You Are Here: Delivering Custom Digital Maps to Your Device with QR Codes

The Avenza Maps mobile app has become the go-to solution for hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts to get accurate and offline-ready maps right onto their mobile devices. By connecting to the Avenza Map Store, users can have instant access to more than one million professionally created maps, including those for national and state parks, trail guides, and topographic charts for many regions all over the world.


To trail users, having digital maps right at their fingertips provides peace of mind, as location and navigation information is always on-hand even where cellular service is unavailable. Access to tailor-made, activity-specific maps also means trail users are provided accurate, relevant information that can greatly improve the outdoor experience. Since many available maps are tailor-made for an individual park or trail system, these maps provide unique or niche information that would be missing from more general mapping apps or alternative web-mapping services. Thousands of maps on the Avenza Map Store are produced by or with the support of managing parks authorities, and these mobile-ready maps will often have the most accurate, up-to-date, and reliable information that park officials want you to have. Having this information not only ensures a safe outdoors excursion, but also provides a recreation user with the right information that can make their outdoor adventure a truly enjoyable experience.


For many park authorities and tourism organizations, the Avenza Maps app and Map Store has become the preferred way of getting maps into the hands of outdoor recreation, trail, and park visitors. By hosting their georeferenced digital maps on the Avenza Map Store, parks can quickly and easily disseminate maps and trail guides to their visitors, without the need to print and distribute physical fold-out maps. Since these maps come pre-configured for digital viewing and optimized for accurate GPS location, it makes navigation and location-finding on the trails a simple and accessible process for all. Now, with the introduction of Avenza’s “QR Codes for Trails” project, Avenza Maps has made it even easier to get quality maps into the hands of trail users.

How do the QR Codes for Trails Work?

The Avenza Map store provides immediate access to a massive collection of maps, providing our users the opportunity to browse and explore a multitude of map products that suit their needs. Using QR codes, it is even easier to find specific maps for your area of interest or maps that are designed for your outdoor activity (Canoeing, Hiking, Cycling, and more!). Now there’s no need to run a custom search query on the map store! With only a few taps you can immediately access and download the maps you need to start your adventure faster than ever. Using strategically located QR codes placed at trailheads, park entrances, visitor centers, or even on path markers located mid-trail, a user simply needs to scan the QR code with their camera or QR code reader, and they will automatically be provided access to the relevant map product for that location. As park management authorities are selecting and directing users to specific map products using the QR code, it ensures that all park users are using the best available maps for their area.


With a growing network of supported parks, the QR code for the Trails project has also made outdoor recreation a more accessible and safe way to get outside. With the wide-spread adoption of social distancing practices, and capacity restrictions in place on many park visitor centers worldwide, the QR code project provides an easy, hands-free way to get a map right on the trail, and without needing to find a tourism center or visit a crowded map-kiosk.


How can Park Authorities make use of QR codes for their maps?

For park management authorities, you may be wondering how your park or trail system can implement QR codes for your maps. Fortunately, the Avenza Maps team has made it easy to implement. First, create a free vendor account on the Avenza Map Store. The vendor account will allow you to share or sell your georeferenced maps with the public. Next, upload your georeferenced park or trail system map onto the Avenza Map Store. Your map will be reviewed and verified by our Map Store team to ensure the map is georeferenced accurately and formatted properly. After this, the Avenza Maps team will provide you with a custom QR code with a guidance package showing how to use it. Simply print and post the QR code within your park and you are done! Best of all, this QR code will always be associated with your Map Product, meaning you can continue to update and revise your digital maps without needing to reprint or post a new QR code.

For hikers and trail enthusiasts, simply scan the QR code with your mobile device and you are good to go. Try it out for yourself with the example below!