1. What is PlaceBook?
A Calendar or DateBook is a very convenient way we have been using to organize activities in time. This has been done through the years by dividing and naming portions of time -like months, days, hours-: what we call time slots or dates.
Now that advances in technology allows us to measure space, a very convenient new way to organize activities in space has born, and that is what PlaceBook is.
Organizing activities in location is done by dividing and naming portions of space -like country, county, city, home-: what we may call space slots or places.
Of course, the most useful DateBooks out there are the electronic ones. You can not just set the time for your activities, but you can easily set an alarm or reminder to notify you it is the time when you have some things to do.
On PlaceBook it is the same idea. It is not only to set the place for your activities. PlaceBook will notify you when you are in the place where you have something to do.
2. How does PlaceBook work?
Wherever you are, you can just name that place and add an activity or event to it so that next time you are in that place, you will be reminded. It is that simple.
If you have previously named/bookmarked other places, you can add events on those places to be reminded once you are there.
When you are notified about the activities to do in a place, you can check them out and discard them, or keep them to be reminded again the next time you come back.
3. Use of the Android platform
PlaceBook makes use of several features from the Android SDK, remarkably:
- Location API: The current location of the device is used to display the alerts associated to a given place.
- Google Maps API: Google Maps is used to display the current location of the device, as well as the stored places.
- SQLite: The database of places and their associated alerts is stored using SQLite.
4. Implementation details
- Location of the current position of the device using the Location API (GPS, NMEA, etc.)
- Google Maps integration.
- Places management; at the time of submission, only current locations can be saved as new places (read Sect. 5).
- Alerts management
- Pop-up notifications when entering a place with alerts have not been implemented at the time of submission; however, both current place (if defined) and alerts are properly displayed in the application.
- In order to allow proper testing of the application, the default canned GPS data from the emulator is used.
5. Future development
- Create/name places on the map, not needing to be there.
- Set the range of the location: entire towns, countries... (e.g.: do not forget to buy "jamón" when you go to Spain)
- Create different PlaceBooks with activities and share them (like Google Calendar - e.g.: Tourism: Places you should not miss while visiting each district of Paris. Police: Level of security in each place. Advertisement: ads specific to your current location, like nearby restaurants or shops.)
Manuel Freire and Miguel Murat