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The Walking Access Mapping System Goes Mobile

I’ve recurringly written about the Walking Access Mapping System [1] since it was put online by the Walking Access Commission. The system collates masses of data from local and central goverment. It’s very helpful when trying to figure out places which are legal to walk, especially when physical features don’t always make the divisions between public and private land clear, nor the location of legal roads and access ways.

wams-Screenshot_2016-03-14-22-58-43 [2]

Earlier today, the Walking Access Commission announced that there’s finally a mobile edition of the WAMS [3]. The announcement doesn’t seem to have received much attention, but I think it’s a valuable extension.

Until now, the WAMS has been a fairly clunky, Flash-heavy website that’s not entirely easy to use on a mobile device. Exporting information for other devices hasn’t been a trivial thing. For example, it’s generally necessary to manually trace lines and waypoints over the top of the WAMS maps, prior to exporting those lines.

Hopefully features like the ability to export data will improve over time. Meanwhile, the mobile edition of the WAMS means that it should not even be necessary to export info in many cases. If you’re in a place with mobile coverage, and want to find out which legal access ways are nearby, it’s potentially more a case of pulling out a smartphone, visiting http://www.wams.org.nz/ [1], and seeing what’s around. (Try http://wams.org.nz/wams_mobile/ [4] if your mobile browser is not auto-detected.)