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GeoVation winners aim to whet users’ appetite with Real Food Wales app

20 May 2013

Real Food Wales is a new iPhone app, which helps users discover local, sustainable and delicious food along the Welsh Coast Path in Pembrokeshire.

The new app is the brainchild of two sisters from South Wales, Helen and Nicola Steer, who were one of five successful ventures in last year’s Ordnance Survey GeoVation Challenge. The challenge, which took place ahead of the official opening of the Welsh Coast Path, challenged entrepreneurs across Great Britain to use innovation and geography to come up with ideas for ventures, products and applications, which would help connect communities and visitors along the path, benefiting those who live and work along the route, and beyond.

Real Food Wales is an easy to use app, which maps over 150 of the best food businesses in Pembrokeshire, helping users access sustainable and delicious food.

Helen Steer from Real Food Wales, said: 'Real Food Wales is an ideal app for anyone looking for a special meal at a restaurant, a bite to eat in a quirky café, the best sausage in town for your campfire or a food experience you’ll never forget.

'The app utilises our unique network of local knowledge by displaying a large selection of food businesses on an offline interactive map of Pembrokeshire. The map really highlights what an exceptional range of local food businesses are operating in this area.'

The core feature of Real Food Wales is the interactive map, consisting of five zoom levels, which allow users to find the best places to eat out, buy food or have a foodie experience. A unique feature of the app is that it stores an offline map of Pembrokeshire onto the device, meaning that users can still access all of the information even when there is no mobile signal.

Other features include:

  • Map or list display of nearby food businesses, with the option of filtering results by places to eat out, places to buy your own or food experiences.
  • Each food business featured has its own entry with information and directions, plus you can call or email them and visit their website (if available).
  • Social media integration – tweet or post on Facebook about your finds.
  • Favourites function so you can save the places you love or want to visit at another time.

Chris Parker, from Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation Challenge, added: 'Real Food Wales is a great example of how the GeoVation Challenge can support new ventures. I am sure that Real Food Wales will become a must have iPhone app for anyone visiting or living in Pembrokeshire.

'The new app is a great example of how mapping, geography and innovation can help boost businesses and communities, whilst enriching the experience of tourists visiting the coastal path.”

Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Emerging Explorer 2012, commented: 'As an explorer I think Real Food Wales is extremely well executed. Having offline mapping embedded into the app means that you can use it even where you have got no connectivity, crucial for any serious food finders.'

Helen and Nicola Steer, from Real Food Wales (previously called Food Finder), were awarded a £30,000 development fund package following their success at last year’s GeoVation Challenge. They are part of Mapkin: a team of five people who have worked together to develop this app.

Helen ended by adding: 'I would like to thank Ordnance Survey and the GeoVation Challenge for believing in our idea. Without their support and funding we would not be where we are today. I am really excited about the future of Real Food Wales and look forward to expanding the app to include many other areas along the Welsh Coast Path by the end of the summer.'

For more information

Visit www.mapkin.co.uk or download the app direct from the itunes website

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