Code4PizzaCollator: Enriching the community, crowdsourcing and doing something useful.


The basic design from Interface Builder
So what’s the big idea?A few months ago Matt Johnston organised a small event called Code4Pizza.  The idea being to get the bus stop data for the province and trying to get it out into the community so the community could do something useful with it.As with all things in Belfast I very rarely get to them.  All my business is really in the north west, the idea is not to get into a pity party about how nothing goes on over here.  It does, we had Barcamp Derry in October and nothing stopped the Belfast folk coming over…. so……..For those kind folk who heard me talk at Barcamp Derry I did mention a few things about “just doing it” and how I don’t mind how the code is in the first release as long as it works.  Something that some of my collegues at Learning Pool are now making sure I won’t forget :)I love the idea of Code4Pizza but I can’t really do anything from where I’m sitting, or can I?  In getting myself back in line with iPhone development and getting my head around Interface Builder’s little ways I wanted to do the following:

  • Create an open source project that other members of the Code4Pizza community could work on if they wanted.
  • With the app use it to provide Open Data NI, Translink and Code4Pizza more data on where the bus stops for other parts of the province are (Belfast is well documented but it seems from conversations with folk that some parts of the province aren’t great).  Instead of whining about how Translink don’t do anything why not help out instead?
  • It means that I can learn some new stuff.  I’m not up on my git and github repository skills so it’s good excuse to polish those up too.
  • I get to know the iPhone SDK a lot better by doing something useful than just another bunch of little demos.

All good reasons as far as I’m concerned.So how does it work?My commute to Pooly Towers is on the bus every morning. Now I’ve been on the same route many times over the last couple of months so I know where the stops are.  All I need is a method to track them and store them.  That’s where the app comes in.All I want to store is the latitude and longitude when I pass the stop and what route I was on.  The idea is that developers all over the province can download the source code from github and install it themselves and collate more data if they are on the bus.  If we can crowd source the other data outside of Belfast then I think that will benefit everyone in the province at the end of the day.So, where is it?The source code will be hosted on github.  I haven’t put the initial core release of code up but I’ll announce on Twitter when I do.So, what stage is the code at?So far the application can pickup the location via GPS.  The button actions work it’s just the SQLite3 database that needs sorting out and the mechanism to upload the data.  There’s a field for the route of the bus number as well but I have left the alphabetic characters in the keyboard as I know there are some route numbers like “FY8” in the Derry area.There’s only three buttons: one to get the location, one to store the location and one to upload the stored locations to an online place (like a website/db etc).The icon is done…. it’s a pizza.

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