Company & history

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ViewRanger is a free GPS navigation app used by more than six million people around the world to plan, navigate, record and share their outdoor adventures.

At the end of 2019, ViewRanger was acquired by Outdooractive GmbH with the goal to create the worlds largest digital platform for outdoor activity, bringing together ViewRanger's consumer community with Outdooractive's B2B business.

ViewRanger’s origins

Craig Wareham and Mike Brocklehurst, ViewRanger founders, previously worked in the visual computing technology industry and sharing a passion for the outdoors, their vision was to place digital map information directly into the landscape for users to view on electronic devices. Together they built the very first smartphone apps for the Automobile Association (AA) and Ordnance Survey Ireland, while also developing ideas that would eventually become ViewRanger.

Mike is a keen hillwalker with a love for Alfred Wainwright’s famous Pictorial Guides to the English Lake District. These guidebooks feature annotated hand-drawn maps, detailed route information and personal notes from Wainwright about 214 of the Lake District’s mountains, and are still immensely popular today despite the final book in the series being published over 50 years ago. Mike and Craig’s vision was to create a digital version of Wainwright’s guidebooks that captured their unique mix of navigation detail and informative editorial – and the launch of ViewRanger Skyline in 2016 finally saw their vision realised.

Together with a passionate and dedicated team, they built a fast growing and profitable app business.

ViewRanger’s development

ViewRanger was founded in 2006 and was an early app pioneer. Mike and Craig ran the company from their spare rooms in Cambridge, England, for three years, developing some of the earliest outdoor apps, at that time for Symbian devices. Following the release of the iPhone and App Store they raised seed funding to develop ViewRanger for Apple and Android devices. The company grew consistently until the release of ViewRanger 6 in Spring 2015 when the business saw a big leap in its user community.  Since then the company enjoyed rapid and sustained growth.

ViewRanger’s awards include:

  • Android Excellence Award
  • Google Play – Editors' Choice
  • Google Top Developer
  • Backpacker magazine – Best New Outdoor Tech in 2017
  • Outdoor Industry Association – Digital Product Finalists 2017 & 2018
  • Elevation Outdoors – 2017 Best Outdoor App
  • ISPO international award 2014/15
  • App Awards winner 2012
  • Mobile App World – Best Independent App 2010
  • Discovering StartUps 2010 – Finalist and Winner
  • Ordnance Survey – Most Innovative Product in the Navigation Sector
  • Nokia – Best Location-Aware Service & Application in Nokia's S60 Global Challenge
  • Numerous media awards including The Sunday Times, the Gadget Show, Trail Magazine, Mpora, Outdoors Magic, Elevation Outdoors, Outdoor Enthusiast and Cycling Plus

ViewRanger’s firsts include:

  • First to create Panoramic Mapping
  • First app to bring Ordnance Survey recreational mapping to a mobile phone
  • First mapping and navigation app to gain Symbian Signed certification
  • Developed first mobile travel guide for Automobile Association
  • Developed first mobile travel guide for Ordnance Survey Ireland

ViewRanger launched their second-generation Apple Watch app on-stage at Apple's annual event in September 2016, and this Apple Watch app was featured in Apple's global retail store network across the winter and Christmas season.

The app has been regularly featured in Apple, Google, and Amazon appstores around the world.

ViewRanger also partnered with companies such as CASIO, Tag Heure, Bullit Mobile, Nokia and others to innovate in the smartphone and wearable markets.