The lighter side of things

Following yesterday’s fairly negative theme, not all is bad and there are a couple of much more pleasant topics that have happened around over the past fortnight.Luke Parry - Be happy

Geography paternership with Howden Senior School

Before ‘schools out for summer’ I decided after returning home from University I would once again visit the school and talk to the geography teachers (two this time) – Mr Mason and Mr Caruthers – who shortly joined afterwards.

The first business was updating them what has happened over the several months (Christmas). Obviously things have progressed but things such as the route have little changed except the Middle East, which had changed recently due to the fairly recent terrorist activities in Pakistan and the further clarification of visa requirements.

Eventually we started discussing how I could work together with the school and the geography classes to get the young students involved and interested. This time I could put a loose date on when I would be leaving and I’d once reaffirm that I would begin out Howden School and it seems I may have to conduct an Assembly. I’m quite hesitant considering how daunting that may be giving a public performance in front of so many faces.

One of the difficulties is fitting anything relevant that follows the current geography curriculum during Key Stage 3. In developing countries this would be particularly interesting. I can easily share my experience with what the students are learning on such geographic discussions such as poverty indicators, living standards, macro-economies and the overall role of migration. This will ofcourse depend on the regional issues as I travel through a particular area.

What we proposed is to set up seperate blog for the school that would be focused on the activities related with me and the school community. Both the classes and the students will be encouraged to email me any questions they want to find out and I’ll be aiming to report this back to them. This is dependant on internet connectivity but I am aiming to be online atleast every two days. This will be supported by an extra-curricular club if there is interest from the students at Howden.

Also we may try a few class Skype conversations if the internet is reliable and timezones don’t conflict.

Something that will be interesting is if I am invited to other schools – it would be interesting to see if both schools can interact.

Finally, they are happy to put up a world map and plot my route along the way. I’m looking for a suitable souvenir item to take from Howden School to be used as a prop in the photos – any ideas?

All this sounds good and I’ll be looking forward to working with them just before I set off in September.

Publishing Data:

I have to decided that I will make some of the data available from the trip that can be used by used by anyone. I can provide route and sensor information without problem.

However, I am legally bound to not release exact information on passenger fares e.g. name, email, but I probably can get away with anonymising the data – i.e. obscuring exact addresses for privacy. What I am hoping is that this will provide an interesting data set that can be visualised quite inventively.

Website Updates Online:

Over the past two weeks I’ve spent some more time building up the website and integrating this with my GPS tracker.

The first subtle difference is grouping passengers on the interactive map, as I am still being optimistic that I will get atleast a 1000 passengers on the World Rickshaw Taxi.

World Rickshaw Taxi - Grouping Passengers

Passenger Fares on the map will now be grouped together depending on how far you zoom in. This is anticipating how many passengers I may get.

Further work on making the Raspberry Pi GPS tracker more reliable has proved successful, although it has been quite tempremental at times.

World Rickshaw Route Tracker

I’ve also recently completed a slider to allow people to watch my journey unfold – not sure if this inspired by the detestable wonga adverts. I’m questioning if the performance will be decent enough, but that will come later on a field trial.

World Rickshaw Taxi - Fare Slider

Drag the slider to reveal my position:

Fare Tracking:

The big benefit of not relying on a proprietary gps devices is providing great power and flexibility. I intend to give passengers a stamped card / ticket with their passenger number on – although I’m not sure how feasible this will in the long term…

Nevertheless, an option I’m offering is giving specific information about each passenger’s ride if they provide me a unique email. All I have to simply do is put the start and end time in and these are automatically calculated. They will be automatically sent an email prior as a reminder and upon completing their journey another reminder.

Passenger Tracking System

I am still working on this feature but it’s working quite well. I am slightly skeptical of its accuracy but to be fair is good considering it was DIY job. What I aim to do is match up either recorded camera pictures or video and allow them to watch their journey back.That will be very interesting.

Jersey Design

Last week I spent time desiging the World Rickshaw Taxi Cycling Jeresy and it’s nearly ready to be sent for printing by Half Baked Brand with some big help from James.