“Hugo – the heath guide”
A GPS based information system for visitors to the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park
The Alfred Toepfer Academy for Nature Conservation (NNA) is developing an information and guidance system which guides visitors through the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park by means of the Global Positioning System (GPS). In addition, it imparts a lot of interesting information in German and English language. The connection of nature experience and modern technology will increase the attractiveness of the Nature Park for tourism and support the experience of nature. The main focus is on supporting the nature conservation aims of the Nature Park. The project contributes to active visitor guidance, which saves sensitive habitats of the protected areas from intensive recreational use. However, visitor guidance also points to particularly attractive areas in order to increase the visitor’s appreciation of nature. Hugo is used as a model for the development of offers for the demands of different user groups. As well as routes for hikers, cyclists, horse-riders and Nordic walkers, barrier-free opportunities are also considered. Depending on their interest, the visitor is navigated by means of a handheld device to individual points worth seeing or guided on a fixed route through the Nature Park. The system is available as a download on the Internet to ensure as large a target group as possible. Visitors without their own GPS device can borrow one on site.
Hugo enriches outdoor activities with a lot of information on nature, culture and special regional features. However, the visitor themselves decide whether they get general information or look deeper into a particular subject. All the information is individually composed and given its own atmosphere.
Beside the interesting information on nature and culture, Hugo also provides day-to-day information. Event announcements, opening hours, menus or bus timetables make it easier to create a spontaneous trip.
The daily update of Hugo also offers versatile possibilities for nature conservation: so in the future, landscape management or protection measures can be explained to the visitor directly on site. Giving this background information will contribute to a better understanding of nature conservation in a new way.
The project is financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (EFRE) through the Investment and Development Bank of Lower Saxony (NBank) as well as by the Bingo Environmental Lottery through the Lower Saxony Lottery Fund. The project partner is the regulating association of the Lüneburg Heath Nature Park ( www.naturpark-lueneburger-heide.de), which stands for regional networking and integration of the region. Further partners which guarantee qualified project processing are Brockmann-Rother GbR and Cruso GmbH.
Hugo – the heath guide