Our premium student skills development event for code & design students in the programme is Create Camp, a 2 day API challenge for teams of SoT2015 students. They’re supported by industry mentors, and the challenge this year was to use at least one New Zealand-based API or dataset, and build something cool in a weekend, e.g. a web/mobile app or data visualisation.
Here’s the profile of one of the teams from our Auckland Web Create Camp, held at Spark Ventures on 8th & 9th August 2015:
Team SwagDragon: Michael, Tim, Zoe, Daniel, Jonathan
Lead Mentor: Victor from Spark Ventures
App Name: Timbr
We wanted to get people to experience the outside world rather than just live in their own virtual one. By connecting Android phones with interesting trees around Auckland we can notify people when they are near a tree to get them to take notice of the environment around them.
This solution addressed the problem by providing a link between peoples everyday mobile usage and the environment. We made trees accessible through technology.
Our solution was to create an Android App that contained a list of notable trees in the Auckland Region that the user can open up to see where the trees are and where they were relative to the trees. The solution also contained the ability to notify users even when the app wasn’t running so they could stay connected even when they were not initiating the interaction. Keeping the trees in peoples minds was an important part of the solution especially when they are engrossed in another application on their phones.
We used the Auckland Council Open Data Notable Trees dataset along with google maps on the Android platform. We used Java and android specific layout xml. Android Studio was used to code the app. A MSCW chart for what we wanted our app to do was used in design along with GitHub for version control and some wireframes in design.
Overall the team loved the Create Camp experience and we all learnt heaps. With having only one team member with proper Android experience prior to the weekend it was ambitious to develop a native Android app, however we pulled together and did our best to learn as quickly as possible. We would not claim to be Android experts but getting experience in Android development was something super awesome for our team and if that was all we took out of the weekend it would be worth it. In addition we all met some cool people and got a awesome taste of what it is like to work for a high achieving tech company.