Geographically dispersed events, such as running, cycling or multisport races, and motorsport events like rally or targa present a unique challenge for spectators!
Getting close to the action requires travelling to a variety of remote locations within specific timeframes. However, the information available to spectators about where to safely go, when to get there and what facilities are available can often be difficult to find. When it is available, the information is either not presented spatially or fails to integrate conveniently with modern technology like smart phones. After attending and volunteering at a few rally events in 2019, Abley’s Dr. Stacy Rendall realised that we should be able to do things better!
Guided by colleague Glenn Goldring, an experienced rally co-driver, and working with New Zealand Rally Championship representatives, Signal ICT intern Lois Li built the core of the Event Mapper application, specifically targeted at rally events. Initially it was developed for the September 2020 Rally of New Zealand, which was to be part of the international World Rally Championship, although that event was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Abley are currently working with Autosport Club to run a beta test of the Event Mapper website for the October 24th-25th Canterbury Rally 2020, which can be viewed online at https://autosport.org.nz/rally/canterbury-rally-2020.
Not only does Event Mapper make it easier for spectators to find event information, it can also help promote safer spectating and increase customer engagement with event sponsors.
Looking forward, Abley are planning to develop an offline-capable mobile application within the platform, and build functionality to route to spectator zones while accounting for event-based road closures.
We can’t wait to work with event organisers to help spectators get closer to the action at a wide range of events!