eForestrails is a product of Ladybird Environmental Consulting LLP is a series of nature based Mobile apps developed to promote cellphone nature tours widely across the wilderness of the India. This app is developed under the financial assistance of MMR Environment Improvement Society and collaboration with Forest Department of Sanjay Gandhi National Park
A cellphone tour is an audio tour where pre-recorded or stream audio interpretation for a heritage site or a cultural exhibit is provided via a cell phone. Points of interest of tour stops are identified and a number is allotted to them. The visitor need to send these numbers to the mobile service provider through the cellphone and listen to the recorded narration. Cell phone tours are popular in foreign countries however they have been not tried in India. Having a mobile assisted nature trails will open up a large section of society to nature study within the city limits on their own.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park is unique protected area in terms of its location within a metropolitan city like Mumbai. It also highest visited urban park with more than 1 lakh visitors visiting during weekends. Inspite of this footfall the identity of the park remains to be a picnic spot for large number of population. Also urbanites normally do not venture on nature trails on their own for several reasons. Lack of guidance and knowledge about nature trails has deterred urbanites from venturing into their own city forest. Additionally it is essential to have a tour guide who escorts through these trails.By using the mobile technology all above-problems could be resolved which will encourage urbanites to venture out and explore the wilderness on their own. Our mobile app therefore is an innovation replacing the mobile service provider and making it free for visitors to use it.
This eForestrails- SGNP is first of the series which includes three nature trails of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). There are currently seven nature trails in SGNP however only three have been chosen for the cellphone nature tour experience. Each trail covers 20 points of interests found along the designated nature trail. The app has been developed to promote self-guided nature trails for the national parks and sanctuaries as well as in other wildlife reserves. The highlight of the app is its text and audio commentary which gives a live experience. The trails are GPS mapped and points of interested geotagged which will help in easy navigation on the trail. Each point of interest is marked on the trail as well as on the site.
The idea is to engage SGNP tourists by use of technology and assist them in exploring the wilderness on their own. This app is also a tool for environmental educators specially teachers who sometimes do not have access to natural history resources or persons. The app brings nature trail education to finger tips of its users thus doing away the need of an expert or field guide in the first place. Nevertheless this is not a substitute to a nature guide, the app will help in stimulating the tourist interest and for more advanced information they could sign up for programmes with the Nature Information Centre (NIC) of SGNP.
The app describes 50 species (48 trees and two species of insects) along with their pictures and detailed taxonomical and ecological information. The content is provided in text form as well as in audio format. The text form includes whole information while only relevant information is used for the audio commentary. The language has been kept non-technical. In case you wish to add your findings from a particular trail, you could write to us or share it on our Facebook Group.
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