Improving navigation on Duke's campus using pinpointed position information inside buildings.

Team members

Zackary Scholl, Lead Programmer

Ph.d. candidate in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 2016

Project Updates

Project Update: IPS

We just finished version 0.4 (we are releasing versions about twice a month now) with the following new features:
Version 0.4 (2015-04-04)
- User icon drawn on map instead of blue dot
- Use websockets on map pages to reduce periodic polling
 - GREATLY decreases bandwidth usage
- Heat map for users past locations
- Put all pickles into database (makes information much more modular)
- Tilestache automatically figures out server address from the database (much more streamlined too!)
- Pie charts on management page for explaining which locations get misassigned and displays which misassignment occurs
- Add set of parameter controls to management page
- Multiprocessing speeds up calculations by the number of processing cores (everything sped up by 1x for each core!)

Project Notebook: IPS

  • The entire system is much easier to deploy. We’ve streamlined the process of setting up the server and now all the functionality is self-contained with a single user-configurable file that controls the parameters of the server.
  • The layout is simplified so that the interface is more intuitive and easier to use, with support for multiple floors and buildings
  • The process of adding floor plans is simplified and is more user-friendly. We developed a simple procedure that uses open-source free software to georeference *any* floormap so GPS coordinates can directly be used and floor plans can be directly overlayed on real maps (e.g. OpenMaps, Bing, Google)
  • Improved security using a encrypted webtoken that prevents users from directly injecting Javascript commands to retrieve other people’s data
  • Functionality now includes showing current location and also the ability to calculate the shortest path between two routes. 

For the Hack@Duke, I’m hoping to start the large-scale testing by integrating one of Duke’s buildings.

Project Notebook: IPS Update from HackDuke

Last weekend at HackDuke, I recruited another grad student and together we mapped out a chunk of the hospital and tested it. It worked well! There were some unexpected kinks - the number of detectable WiFi hotspots/routers in the small part of the hospital is over 1,000. Our current setup handles this fine, but it takes about 30 min. to process the data. I will need to compute the limits of the system though, because I think having over 10,000 could be a problem. It was also helpful to eliminate a bunch of small bugs.
The most recent upgrade we’ve made is moving away from the website and hosting tiles ourselves. MapBox is a free for small maps, but it costs for bigger maps. In any case, its better to eliminate the third party utilities. So now, we have two servers that will run - one to process fingerprint information, and one to provide the zoomable maps and floorplans. 

Project Notebook: IPS

We are able to collect distinguishing fingerprints of locations around Duke’s campus! These fingerprints pinpoint locations that are inside buildings and only ~10ft apart.

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