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Nest Finder - Accessing essential travel information while on the road

Blurred image of greenery.

Who: Oliver Seiler
What: An app which provides comprehensive information for travellers and tourists travelling around New Zealand
Why: Providing maps and accommodation information with or without internet connection.
When: 2010 –


The data

DataDOC Geoportal & DOC website. API is under development
Source: Department of Conservation
Formats: JSON
LicenceCrown Copyright

DataNZ Topographic Maps
Source: Land Information New Zealand
Formats: GeoTIFF
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand licence

When tourists or travellers are travelling around New Zealand, there is a vast amount of information they need to access including where to stay and what to see. This is usually needed when they’re already on the road.

This is where the handy Nest Finder app comes in. Developed by Wellingtonian Oliver Seiler, this information is easily available simply by installing the app on a phone. Comprehensive information is immediately available using GPS capability about tramping huts, camp sites and visitor centres, as well as Information Centres, and booking for hostels, holiday parks and lodges across New Zealand.

“A simple way to find all the essential travel information you need - on the road or in the back-country.”

The app contains detailed information for most locations, including facilities, how to get there, pricing and so on.  It’s designed for offline use so no internet connection is required to access the information which suits its travellers’ market. The Android app has over 14,000 downloads.

Nest Finder utilises multiple open data sources, including the Department of Conservation’s Geoportal Datasets. The data available includes tracks, huts, campsites, public conversation areas, and recreational hunting permit areas.

Impacts include allowing travellers and tourists direct access to essential information while on the road, including accommodation and booking choices. Access to the professional paid version provides Land Information New Zealand’s topographic maps which significantly increase safety for the user, particularly while travellling in remote areas. This is particularly important when internet connection is unavailable.


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This case study was last updated in June 2015.

Photo credit: Mark Engelbrecht