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Setting up a cross border app system for information to waterway users in France

This project has been undertaken by Voies Navigables de France.


Sample of how the app might look on a tabletSmartphone market

24.1 million smartphone users in France
77.7% of smartphone owners use their mobile daily to go on the Internet
7.3 million users download apps each month

River market

Boating companies (144 380 passengers)
Excursions boats (10 252 450 passengers)
Hotel barges (18 650 passengers)
Cruising boats (184 700 passengers)
Private boats (25000 people)
River shipping (2200 people on board)

Potential users

10627380 private and professionals per year
60% from foreign countries and 40% from France
40% of foreigners are using their smartphone during their trip
70% of French are using their smartphone during their holidays

Statistics used are the most recent available (Sources: Raffour, TripAdvisor, Baromêtre MMA)


App development

Native app

IOS = language Objective C & IDE Xcode (25k€ > 75k€)
Android = language Java & Eclipse (20k€ > 60k€)
Windows Phone = language C# & Visual Studio

Hybrid development

Titanium Platform = Javascript VS had to find API common codes between Android and iOS platforms

HTML development

Webview = can be used on every systems VS slow downloading


HTML Development if Wifi hotspot Or Native development if Edge Network


Network & coverage


Areas where 3G/Edge coverage is not provided
Impossibility to negotiate with mobile phone provider


Wifi hotspot (independence, simple operation, low running cost, interoperable system)
Native apps (preinstalled contents)


App Architecture


  • Advice
  • Tourism guide
  • Safety guide
  • Laws and regulation


  • Weather forecast
  • Network map
  • Itinerary map
  • Network danger forecast
  • Sailing times
  • Draught, size of the waterways
  • Events forecast
  • Parking area & characteristics

Realtime information

  • Warning system
  • Navigation stoppage
  • Parking availability
  • Lock traffic
  • Tchat
  • Weather warning

Navigation POI's

  • Engineering structures
  • Refuelling area
  • Parking area & characteristics
  • Loading area
  • Turning area
  • Trash
  • Waste water disposal
  • Electricity & water networks
  • Coverage area (wi-fi, 3G)


  • Contacts
  • Emergency number

POI's (practical information)

Public services

  • Doctors
  • Train Station
  • Taxi
  • Others

POI's (tourism information)

  • Hostels
  • restaurants
  • Businesses tourism sites
  • bicycle hire companies
  • Others