking trials and the safety and enjoyment for the users. The solution was designed in collaboration with the users and stakeholders.

Key Issues

OTM / OSERA contributes to:

  • Building a consensus amongst stakeholders (the solution will be tested with tourist agencies/rescue services).
  • Promoting transnational agreements and collaborations in the area of rescue services/ tourism.
  • Securing a better access to services, information, communication and knowledge (more "usable" mountain paths will be publicly available).
  • Providing the basis for an information society (users will populate the website with paths they walked on) amongst the tourists in mountainous regions.
  • Involving relevant decision makers for enhancing safety and environmental protection (rescue services, environmental departments) and tourism industry stakeholders (local and regional tourist boards).
  • Focusing on dissemination of key stakeholders to create a snowball effect of awareness.
  • Integration of different regions and levels of private/public stakeholders (will be part of the demonstration project).
  • Cross-national partnerships with proven expertise in all project areas (will be part of the demonstration project). 

Current Status

The team has concluded the study work including the user workshop, user needs consolidation, technical requirements definition, service definition, integrated solution design, and technical and commercial viability analysis.

Project Managers

Contractor Project Manager

Jürgen Seybold
TeleOrbit GmbH, Jagdstraße 20,
90419 Nuremberg
Germany
+49 911 300 339 815

ESA Project Manager

Norbert Hübner
Keplerlaan,
2200 AZ Noordwijk
Netherlands

Status Date

Updated: 29 August 2014 - Created: 03 March 2014