The Best Kind Of Project…

…is one that makes possible something you’ve always wished *you* could do.

It’s a philosophy that I’m using when planning what GEMMA will do. I want it to things I want to do, and if it does those, and other people enjoy doing those things too, then it’s a win all around.

Three seemingly disparate statements:

  • MapTube and SurveyMapper are great CASA products, made by Richard Milton and Steven Gray (the former who’s partly involved, and the latter fully involved, in GEMMA, by the way.) I’d love to use these visualisations, in reports and presentations, more.
  • OpenStreetMap’s a fascinating dataset, collection of APIs and associated services. We are only starting to explore the amazing things we can do with it. But sometimes I just want a simple map, showing my points of interest and a suitable background, just the way I like it. For example, where are all the Tesco Expresses in east London?
  • I love seeing all those Boris Bikes whizzing through the streets of London. I wonder how many there are compared to those regular cyclists. Are they taking over London? I would love to have a map showing, for several key locations within and without the scheme in central London, the % of bikes passing that are Boris Bikes, and I would love a dead easy way to collect the data, using my iPhone and its built in geolocation, while sitting in a coffee shop or a nice park.

I’d love GEMMA to work with these three ideas. I’d love to be able to produce bespoke maps showing just the pubs surrounding the office. I’d love to drop my Olympics tickets SurveyMapper survey – maybe focused on just the London area – in a PDF report. And I’d love to find out just how many Boris Bikes zoom past my office, or across Blackfriars Bridge.

These are three “use cases” of what we hope GEMMA will allow to happen. A service where I can access the OpenStreetMap data quickly and produce a PDF showing a particular local feature or the results of a recent survey. And wouldn’t be great if I could even build up the data for that survey, with a mobile app, there and then?

I want to advance all three of these ideas, and so will be building GEMMA with them in mind.

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