So what is NodeMapp?
NodeMapp is a Belgian company founded by Sven Nijs in 2011. Its mission is to allow millions of cyclists and hikers to discover the most beautiful routes along nodes in parts of Western Europe through the platforms nodemapp.com (Belgium-Wallonia, Netherlands, Germany, and France), fietsknooppunt.be, and wandelknooppunt.be (Flanders). Our office is located in La Corbeille (Hulshout, not far from Westerlo and Aarschot in Belgium). Currently, NodeMapp is run by 2 enthusiastic colleagues:
Until 2022, NodeMapp was only active in Flanders (Belgium) with vlaanderen-fietsland.be and wandelknooppunt.be. NodeMapp is an English wordplay and means Node Map in English.
We put you on the most beautiful path
Bike and hike nodes are a Belgian invention. As early as 1995 the Belgian province of Limburg installed the very first bike node. Hugo Bollen (a former mining engineer) saw how miners used a node system to navigate the underground tunnels in the mines. He had the idea to apply this above ground as well, to guide people along the most beautiful places.
Now, almost 30 years later, this simple but hugely popular node system is used in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France. And there are still countries waiting to copy this Belgian success. Every year, millions of bikers and hikers use the more than 150.000 km long bike and hike node network in the heart of Europe.
NodeMapp digitalizes nodes
Previously (and still today), people used paper maps with nodes. However, digital transformation has also made its mark here. As early as 2005, founder Sven Nijs started his first website offering digital biking routes: vlaamsefietsroutes.be.
Together with the increasing popularity of recreational biking, NodeMapp, then a one-man business, expanded its applications further. Vlaamsefietsroutes.be became vlaanderen-fietsland.be. In 2011, Toerisme Provincie Antwerpen was the first to launch a hike node network in the Merode area, the green area in Westerlo and its environment. NodeMapp was the first to launch a digital route planner along walking nodes: wandelknooppunt.be.
Highlight in Belgium
In 2021, vlaanderen-fietsland.be and wandelknooppunt.be reach more than 2.5 million unique visitors. In 2022, NodeMapp decides to broaden its horizons: it starts developing an international platform: nodemapp.com. In Flanders, NodeMapp remains active with fietsknooppunt.be and wandelknooppunt.be. The popular apps in Google Play and the App Store are also getting a major update. A partnership is being established with RouteYou, another Belgian route platform that has been active in Western Europe for some time.
NodeMapp wants to scale up the success story of vlaanderen-fietsland.be and wandelknooppunt.be and also offer its popular software to users outside Belgium in places where (virtual) nodes are present.
NodeMapp also wants to be innovative. There are a lot of areas that will not get physical node signs on the site in the short term for various reasons (budget, local regulations,...).
In 2020, Toerisme Vlaams-Brabant launched the first virtual walking network in collaboration with NodeMapp. You can find these virtual network nodes on our route planners as purple colored nodes and routes. You won't find any nodes on the ground, but you can navigate through those areas using our apps or a GPS device.
NodeMapp will remain committed to further expanding bike and hike nodes in Western Europe in the coming years.