Digitize the Planet
is a non-profit organization representing many stakeholders from outdoor sports, conservation and destinations. Our goal is to digitize all relevant regulations, including laws and local rules for the outdoor use.
Together with all stakeholders from protected areas, tourism and outdoor sports, we are able to develop a responsible relationship between our natural environment and the people, through standardized and internationally digitized rules.
Setting up the association is based on the preparatory work of three round tables that included broad participation of sports clubs, conservation bodies, destinations and leisure and tourism companies. Click here for the white papers from the events and the lists of participants:
On March 5th, 2020 we founded the Association.
„Digital communication is essential for effective visitor management because once they are there, it’s already too late. With digital technology guests can plan and prepare themselves for which areas are open and which are closed. They can get an impression of local regulations, laws and constraints.”
After graduating in engineering from the University of Munich, Hartmut Wimmer founded his own engineering firm in 1994 before focusing on tourism infrastructure. When confronted with problems while planning tours, he decided to find a solution for the standardized collection of valuable information and founded Outdooractive in 2008. Since then, Hartmut’s goal has been to create the world’s largest outdoor platform using cutting edge technology. Hartmut is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and wants to create a virtual home for people to share their experiences in nature.
He has been involved as 1st chairman of Digitize the Planet since its founding. Through his pioneering work in digitization, he has developed an understanding of what will be important for our new association.
Dr. Neele Larondelle
“Digital visitor guidance is a constantly growing challenge for the administrative offices of the Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V. (the German National Natural Landscapes Association). Increasing numbers of visitors and a large variety of (often unverified) digital offers make it difficult for visitors to inform themselves about existing rules and prohibitions. The aim should be to protect sensitive areas in Germany’s most valuable landscapes and at the same time continue to enable people to enjoy the impressive nature. This can only be achieved through quality information and communication. The development of a corresponding database from a single source is an essential step – and I am happy to be a part of Digitize the Planet from the very beginning.”
Neele Larondelle studied Regional Science at the University of Potsdam and Natural Resources Management at TU Dresden. After various stays abroad, she completed her PhD at the Chair of Landscape Ecology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In cooperation with the New School in New York City, she investigated socio-ecological relationships in cities and developed evaluation and modelling methods for ecosystem services. Until 2016 she worked at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, where she analysed conflict potentials and communication strategies in the recreational use of urban forests.
Since 2016 she has been working for the Nationale Naturlandschaften e.V., where she is the head of the department of protected area management and nature conservation and has been deputy director since January 2020.
Since the founding of Digitize the Planet she has been involved as 2nd chairwoman and gives the Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V. a voice.
“Nature-based sports and outdoor activities are increasingly being driven by digital information: digital map services, platforms that offer easy availability to nearby attractions and by tour operators, tour platforms, recommendations from the community, …. To avoid an unnavigable mess, it is necessary to structure this data in a customer-oriented way. Current regulations (e.g. access regulations, detours, seasonal offers) as a matter of course should be taken into account to avoid conflicts. For this to be possible, information on these regulations must be available. I see a need for action and am pleased that the association is taking up this challenge in a structured and consistent manner.”
Mathias Behrens-Egge studied landscape and open land use planning with a focus on tourism economics and regional development at the University of Hannover (Dipl. Ing.). He is a founder of and since 1989 executive partner of BTE as well as a guest lecturer of „Tourism Economics for Planners“ at the Leibnitz University of Hannover since 2009. At BTE he leads the business areas of active and nature tourism. Regional development, destination development and moderation are further key aspects of his work.
He has been involved as 3rd chairman of Digitize the Planet since its founding. He brings experience in tourism/destination development and active tourism.
Tilman Sobek is one of the founders of and managing director of absolutGPS, a company that emerged from the University of Leipzig and has developed numerous active tourism concepts ranging from hiking to touring and mountain biking. He is also the initiator and founder of the Mountainbike Tourismusforum Deutschland e.V., an association that works to promote the professionalisation of mountain bike tourism in Germany.