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A new tool for route planning using the junction node system

Published on 08.02.2024

The digital world and its technical possibilities have evolved rapidly in recent times. This is reflected in steps taken to update and improve the route planner for the hiking and cycling networks in East Belgium, which are based on the junction node system. The junction node route planner for East Belgium has now adopted a new cross-border system developed by an experienced third-party provider, enabling route planning that extends beyond the borders of East Belgium. The new planning tool is designed to meet the digital demands of the hiking and cycling worlds, and to create new opportunities for users.

Hiking and cycling without borders

The new route planner can also be used in Wallonia, Flanders and beyond Belgium's borders in parts of France, the Netherlands and Germany, and offers huge potential for developing new touring routes and enabling fresh discoveries. Thanks to automated collaboration with the relevant authorities, the new system can also deliver notification of temporary route closures due to hunting and other local events.

Two new apps are replacing GO Ostbelgien

In parallel to the new web-based route planner, there are now also two new apps. As the current GO Ostbelgien app is no longer technically supported, it will receive no further updates, and the app will no longer be available from app stores. We thank users for the trust they have placed in the GO Ostbelgien app and hope that the new planning tool will be just as enjoyable to use when preparing personalised trips
In order for you to be able to continue exploring East Belgium using the junction nodes with the aid of mobile devices, we recommend the two apps provided by NodeMapp (Hike & Bike). These apps offer hiking and cycling routes based on the respective junction nodes and, like the desktop planner, extend beyond the borders of East Belgium. They thus offer a real bonus and can meet the needs of users in a more targeted manner.

What isn’t changing

Although the new route planner will be provided by a third party, the functionality of the web version will not change. As before, the route planner can be found and used on ostbelgien.eu. Just the presentation has changed, and only slightly.

What is changing

The new apps have a similar structure to the previous app, and the same basic functions (such as planning a route, or downloading a route from desktop to the app) can still be used free of charge. What's new here is an expanded range of route suggestions as well as the option to share the routes with other users. A further big plus-point of this development is the fact that route closures are displayed not only in the desktop version but also in the new apps.
The navigation mode, including the much-in-demand voice navigation mode, can be purchased for these new apps as part of the Premium subscription. The Premium version is available for €14.99 per year per app. If you want to use the Premium version in both apps, you can benefit from a preferential rate of €24.99 per year. As well as voice navigation, the Premium versions also include the power to assemble route collections and to download routes for offline use, alerts if you deviate from your planned route, and a collection mode for refinding routes in regions already visited.

How can I save my previous routes?

Routes previously saved in the GO Ostbelgien app will not be available in the future as that app will no longer be updated. However, cherished routes can easily be secured during the transition period, up until the end of April 2024, by manually writing down the junctions and then inserting them into the new Bike and/or Hike app or to the new route planner on the East Belgium Tourist Agency’s website (ostbelgien.eu). If you add the routes on your PC, they can then be printed out, downloaded as a GPX file or transferred to the new apps in the usual manner. If you want to get started with the NodeMapp app straight away, you can find answers to all your questions in our FAQ: www.ostbelgien.eu/en/go-ostbelgien.

Special offer for GO Ostbelgien users

As a current GO Ostbelgien user, you can take advantage of a special offer on the purchase of a Premium Hike, Bike or Plus annual subscription. By clicking on the following links, you can save a full 50% when purchasing the annual subscription. This discount will be available until 30 April 2024.

We therefore recommend that you switch over without delay!