Mountain Maps, the mountain navigator

How many times has it happened to be in the mountains and not know if the path they have recommended is suitable for our physical shape? How many times on a path have we not found the right crossroads, got lost and wished we had a sort of navigator able to take us back to the correct path? How many times have we wondered if a road was suitable for a stroller? These (and many other) questions are answered by Mountain Maps, a free downloadable “mountain satellite navigator”. We tried it and met the founders, here’s how it works and what it’s all about.

What it is and how it works

Mountain Maps through artificial intelligence algorithms, machine learning and Big Data analysis is able to recommend a suitable route for the user based on his needs, in all seasons and in various disciplines (such as hiking, skiing, cycling) , also considering the ski lifts. The app works offline and, once opened, allows you to download maps of numerous Italian provinces. Once the map has been downloaded, it is possible to choose the most suitable route and customize your itinerary by choosing the type of terrain, the exposure, access with a stroller or wheelchair and, in winter, the difficulty of the slopes. Mountain Maps manages to learn and consequently elaborate a precise estimate of the behavior of tourists in the mountains, always proposing the most suitable route, as explained by the CEO and Founder of Mountain Maps Denny Calovi, who worked together with five founding partners, all from Trentino , with a great passion for the mountains, technology and innovation: “If we are on holiday with a small child, Mountain Maps will recommend a route without steep slopes, without via ferratas, without particular dangers and, perhaps, will also suggest taking a ski lift to avoid an initial sloping section”.

The app can be used as a real navigator and can be kept open throughout the journey (indeed, a sort of prize contest for those who walk the most will be implemented in the future): in this way the user will always know where he is, if he’s going in the right direction, where he has to turn and how much is left to finish. The work of Mountain Maps is precisely that of analyzing a very important amount of data, learning from them: “If – continues Calovi – we see that every time a route is deviated, then we understand that there is something wrong, that the indications are not clear, and we are going to improve the data precisely through the interpretation of these changes”.

The future of Mountain Maps

At the moment, the Trentino startup has signed a partnership with the Madonna di Campiglio Ski Area and with the Paganella to optimize, facilitate and make the tourist experience in the area more accessible. The team, they explain to us, works to implement new features of the platform and one of the future objectives is to consolidate on the national territory and to grow in the Alpine market, going to include regions of France, Switzerland, Austria in the app. “Our goal for the next few years – concludes Calovi – is to further improve all the artificial intelligence functions. For example, we can tell the app ‘I want to go to Trentino, stay at a low altitude, I only have trainers and I want to enjoy a beautiful view’ and the system will be able to recommend the best route by analyzing our words“.