Government-Wide Internet of Things Network (GWIN) to Track the Locations of Hikers in Remote Areas


In some remote countryside areas, the lack of mobile network coverage poses potential dangers to hikers and increases the difficulty in search and rescue operations in case of accidents. In the light of this, the EMSD launched a trial scheme under the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong 2.0. With the combined use of global positioning and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the EMSD studied the technical feasibility of leveraging the Government-Wide Internet of Things Network (GWIN) to track the locations of hikers in remote areas.

Verifying Technical Feasibility in Supporting the CAS Orienteering Competition

On 24 October 2021, the Civil Aid Service (CAS) Cadet Corps held the Orienteering Competition 2021 at CAS Yuen Tun Camp. In view of the poor mobile network coverage in the area concerned, the EMSD provided a hiker safety system to enhance safety by tracking participants'locations during the event. At the same time, the technologies used could also be tested and evaluated. Since the GWIN coverage was needed for the designated competition area, the EMSD worked closely with the Civil Aid Service prior to the event, to familiarise with the landscape of the venue so as to find suitable set-up locations for the GWIN mobile gateways to ensure smooth operation of the system. The project team also pre-tested the system thoroughly by completing the designated routes with the smart watch devices to be provided to the participants, in order to ensure the GWIN coverage for the area.

Over 80 hiker safety smart watch devices with location tracking, SOS and geo-fencing functions were provided by the EMSD for the participating teams and CAS staff. In case of emergency, participants may send out SOS signals with the device. Upon receipt of the signals on the system management platform, the on-site EMSD supporting centre would notify the CAS of the device location to provide necessary assistance. The geo-fencing function of the device would notify the CAS for necessary follow-up actions if any device was found to be deviated from the activity zone. During the event, the EMSD supporting centre successfully retrieved real-time locations of the participating teams that did not reach the finishing point within the designated time via the system management platform.

For further information of GWIN & application of Hiker Safety Trial Scheme, please visit :

Government-Wide IoT Network (GWIN) :

>> Hiker Safety Trial Scheme Trial Project: CAS Cadet Corps Orienteering Competition 2021

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