The University of Southampton

Students design enables tourists to be 'Lost in Time'

Published: 27 May 2009

The winning team in this year's Software Design Group Project designed an imaginative application that enables tourists to explore Southampton's historic past.

The Software Design Group Project requires second-year Electronics students to produce a novel software application designed to run on an HP iPAQ. The Project is sponsored by Imagination Technologies, and the winning team members are awarded a PURE digital radio.

Working in teams over the second semester, the students have to produce an application which makes use of the built-in GPS, uses a database, has a clearly designed user interface, is coded in C#, and is designed for the Southampton area. The students produced a range of inventive applications, including lecture trackers, Freshers’ Friend guides to campus, and timetabling planners.

This year’s winners focused on Southampton’s historical past and produced an application called Lost in Time, an interactive historical tour of the city. Twelve historic sites in the city are covered in the tour. Designed to be used by tourists visiting Southampton’s city centre, the idea is that the GPS device would be lent out from the tourist information office in the city centre for a day. Alternatively a person could download the application to a personal digital assistant (PDA) or mobile device with GPS capabilities before visiting the city.

To meet the project requirements, the students decided the device should display a map of Southampton, showing the user’s current position and the location of the multiple historic sites within the city centre. Information for each site would be held on the device in the form of a database and displayed depending on the user’s location. Four display modes then enable the user to access information according to how they make the tour or where on the tour they happen to be, ensuring convenience and flexibility of access to the information.

The winning team were: Thomas Heslington, Kat Kirk, Jonathan Lamyman, Paolo Mennea, and Daniel Nevill.

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