Development of the application that students will use on the Surface is progressing well. Here are a few screenshots showing the different modes and functionality:
Map mode showing Out There devices
Files on Out There devices can be viewed by pressing on the device icon
Documents can be viewed in the centre, and also collected in the side trays
Users can view evidence and vote using personal tagged objects
The first pilot study of the whole OTIH system ran successfully today, with this Surface software being used in conjunction with a Drupal-based CMS that can be ran across mobile devices, netbooks and laptops.
During our visit to the GEES Learning and Teaching conference in Plymouth last week, we were introduced to some interesting new people and ideas. We discovered that there’s a fairly similar project to OTIH in Kingston – the MoRSE project uses wifi routers and servers in the field to share GIS data and SMS messages. Dr. Simon Jones set us off on a photomarathon to demonstrate how this can be used as an engaging teaching method in fieldwork. Dr. Derek France showed his work simulating disaster response with students using Yammer. There’s more on some of these topics at Jason Truscott’s blog.
Last week (7-9th July) some of the Out There In Here team visited Plymouth for the “GEES Teaching and Learning” conference. We demonstrated key project technologies to conference delegates at a field trip to the Devon Great Consols historic mine site, operating a portable outdoor wireless network using WiFi routers and using Android handsets as multi-purpose field devices. The Androids performed well, acting as VoIP phones (using SIPdroid), WiFi analysers, GPS recievers and IP-camera monitors in both hot and wet weather. Thanks to Plymouth University’s staff for a warm welcome and their hard work, especially Dr. John Maskell, Dr. Paul Lunt, Mr. Matt Sharples, Dr. Alison Stokes, Dr. Jason Truscott.
Here’s a quick review of the applications we’ve looked at for the Android phones for Out There In Here, now that the latest HTC Desire handsets have been delivered. Some of these applications may need downloading as .apk files and installing by hand, having ticked the Unknown Source box in the Settings -> Applications menu. Continue reading
A slightly obscure Android application called Big Brother GPS allows us to track the location of a phone by displaying the output of the phone’s GPS receiver. A PHP script on a web server will display the location and show a local map from Google Maps. Continue reading
Sample image: click for original
During a visit to three potential field-trial sites on May 10th with our new geologist Dr. Jill Eyres, we measured on-site 3G signal strength and tested available bandwidth. As we don’t want to reveal the location of these sites the fine detail of these tests won’t be available until after our field trials, which are now set for early September. The success of these tests encouraged us to attempt to send live data from Out There to In Here… Continue reading
Live video over WiFi and HSDPA.
Last Friday we tested several video streams from the Nexus One to the Open University using both WiFi and 3G/HSDPA. The streaming software Bambuser on the phone proved to be easy to use and sends straight to a web site where users can view the live stream as flash video. Older streams are stored on the site and are linkable. Video resolutions from 800×480 down to 176×144 are supported, audio is optional and video compression settings of high (‘better flow’), medium and low (‘more detail’) are included. Broadcast video can be geolocated using either network or GPS information, and non-live video can have it’s quality enhanced by the addition of ‘complement data’ which is stored on the phone and uploaded after broadcast, presumably to fill in any frames dropped by insufficient connection bandwidth. Continue reading
We have spent the first part of this week working as a group to design the OTIH system, particularly focusing on the ‘In Here’ sub-system and the use of the Microsoft Surface within this. This has really helped to firm up design ideas from vague concepts, and to consider what could or probably won’t work, in the context of the Surface and the wider system. Continue reading
Site survey with Cell Mapper and Iperf.
Tomorrow I plan to stream some video over both wifi and 3G/HSDPA links from the Nexus One to the Open University using Bambuser. Today I used Android software tools Cell Mapper and Iperf to survey the connectivity available over 3G at my chosen test site, Greenwich Observatory, on the meridian at 0 degrees longitude. Continue reading
The new handset has been very busy this week, and despite some connectivity problems is proving to have a ‘handy set’ of tools.