Proof of concept for Hacking For Sustainability competition

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I’m working on a project with Laura for Hacking for Sustainability.:
http://www.hackingforsustainability.nl

I’m doing development, she does design, we’re both responsible for concept.
You can find the proof of concept app here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.juliushuijnk.tools.hierofdaar

Because of this project, and a different project that resulted in 0 year old who’s living with us, all other projects are on pause for now.

What the project is about

The game tries to let kids explore open data in a way that makes sense to them. No maps, coordinates, tables or graphs. Instead it’s based on pictures of specific iconic locations, supported by audio and a simple question: “Here or there?”

With this app we like to show how open data can be used to create simple fun games, where teachers and parents can expand on the game content by simply adding pictures and audio and selecting a postal code.

The app comes with a single data set, but can be easily expanded on with many more in future versions. We see this as a potential international platform where lot’s of games and experiences can be played, customized and shared.

For now, it is a bit rough around the edges and very much a work in progress.  We made it specifically for the Nexus 7 (2013) in landscape.

Why

We see that there is a huge amount of open data, and it’s not really finding it’s way to a lot of people in experiences they care about. So we want to bridge that gap by proving this platform.

As small and simple as possible

(Video is slightly old compared to state of app)

Obviously the app is for from the platform we have in mind. It’s a good example of starting with something as small and simple as possible. One data set, one super simple game, one way to play, etc.  The point is to make it easy for people to imagine that such a platform can exist and trigger ideas how this best should be done.

At the same time, we have something concrete we we can receive feedback on and improve, while learning. Also it fits nicely with my personal goals.

From a tech perspective

It’s a simple Android app. I wanted to use simple csv files for the data sets, that then load into the database. It made take a deeper look at different ORM’s.

How to lay out the views

At the moment I’m doing the layout with the new constraint-layout.

It doesn’t feel ready to be included in the stable release of Android Studio. Also it’s hardly documented. For instance try to figure out how to put a rules in the horizontal center of the layout. I’ll write the spoiler, because it doesn’t really say:

The design Laura made was not so conventional, so it made me look into custom view groups. For now I’m not using those, but it’s clear that this is right path forward if the proof of concept needs to look good on more than one device.

Later more..

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