About Us

I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd. (www.itbeyond.com.au) is the parent company that operates ExplorOz. We are a small private family run business owned by David and Michelle Martin. Our office is in Perth, Western Australia, or "somewhere else" in Australia when we are away testing/travelling.

Contact Details

Phone:

(08) 9403 3737 (Perth/WST).

Help Desk:

Please lodge your enquiry or support job via our Help Desk
or use the Live Help Chat when an operator is online

Company Profile

We are a progressive company with extensive industry experience in hardware infrastructure design, cyber security, software development and corporate consulting. Whilst we are a very small company we have over 36 years experience in the I.T industry with clients throughout Australia as well as our own interest, ExplorOz.

ExplorOz.com was created in the year 2000. As committed outdoor enthusiasts, with extensive outback 4WD experience, David and Michelle recognised a need for an online information resource & community for 4WD & RV enthusiasts and built the website based on their own personal interests and experiences and together with community input the site evolved into a unique source of services for this niche interest group. Please read Our Story in the section below.

EOTopo maps first became available to download from our website in 2013. The map was built using the standard raster map file formats required for use in the popular mapping software programs of the time (ECW, OZF). These programs are only suitable for Windows or Android devices, which was most frustrating to the other 50% of our customers who wanted to use our maps on their iPads but found it was incompatible. There was significant demand in the market for EOTopo maps to be compatible with iOS, which eventuated in the release of our own app, ExplorOz Traveller. We have built ExplorOz Traveller with cross-platform compatibility so when it was finally released in 2016, our customers could access EOTopo maps from any Android, iPad/iPhone, or Windows 10 provided it was running the app. The ExplorOz Traveller app is fully Australian-made.

David and Michelle have a progressive, entrepreneurial approach to business, which has allowed their company to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of the market and to maintain existing customers as well as attract new customers.

The future of the ExplorOz lies in the ongoing updates to the EOTopo mapset, the ExplorOz Traveller app, and the ExplorOz Tracker app and web service.

We are also available for bespoke development of apps based on the Traveller & Tracker app to suit industry or small business applications. Our most recent project was to develop the Hunt NSW app for compliance of permit holders undertaking hunting activities in State Forests (NSW).

About Us - The ExplorOz Story

We are not a major global corporation like Google, we are not a government funded mapping agency and we are not a big company with teams of staff!!! ExplorOz is a grass roots business that was started from our home in Perth, Western Australia in the year 2000!

We conceived ExplorOz after years of travelling around Australia before we had our 2 kids. We did the "big lap" with a 4WD and off road trailer in the 1990s when we were in our 20's. In those days, only retired people seemed to be on the road and we were the "blond nomads" raising a lot of eyebrows. We were out there because we needed a change from a city rat race worklife that was killing us. In fact, David vowed to not stop travelling until he could find a way to make a living without computers..... (!)

So how did we end up creating ExplorOz which is an online business built around the website www.exploroz.com ?

As we travelled, Michelle was preparing her next career as a travel writer. In the late 90's no one had internet access when travelling like we do now but we did document offline on our laptop. Mobile data telecommunications hadn't even been invented so there was no social media and not even Google had been started. Every time we reached a town we would find a telecentre and upload our content to our webserver. Initially it was for our own documentation and for the novelty of our parents and family/friends to find out what we were doing and stay in touch. There are people in the ExplorOz audience today who started following us back then - our website was called "Beach & Beyond".

We had all the travel guide books and paper maps that you could imagine. Planning was a nightmare. The internet existed but only for Government and business and this was before Google search engine so it was impossible to find anything. We longed to find a way to connect with other young people like us were travelling, or to find out accurate information about places that wasn't outdated like all the books.

As we travelled we had a vision that others would need to see what we were experiencing, so Michelle documented the trip. Before we knew it, we had 10,000 followers, and a lot of interest from outback communities and businesses who could see that the internet would change the way tourists found out about their operations.

Eventually, we did stop travelling and with loads of passion started to get ourselves in a stable situation to build the concept that was spinning around in our heads - that was the year 2000 - and that was how we started ExplorOz.com

The site still operates with much the same concept as it always had in the beginning. In fact, our business plan was written on the river bank of the Cooper Creek in Innamincka. The concept was to inspire, and inform people to explore and travel Australia via our website content (Places, Treks, online maps) and to engage with other likeminded people for support and advice via Forum, Blogs, Classifieds. We extended this to include an online shop selling unique items to help plan trips that we had found so hard to get - thing like the Desert Parks Pass (we became an online agent), an paper maps (we picked the best maps of the time, Westprint and Hema) and over time added other innovative products.

The online maps and members' tracking service that we offer today has been available via our website for around 17 years (but under different names - iMapPlot & EOTrackMe). These services were accessible if you had an ExplorOz Member account.

For many years our audiences asked us to offer our online maps for sale as a downloadable product. We did that by launching EOTopo in 2013. For sale as downloadable map files in ECW and OZF format this satisfied some but not all. To use the maps, people needed to use a mapping program which needed to be sourced from elsewhere and none of which were compatible with Apple devices.

At that time Apple device usage was increasing rapidly and the convenience of mobile broadband and booming caravanning industry buoyed our place in the industry as a digital publisher at a time when paper products were diminishing. But the dilemma with the Apple issue was complex. To enable Apple users to access our maps we had to make an App distributed by the Apple App Store.

It took us years of research but finally in 2016 we launched the ExplorOz Traveller app but not just for Apple devices - for Android and Windows users. Within this app, we also wrote new software for the tracking service formerly known as EOTrackMe & UTrackMeBeacon.

The EOTopo maps were initially produced in raster format (ie. image) and over the time period 2013 - 2019 we released 5 major editions with significant updates to the map data.

Our latest edition, EOTopo 2021 is our first time producing the mapset in the vector format. This has allowed many improved features due to the technical advancements in the format. We are not the first company to produce vector maps - but we know our map is of the highest quality and detail and is a real game changer in the Australian mapping industry and together with the app features enabling clickable markers for Places and Treks brings together 2 decades of product development.

We greatly appreciate the support of all our customers - both old and new, and hope that by knowing our story you will realise that we are passionate about keeping Australian travellers informed and engaged with accurate content and value that role of technology in making this possible.
We have our technical strengths and decades of experience with information technology and a real deep connection with outback Australia and especially remote area travel. We raised our kids to love the wild places and always took them on adventures where we were solo travellers on major expeditions into the desert, or bush. I don't think been to many caravan parks or experienced camping with powered outlets.

Our eldest turns 21 this year and is currently travelling around Australia, which makes our heart sing. We truly believe that everyone should experience a bit of time "doing it rough" because it is from those experiences that we grow patience, respect, and trust in your own ability and judgement. In other words it helps us thrive.

We hope you find our content inspiring and useful for however you choose to travel and explore. From a service perspective, we have always valued the feedback and input of people that use our products so we need to hear from you to know how you use our tools, and to hear your suggestions but we get quite dismayed when people take advantage of our time and don't take responsibility to read documentation or try to solve their own technical problems. Or try to compare us to other products. We are not here to compete. We just have a product that is our vision and yes it may be different but we believe we have the experience and knowledge to know what features are relevant and how best to deliver it.

If you love our products, the most significant thing you can do is give us a word of mouth (or social media) referral that leads more people to find our products ... or even send us a simple note of "thanks" which people seem to forget is so important when communicating with a small business.

Hope this info is useful to you,
David & Michelle

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