Sunday, March 31, 2013

Urban Data Challenge Entry

This is our entry into the 2013 Urban Data Challenge.  For those of you who have no idea what that is, don't worry about it.  Here's a pretty video.


The Team


Michael Dougherty and myself (Steve Gifford) beat the data into submission and built the app.  Thanks also to Dianna Fisk for testing.

The Entry


Technically, our entry is that video up there.  Not everyone is going to have an iPad (yes, it's true).  But if you do, you can get the app one of two ways.
  • You can get it for free on the app store.
  • You can go to github and compile it.  It's all distributed freely.

If you do get a copy, you'll need some data.


The Data


If you do get your hands on the app, you'll need to load some data.  We processed all three of the data sets for use.  A data set consists of two geojson files and a sqlite database for each data set.  Be sure to download all three files and then upload them to the app via iTunes.
Getting data into an app once you've installed is actually pretty easy.  Install the app first and then follow Apple's instructions for file sharing via iTunes.  Look for the app "TransitVis" in that window.

If you already ran the app, you'll need to kill it and rerun it as TransitVis looks for its data files on startup.  It should load the first data set it finds and make the others available for selection.

The Future


The app is submitted, the entry for the competition sent, and the code published.  All that remains is to describe the format we're using for the data.  We'll do that in a follow up blog post.

There were a number of interesting improvements to the WhirlyGlobe-Maply toolkit to support this work.  Those will appear in version 2.2, coming to a develop branch near you.