Project Progress Update

College,Mobile Development,Python | Thursday April 14 2011 14:11 | Comments (0)

I just realised I havent updated my project progress on here in a while, and since this is the reason I actually made this blog, I thought I better do so now.

So, as of this moment, I have every single bike station in Dublin being populated onto the iPhone UIMapView. I also have a dummy set of coordinates for places to lock your bike up, once you rent it. Additionally, I have all the LUAS stops appearing on the map. This was super tedious, as I had to manually get the coordinates of each stop from Google Maps, which took me about 3 times to get them right since Google Maps decided to give me the wrong coordinates, only to be discovered when I consumed the XML data and populated the map. I created the XML file by hand too!

I also have details of individual stations/lockups but not LUAS stop, as I’m currently trawling through the BeautifulSoup documentation to find a way to convert HTML into XML/JSON so as to be readable from the existing code. Once I figure out how to strip <div class=”xx”>xyz</div> so as to keep the xyz part, I should be good to go!

The public server is up and running too. I set it up using Django as the server, using a RESTful service to expose each “view”. My views are written in Python, which I am starting to like a lot. Its a very powerful language!

Also, since there are about 42 bike stations, lots of lockups, and about 50 LUAS station, getting the nearest station is going to take ~50 requests to the Google Maps server. I will need to implement some sort of client side “coordinate maths” to actually get the closest, then send that to Google, and return the directions. Google imposes a “2500 request per day” for non-premium users. Since the server is actually using shared hosting, I think it filters by IP. Usually I get one try, and then the limit is used up. As its only a school project, I’m not too worried about this. Obviously if it was going public, I’d actually pay for a dedicated IP! I have other hosting with an Irish company, but unfortunately I don’t think they do Python/Django hosting.

So, on my TODO list:

LUAS: Get individual station details (in JSON)

Directions: Figure something out client side for measuring coordinates

Custom start point: As a follow on from the “Directions”, the user should be able to choose a start point, other than their own, and get directions from there to the “nearest” station/stop.


So, not much to go. The beta is due up tomorrow, then I have a couple of weeks to polish it off. I also have that Android app to develop too…

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