OpenSocial Android Client

Arki Group got a software development team from TKK’s Software Development Project (T-76.4115). This team will develop an open source Android application, which allows users to browse and annotate digital media stored on the device, create new media (photos, video, audio) and send the files and metadata to a web server.
The full topic proposal is here:

If you think this this kind of application could be useful in your project or you have any other interest in this kind of application, please don’t hesitate to contact me ASAP: You may have some useful suggestions to the functionality. The requirement specification is in a GoogleDoc, I’ll share it with you if you are interested in it.

I’ll be in TaiK at least on Monday (9:30-12) if you want to discuss with me about the application, and e-mail will reach me every weekday. The kickoff meeting with the team will be on Thu 22.9. evening.

PS. at least the Arki group’s Urban Mediator and FamilyFeed are potential users for this application.

Aapo Rista

1. Introduction

The Internet is full of social media sites (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter etc.) which allow their customers to post digital media, status updates and other stuff to their cloud servers.

The problems is here: users cannot be absolutely sure who really can access their data after it is sent to the cloud.

One solution could be a simple, private web server for limited number of users (e.g. for a family, a group of friends, a class of school kids etc). Group members can securely send and share data using this private web server, which can be located on an ordinary computer at home (e.g. PC, Mac), physical server in some server room, virtual server in the could or whatever).

The server needs mobile clients and at this point your Software Development group joins the game.

2. Project goals

The result will be an Android application which should support features listed below:

– Open native camera or audio recorder application to capture photos, video and audio

– Browse the digital media files which are already saved in the device

– Annotate digital media files in the device. This means that user can write e.g. a title, caption, tags to the image and application saves this data in some kind of local database

– Write location and time stamped text notes (status updates, private memos)

– Record user’s location by user-defined frequency and accuracy (both GPS and network location)

– Send files and metadata, location information and all other data that the application gathers from the device to a user-defined server using HTTP requests. Server implements partially (at least Authentication and Content-Upload parts) OpenSocial API Specification 2.0:

– It should be also possible to export all files and metadata e.g. to device’s memory card

– i18n user interface (support for multiple languages)

– Show geotagged objects (pulled from the server) on a map (optional feature)

Use cases:

1. A family members (parents + kids under 13-years) share their daily events and plan the near future. (“I’m late!”, “To the library after school”, “Home at 4 p.m.”)

2. A group of friends go to country side for a weekend by car. They share their location with this app, use “status messages” to coordinate coffee breaks and post photos/videos to create collaborative diary of the trip.

3. A class of school kids have a nature walk in Nuuksio. They are divided in several groups which all have one Android device equipped with a good camera. App records their GPS track, they take photos of nature objects and write notes. Later in the school all data is transferred to the server. Teacher can export it in various formats to show it in Google Earth or other visualization application.

4. A local neighborhood community is interested in documenting traffic safety issues in their neighborhood. They want to take pictures and record noise samples of traffic noise. They might want the data to be available on a custom application (e.g. the Urban Mediator) or Google maps. They also want to be able to analyse and edit the data before presenting it to the city authorities.

3. Tools and technology

Development environment is Android-SDK, programming language is Java.

4. Requirements for group

The group members should know Java programming and basic Android programming skills would be a great boost. Topic’s difficulty level is from easy to moderate.

5. Legal Issues

The results are published under open source license MIT and signing an NDA is not required.

6. Customer

The ARKI is a multidisciplinary research group that is part of the Media Lab Helsinki at the Aalto University’s School of Art and Design. The focus of Arki is in the co-evolution of digital technology and the practices of everyday life with a design perspective. Our work draws on experiences and practices of collaboration, participation and open modes of design and production.

Contact person in ARKI is Aapo Rista, a software developer who is focused on server side development. He has 0.5-1.0 days per week to use with this project.

Software Development Group members should have at least a few Android phones themselves.

Customer representative(s)

Organization: Aalto University School of Art and Design, Media Lab

Role: Web server technology expert

Name: Aapo Rista (software designer)


Telephone: –

Address: Hämeentie 135 C, 00560 HELSINKI, Finland

7. Other

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