Tecterra, in partnership with the Canadian Avalanche Centre and Mountain Equipment Co-op, announced the development of a geospatial smartphone app for avalanche risk management for recreational outdoor enthusiasts in Canada.
“Tecterra is excited to be leading this initiative,” stated Jon Neufeld, director of commercialization programs at Tecterra, a government funded organization focused on using geomatics to enhance resource management. “Once the application is complete and ready for use, it will allow for the sharing and collection of avalanche safety information, including real-time snow conditions and incidents. Our goal with this application is to assist recreational users in making better snow safety decisions by giving them access to more information through an updated mobile system with a user friendly interface.”
The smartphone application will integrate with a professional avalanche information management system that is currently being developed by Tecterra, the Canadian Avalanche Association, and the Canadian Avalanche Centre, with support from Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) and Parks Canada. This new system provides a platform for a real-time avalanche information exchange between recreational users. Recreational users can now record and share information on snow safety conditions, weather, terrain usage, and other factors that they have encountered. This information is then available to others to assist in making educated pre-trip snow safety decisions.
“We are very pleased to be launching this app,” said CAC Executive Director Gilles Valade. “With this new technology, more backcountry users than ever will have access to our daily avalanche bulletins and so much more. Thanks to our good partners at Tecterra and MEC, avalanche safety will be in the hands of more users, more often.”
“MEC has promoted backcountry skiing since our first store opened in 1972,” stated Andrew Stegemann, community program manager at MEC. “It has always been equally important for us to educate the public on how to enjoy the winter backcountry safely. Along with Tecterra and the CAC, we're all excited to launch this app, which will help people to lead active outdoor lives safely.”
The smartphone app will launch in beta form fall 2013, with the full app being available this winter.
The Canadian Avalanche Center reported only five avalanche fatalities during the 2012-13 season, the lowest since 1984. There were 26 in the United States, the lowest since the 2006-07 season.
Tecterra Inc. is a national organization supporting the Canadian development and commercialization of geomatics technologies for integrated resource management. With current funding from the Province of Alberta and the Government of Canada, Tecterra invests in technology solutions for energy, forestry, agriculture, environment, and land management and development applications. The first centre of its kind, Tecterra works with industry, entrepreneurs, researchers, and government partners to enable the use of geomatics technologies in addressing local, national and global challenges in resource management. Tecterra, a nonprofit organization, is governed by an independent Board of Directors representing key industry sectors associated with Tecterra's focus markets.