[OSM-dev] Regarding GSoC 2011 and the 'Develop a simple mapping tool for phones' idea

Josh Doe josh at joshdoe.com
Mon Mar 21 12:40:51 GMT 2011

Very ambitious indeed! I don't have much to comment on at the moment, but I
would suggest you do a thorough review of existing FOSS Android apps which
use OSM, as I know there are a quite a few. Many of them seem to be simple
map viewers, but I imagine some of them have more complex features. Bonus
points if you write a summary on the wiki. :)

Good luck,

On Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM, Achintya Prakash
<achint.prakash at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello everyone, awesome to see you guys selected for GSoC 2011!!
> My name is Achintya Prakash and I'm a third year undergraduate student of
> Computer Science, based in India.
> I've been involved with android development for well past 3 months now, and
> have dabbled in a lot of  different aspects of it. Recently, I had the
> fortune of being chosen to attend a Design and Innovation workshop held by
> people from the MIT Media Labs, where amongst other things
> like efficient storyboarding/designing/brainstorming techniques, they also
> gave tutorials on android development.
> I'm also a student of an android development course in my college, and I
> must say, its more fun than I would have ever thought!!
> That's a bit of background about me, but the real thing is that I would
> love to work as a student for your organisation on something related to
> android.
> I recently submitted, as my mid semester 'mini' project, the outline for an
> application that would give reminders not only based on time, but also
> location (the inspiration behind this was the fact that I would drive around
> town and always pass the places where I had to pick up something without
> noticing. Having a simple timed reminder didn't always help, since I
> couldn't really know the time at which I would be in the locality!)
> After I gave the skeleton of the app, my teacher gave me a few suggestions
> to make it more useful, so I wanted to propose an idea for a project. This
> project closely parallels your idea for "Develop a simple mapping tool for
> mobile phones", although the functionalities I have mentioned go further in
> scope than the GSoC timeline (since I plan to keep contributing to this
> idea). I would love to work on a project like this, and hence *would like
> to work on developing the simple mapping tool for phones* as a
> part/component of this extended project.
> App name: Effective route tracing and recording
> Functionality: A passive route logging tool for  android phones. The basic
> ideology is that the route traversed by a single person should be
> remembered/logged if required for later reference, without any active input
> being given by the concerned person. A visual representation such as
> overlays presented on a map/ values of latitude and longitude/ a more human
> friendly address name( as decoded via geocoder) and intelligent direction
> sensor ( turn left on Abbey Road, or something along those lines) be the
> desired output. A number of added functionalities should be incorporated:
> 1. The ability to 'record' a route as a person is moving.
> 2. The ability to transfer a pre-recorded route via a multitude of ways,
> including through sms (the easiest way would be through a series of
> latitude/longitude, arranged in an appropriate format that could be read by
> the application and translated as overlays on a map, or some other visual
> representation), via wifi, bluetooth etc (could have an intelligent sensing
> to see the most efficient method based on a certain criteria, hence giving
> the user freedom from having to choose).
> 3. The ability to run real time route transfer ( especially useful in cases
> where you have a lot of people following each other in cars, where only one
> person knows the way). The 'master' phone would logging at predefined
> intervals and sending over the information to the 'slave' phones, which
> would automatically display the visual representation.
> 4.The ability to add user information to the route-points. Especially
> useful in cases where a pre-recorded route is being sent, user input could
> include textual or pictorial messages ( example, if giving directions, you
> may include a picture of a well know nearby landmark, or just any structure
> and include text references like 'take left here'.) Drawable attributes like
> being able to scribble, draw arrows, circles etc on the sent information
> should also be included.
> These are the initial proposed functionalities that I would think would
> make the application extremely useful in a lot of situations. Alternatively,
> there are a number of better improvements that can further be done:
> 1. To have the route synced with local traffic/ news updates, hence be
> alerted in real time if the route is congested or under repair.
> 2. Have an intelligent route sensing system that could, based on machine
> learning and frequent routes travelled, suggest alternatives/status updates
> of the routes. (Example, if a person travels via the same route to office
> everyday, or something)
> 3. Have different 'modes' of route sensing (example: vacation mode would
>  be able to sync to useful API's and retrieve information of relevance to
> you about the nearby locality, like bars. restaurants, hotels etc and
> display them, in an interactive manner, like having a map overlay showing a
> connecting line between your position and the destination, the distance,
> maybe even recent tweets/reviews about the place.)
> Alternatively I was thinking of making an API to provide
> generic functionalities including the ones above, but again...advice and
> feedback would be nice.
> This is an informal first draft that I'm proposing. I know it sounds
> ambitious, and I don't propose the whole thing for the GSoC time line, but
> plan to keep contributing further to it. I have to work out the finer
> details about it. However, I do plan to take this up as my semester project,
> which means that I would start working on it very soon, and I would love to
> be able to develop it further.
> I would love your feedback on this. If you could give me some advice on how
> to get started, that would be brilliant. I really am keen to hone my android
> skills.
> Waiting for your feedback. :) This is the initial draft, and I would love
> to work thing out more.
> Thank you,
> Achintya Prakash
> Junior
> BITS-Pilani
> Department of Computer Science
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