Santa Maria is a city of just over 100,000 people in California's Central Coast region. The city manages a series of parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities. Its flagship recreation resource is the beautiful Los Flores Ranch Park, which spans nearly 1,800 acres. Los Flores Ranch offers a rare mix of environmental education, land preservation, and recreation, with about 16 miles of hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails.
The city actively offers events and builds new trails at Los Flores Ranch. It wanted to provide a mobile app to visitors so they could learn about these events and safely navigate the Ranch’s everchanging trail network. The Ranch doesn’t have great cell coverage, so having an app that worked offline was critical.
Santa Maria submitted their geospatial data formatted in the schema laid out in the OuterSpatial Data Guidebook. The OuterSpatial team was able to quickly load it and make it available for city employees in OuterSpatial Manager. The city also sent along the existing Los Flores Ranch trail map in PDF format. Using tools within OuterSpatial Manager, the PDF map was georeferenced and made available as a “Paper Map”.
After staff added some initial content, their data and content was made available in the app, and they began promoting it to their community. Soon locals and visitors were using the app to hike, bike, ride, and run on the park’s trails.
Over time, the staff has continued to increase and enhance their presence in the app by adding Events, Outings, Featured Content, and Documents. For example, each season they post a guide of activities as well as a handful of curated Outings that highlight interesting stops along the trail network.
Each year, Santa Maria adds their keystone events into OuterSpatial for the entire year, including events like twilight mountain bike rides, guided river trail walks, docent-led nature hikes, and volunteer trail workdays. They also feature a seasonal guide that lists all of their events. This process is easy for staff, and it provides event descriptions, directions, registration, and other detailed information so visitors always know what is going on at Los Flores Ranch.
Santa Maria also publishes an updated trail map of Los Flores Ranch each year. They are able to georeference and turn that map into a “Paper Map” within Manager and publish it into the app. Visitors can load up the map and navigate along the Ranch’s trails with their GPS location displayed on top of the Paper Map — even when offline.
The city takes advantage of Deep Links to promote Los Flores Ranch within the app. They generate these unique URLs and attach them to QR codes that can be added to flyers, brochures, and social media campaigns. When users click on the link or scan the QR code, they are taken directly to the Los Flores Ranch screen within the app.
Santa Maria is empowering its visitors to explore Los Flores Ranch and its trails safely and freely by delivering reliable information right to their fingertips!
Staff only have to commit a few hours a month to keep their Events, Outings, and Featured Content fresh within OuterSpatial. Through the app, visitors have access to the Ranch’s entire trail network, along with hundreds of points of interest such as bathroom locations, parking, and water. They can also pull up Paper Maps and see their location within the park anytime, even when offline. Visitors always know what’s going on with all of the key events throughout the year always available in the app.
"With OuterSpatial, staff are confident that our visitors are getting the most accurate information about Los Flores Ranch and are able to have fun and be safe while out on the trail!"