We need an Indigenous map app

My partner and I are about to embark on a month-long return trip from NSW to Perth and the Gascoyne. It will be my first trip to WA. As with any roadtrip, I’ll be checking the maps and apps for directions and interesting places to see along the way.

Having recently acquired a Map of Aboriginal Australia, I realised that it would be great to have a mobile app, much like Google maps but with a map of Aboriginal group boundaries and their names, to complement our travel and to help us understand more about Indigenous Australia.

The app could work like this: –

  • The map functions like Google Maps – GPS position is updated
  • The underlying map is the Aboriginal Map (or equivalent)
  • When entering a new region I get up popup message saying “You’re now entering Wajuk country”
  • An updated list appears of some facts and points of interest near your route.

I’m sure many Australians would love this type of app – helping us all to understand more about our country from Indigenous perspectives – travelling the country without state and territory boundaries.

Let me know if there is any organisation developing something like this. If not, I think it should be done.

I wonder if there’s a Google Maps app equivalent for Indigenous Australia?

4 thoughts on “We need an Indigenous map app

  1. Leigh Harris says:

    As people tweet and speak about an Indigenous app we are building the base model of one ready for people in about three weeks. We have played around with this for about six month on and off but are back on track. We will be using a crowdsourcing platform which will be based on OSM (OpenStreetMaps) with the integration of various other attributes which as Opensource Ushahidi platform and the SDK’s that it comes with.

    It’s a bit of a thing for me as an Indigenous designer and developer to get this up and running many people have asked for it and what not better than to do it on an OpenSource platform. All done off our own back so we hope that people come and populate it with content at the end of the day.

    We have a demo site which we are testing at the moment filtering data from firstnation.org

    • Else says:

      Hi Leigh, any updates on the app? I am working for a company in the planning stages of developing an app that may incorporate an indigenous australia map. Just did some searching, and haven’t found anything in the app stores as yet. Interested to hear how things are progressing!

  2. David Lodge says:

    I think the app is a great idea, in fact my partner is also in the early development stages of doing just the same thing. I have worked in Indigenous health for 20 years moving about Australia and this type of app would be a very useful tool. Please respond to chat about this.

    • Mitchell says:

      Hi David,
      Seems like there is a bit of interest in this app idea. What tech is your partner using to develop the app? Be interested how it compares with Leigh Harris’s version above. I’m currently building prototype Hybrid apps for clients so I’m interested in how others are developing.


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