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Mobile Campus Assistant - Dev8D Lightening Talk


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Lightening talk given on Mobile Campus Assistant at the 2010 Dev8D event.

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Mobile Campus Assistant - Dev8D Lightening Talk

  1. 1. Mobile Campus Assistant Mike Jones ( Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT), University of Bristol @MrJ1971
  2. 2. JISC Funded • A Rapid Innovation project under the Information Environment strand • £40,000 grant • 6 Months @ 1.1 FTE • Most of the work done during August to November
  3. 3. The Pitch ... A time and location sensitive application for students ....
  4. 4. Examples ... • Where is the nearest wireless hotspot? • Where is there a free PC to use? • When is the next bus to the hall of residence? • Which library is open now?
  5. 5. Website and native applications for ... Android iPhone
  6. 6. Why? • Increasingly popular devices • iPhone OS works also on iPod Touch - cheaper, but no GPS • Both use Webkit for web browser rendering engines • Team has experience with programming languages used in SDKs • Developers have an interest in both platforms • I wanted an iPhone
  7. 7. Our Solution Remote Remote Remote Website Website Website HTML/JSON JSON RDF Proxy Harvest RESTful Interface Proxy Harvester Update Query Datastore
  8. 8. Demo When is the next bus?
  9. 9. Native Android app for bus times
  10. 10. Problems encountered • No Data - The University needs a geo-location database. KML files can only take you so far. • Data, but the wrong format - We needed to scrape HTML pages in some circumstances, e.g. PC availability • Data - inaccurate information Photo by dullhunk - - RSS feeds of the Service Status don’t always reflect the corresponding website
  11. 11. The Future ... • Promote the project outputs within the University to create interest • Try and create a community with other institutions ... the software is open source • Look for further public funding or commercial support
  12. 12. Alternatives • University of Oxford is creating a Python/Django based open source project to deliver services to mobile devices. This is based on their Mobile Oxford work • Commercial solutions like campusM from oMbiel
  13. 13. More Information • Demo Site: <> • Project Blog: <> • Source code: < campus-assistant> For general queries about the project please contact Nikki Rogers ( For technical queries please contact Mike Jones (