by Nicholas Pulsone
Geovis Class Project @RyersonGeo, SA8905, Fall 2018
Topic & Background
Driving through congested parts of Toronto is a tedious and troubling problem that many people would like to avoid. The goal was to create a mobile application using android app developer that can use traffic data as a live input to map traffic patterns across North America. Many companies such as HERE Technologies record traffic information that updates regularly and can be used to map and observe traffic patterns across the entire world. Using android app developer, it is easy to add software developer packages such as ArcGIS Runtime SDK to develop new tools that can be used on a day-to-day basis.
The first problem when creating an app for a purpose or goal is where to find the data. As previously mentioned, HERE technologies is a company owned by NOKIA and currently has its headquarters in Amsterdam. HERE technologies records live weather, routing and traffic information using a combination of both geolocation and intelligence algorithms. Geolocation services that HERE tracks include:
- Devices with location or GPS tracking
- Tables or other devices with WIFI and signal strength
- Phones while measuring varying strength of reception via cell tower signals
HERE technologies contains a global database of over 93 million cellular towers and over 2.3 billion Wi-Fi hotspots which record and store data. The data needed to be able to map varying levels of traffic or traffic density as well as potential collisions or other disruptions affecting driving conditions. The data would need to be able to be displayed visually on a mapping platform and accessible by android app developer software.
There are multiple ways a live traffic application can be created using data from HERE technologies:
- Creating a live traffic app using HERE API and map creator
- Creating a live traffic app using HERE data in ArcGIS Runtime SDK (requires ArcGIS developer license)
The methods in this blog will be describing how to create an application using the data from HERE technologies with ArcGIS Runtime SDK.
The first step is to download the needed requirements. First, is to download the newest version of android app developer studio. Currently, the newest version of Android App developer studio is 3.2.1 and available online for Windows, Mac and Linux. Once android app developer is downloaded, the next step is download the second part of the software that will be used in this creation, which is the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for Android 4.0.
The second step is to set the back-end of the application. After specifying the operating system the application will work on, and inputting the name of the application, the first thing to set up is include the ESRI bintray for ArcGIS.
As ESRI’s repository is not open source, the url must be specified to manually add the url for the ESRI bintray. Then the app dependencies need to updated to include the ArcGIS Runtime SDK.
Once the Gradle scripts were synced, the next step was to add a map view for the app. By default, we can remove the text view element and manually create a map view with the following syntax:
After adding the map view for the data, the next step was to specify a basemap then access the data:
The above syntax is a sample of how a basemap and starting location can be specified upon opening. The final step was to be able to access the data. HERE technologies has collaborated with ESRI to develop a world traffic service that can be accessed from mobile and desktop services using the url:
Additionally, ESRI and HERE technologies have also created a layer available on the ArcGIS developer portal to users with an ArcGIS developer license. Once the layer is accessible, it is important to open and save the layer in ArcGIS online and enable sharing and public access permissions. As layers used in ArcGIS require a login to be viewed, the next step is to setup a proxy to bypass the login error that would prevent the data from being used, even if permissions are set to public.
To setup a proxy using the ArcGIS developer server proxy, the application must be authenticated and registered in the ArcGIS developer platform. Once registered, the user has access to many services such as a proxy service which will be used along with the traffic layer.
To enable this proxy under services, we must specify what type of proxy service and request limit the proxy will use. Once the requirements are specified, the service outputs a URL which contains a proxy service from ArcGIS.
To use the proxy, simply add the link as a layer from web in ArcGIS online, and the proxy should be active.
The final step was to add in the url for the ArcGIS online webmap which contains the traffic data, into android app developer.
Once the url was added into the Android App developer; just click Sync & Run and the app will appear on your device similar to the picture below!
A limitation that was experienced while coding the application was ease of use. Without using a legend or slider, it is very hard to distinguish which areas of Toronto are being affected by what kind of problem. The symbology can be changed, however integrating a legend as a button feature in android app developer was more useful and ultimately was included in the final iteration of the app shown in Figure 3.