New edition of popular Ostrava USE-IT map now available

8/4 2019

The seventh edition of Ostrava's USE-IT map has now been published. Ostrava is one of 30 European cities that are involved in the USE-IT project – producing a map which offers a fresh and creative English-language guide to the city.

New edition of popular Ostrava USE-IT map now available

Source: Press release of Cooltour Ostrava cultural centre

The seventh edition of the Ostrava USE-IT map is now available, produced by the Cooltour cultural centre. The new map offers over 65 tips for students and young travellers who are coming to Ostrava or considering a visit to the city. The map was created by a team of volunteers, who have also produced a Czech-language version.

USE-IT Ostrava coordinator Pavel Smutný describes the vision behind the project:

"Imagine you're planning a trip to a city you don't know, and a friend draws a map for you showing personal tips and recommendations for places to see, places to eat, shopping, and all kinds of other things you shouldn't miss. That's precisely the kind of personal touch we want our guide to have."

The map contains recommendations for cafés, restaurants, interesting shops, student pubs, and much more. All of them are places you might not find in a standard guide, but they have all won the hearts of the young Ostrava-based volunteers who have created the map.

The USE-IT project is run on an entirely non-commercial basis. The new maps are free of charge and can be found at information centres, cafés and cultural venues, as well as in other European cities involved in USE-IT, such as Prague, Oslo or Brussels.

The Ostrava map exists in printed form or as a mobile app which features a unique function. App users will find the icon of a dog (named Orion), which "walks" through the map at a constant speed of 4 km per hour in locations outside the main city centre. The idea of this function is to allow international visitors not only to visit museums, tourist sights or trendy bars and cafés, but also to experience the everyday journeys of ordinary local people. The location of the dog icon is always the same for all app users – so they might be lucky and meet other travellers who are using the same app.

Ostrava's USE-IT map was supported by the City of Ostrava, the VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, and the Cooltour cultural centre.

USE-IT was founded in Copenhagen in 1971, and it has since expanded to cover around 30 European cities, becoming a guarantee of quality independent information for young travellers. Some of the participating cities have created special tourist information booths for young people, while others publish maps or guides free of charge, or run USE-IT websites.

USE-IT is created by young people for young people. The information is always free of charge, and the content is generated by local students and young people (not by reporters who visit the city for just a brief stay) – so it offers an "insider view" of the city, seen through the eyes of people from the same age group who actually live in the city. Because the map is created by volunteers and all costs are covered by grant funding, the information is completely independent from commercial influence – so there are no PR texts for restaurants, bars or clubs, just the real opinions of real people. USE-IT maps make it possible for travellers to step outside the "tourist bubble", meet local people, and enjoy a city as it really is.