Forge is a crew of South Africans who want to make the outdoors safer and more accessible with accurate, hand-curated digital hiking maps.
WHAT IS FORGE?
Forge is a mapping and geospatial solutions company.
Our primary focus is the Forge App: a South African digital trails map mobile application that supplies outdoor enthusiasts with hand-curated and highly accurate digital hiking maps from around South Africa.
We believe that by simply having an app with accurate hand-curated trail maps that show your location, along with downloadable offline maps and emergency call functionality, users of the app can explore with confidence whilst doing so safely. Ultimately, we see Forge as a tool to help you find your path and explore more.
HOW IT STARTED
Our founder, Michael Halley, moved to Cape Town in 2016 and began making his own digital hiking maps to help him explore the mountains with confidence. The concept of Forge was born out of the need for high-quality and reliable data for recreation in the mountains surrounding Cape Town. Forge was established in 2017 and the Forge App was released in mid-2019.
Forge aims to be a catalyst for the development of a better-informed and safety-conscious but adventurous outdoor community by providing high-quality, and accurate digital trail maps and useful supporting information and functions.
To create and maintain an intuitive, battery-friendly, “one-stop-shop” application for all levels of hiking enthusiasts and a supporting website that;
is built on highly accurate data,
encourages outdoor activity that is informed and safety-conscious,
removes the effort in looking for an area to hike,
exposes people to the rich biodiversity and recreational value that South Africa’s parks and open spaces have to offer in a country blessed with good weather almost year-round,
enables and furthers sustainable socioeconomic growth through other services being provided such as those in the guiding, adventure sports, events and tourism.
Accuracy & Reliability
We strive to ensure that our data is as true as possible and consistent, backed up by information that is rigorous and well researched.
Our services complement and enhance basic outdoor safety procedures.
Our platforms are free to the public and are simple to use.
The services we offer is our way of giving back to the outdoor community and we value feedback to ensure our users remain proud to use our platforms.
MEET THE TEAM
The Forge crew comes from a range of academic backgrounds and expertise which helps diversify the application to suit all levels of outdoor and hiking enthusiasts.
GIS & APP DEVELOPMENT
A lover of the outdoors and technology, Michael regularly wanders around the mountains with his dog mapping trails.
Michael plies his trade as a GIS Business Analyst. He is the brainchild behind Forge and looks after the nitty-gritty of Forge mobile app.
RESEARCH AND OPERATIONS
Hunter of trig beacons and beautiful spaces in nature. Joshua is responsible for research, finance and operations. Conservation Biologist by day, avid chocolate milk lover and wannabe chef by night.
In the outdoor office, he spends his time ambling in the hills collecting and verifying data and gazing at distant hills planning for future Forging.
MEDIA AND DESIGN
Often found with a camera in hand or snacking on rusks, Alex is responsible for all media-related things. In his 9 - 5, he works at a prominent SA research think-tank.
With an eye for capturing the beautiful outdoors, he ensures Forge maintains highly aesthetic content.
MASTER OF GEES
Let no minute go to waste - we know it's time for an adventure when Jozi starts chewing his food bowl and barking at the neighbors. The ultimate hiking companion, responsible for finding dog-friendly trails.