IS480 Team wiki: 2009T2 FYO

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Team FYO

Team Members

Hong Jun Wen (junwen.hong.2007@sis.smu.edu.sg)

Li Zijing (zj.li.2007@sis.smu.edu.sg)

Ren Xing (x.ren.2007@sis.smu.edu.sg)

Zheng Kaiwen (kaiwen.z.2007@sis.smu.edu.sg)

Team Supervisor

Professor Zhu Feida

Dr. Kam Tin Seong, SIS, SMU

Project Overview

Project Description

This project aims to design an internet-based courseware for teaching geography at the school and JC level by using interactive mapping and data visualization techniques and to implement the courseware using Rich Internet Applications framework (i.e. Adobe Flex). This project will be focusing on visualization of Volcano and Earthquake data. It is initiated by Professor KAM and supported by the Education Technology Department and Curriculum Planning and Development Department of the Ministry of Education.

The target users of the courseware are teachers and students at the secondary and JC levels. Thus, it is important for the courseware in-line with the pedagogic and curriculum requirements. The courseware will be designed base on the following four criteria: dynamic, interactive, explorative, and collaborative. It will allow the users to interact with the visual components to perform the particular tasks, for example, the teacher is able to user in-map controls to do the teaching of the course with the different types of maps provided by yahoo, OpenStreetMaps and so on.

Motivation and Challenges

Conventional teacher-centric and textbook-based approach was not effective in teaching Geography at the school and JC levels. To promote student-centric learning, courseware has to be highly interactive and explorative. Textbooks contents are static; however, real world phenomena such as earthquake, tropical storm, and volcano eruption are dynamic. If Internet map services such as Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo are used, teachers and students are limited to a particular Internet map services such as Google map. By and large, current web-based courseware in the market do not provide effective interface for collaborative learning between students.


The objectives of this project are as follows:

  • Develop a flex application that allows users to learn geography
  • To evaluate the implementation/success of the created e-learning system
  • Provide geography teachers with dynamic tools to interact with the students
  • Allow student to experience the beauty of geographic with live data and historical modules


Role/Organization Role Project Involvement
Dr. Kam Tin Seong
Singapore Management University
IS480 Project Sponsor - Provide business insights and requirements

- Provide resources needed for the projects
- Provide knowledge or direct students to sources of knowledge necessary for the project

- Evaluate and provide feedback for application
Professor Benjamin Gan
Singapore Management University
IS480 Course Coordinator - Match supervisor to teams, help supervise and coordinate the grading for teams

- Approve proposal; assign midterm reflection reviewer and final grades for all teams according to the schedule

- Manage overall direction, objective
Professor Zhu Feida
Singapore Management University
IS480 Project Supervisor - Guide, help, feedback, direct and supervise team
- Review and vet the poster for printing


The scope of the project is summarized as follows:

  • To review the Geography syllabus for secondary and JC levels and to identify priority topics for the courseware development.
  • Conduct assessment study to gather design and technical specification of the proposed courseware.
  • Self-learning Flex development environment and programming and exploring FLEX components suitable for the project.
  • Prepare design and technical specification report for further improvements
  • To evaluate different types of APIs for implementation in this context or other geographical projects and provide the pros and cons for those APIs.
  • To explore the limitations of different Maps APIs, like Google maps, Bing maps. In order to avoid the limitations, we may use UMap or ModestMaps or other possible map APIs for the implementation.
  • To demonstrate a good practice of project management
  • To Develop a platform to improve the interactions with teachers and students and Improve the effectiveness and quality of teaching for the teachers
  • To have a student-centric design of system to engage students by using rich internet approach.

Project Details


  • Dynamic - Engage the users with the dynamic content and fancy animations.
  • Interactive - Instant reflections on changes of parameter on the maps
  • Explorative - Allow the students to explore more on their own by introducing the tips module.
  • Collaborative - Allow the teachers and students to share stories and learning experience.

Project Components

This project is a component-based application represented in the diagram below.

Components of application

Main Project Deliverables

Module 1 - Interactive Mapping

In this module, we are going to implement different types of controls on the maps. Some of the main functionalities of the modules are as follows:

  • Display maps by using different map providers like yahoo maps, OpenStreetMaps.
  • Panning navigation interface by using different button and markers
  • Scale bar for the map to indicate the zoom level of the map.
  • Fish eye tools to provide fish eye view of the map
  • Info window to display map information
  • Mini map to display maps in an overview mode.
  • Geo-Location search.

Module 2 - Geo-Data Manipulation Module (Live, Historical Data)

This module is going to help visualizing geo-data of volcano and earthquake to give a student a better experience of the project and aiding the teacher with fantastic animations control and display. There are two modes for these modules. The live module grabs data from USGS (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/catalogs/ ) and display to the users. And the offline mode is for user to display historical data and animate it in the way that the user will have a better understanding of the geography concept.

Module 3 - Collaboration Module

For the collaboration module, it is to use Maps Collaboration and Live chat using Flex and BlazeDS. BlazeDS is the server-based Java remoting web messaging technology that enables developers to easily connect to back-end distributed data and push data in real-time to Adobe® Flex® and Adobe AIR™ applications for more responsive rich Internet application (RIA) experiences. Using the Remoting Service, your application can directly invoke methods of Java objects deployed in your application server, and consume the return value. The method can return a value of a primitive data type, an object, and a collection of objects, an object graph, and more. Java objects returned by server-side methods are desterilized into either dynamic or typed ActionScript objects.

Module 4 - Story Module (Static, dynamic)

In this module, we will have two parts; the first is about the video tutorial. We are going to provide an interface for the teachers to play geography videos that grabbed from YouTube. YouTube has a number of official API platforms available for querying its video database. Flash/Flex is not one of those platforms, but that hasn't stopped a number of 3rd party API's being developed to fill the gap. The as3youtubelib (the names are very similar, but it is a different from as3youtube) library works with the new YouTube interface. Using as3youtubelib we can search the YouTube video database and get the details of an individual video required to play it.

Module 5 - Case studies

There will be sereral case studies available for users. Users are able to view some spectific information related to that particular case, which helps to educate students with real and most updated examples.

Weekly Progress Summary

FYO - Minutes from Sponsor Meetings

FYO - Minutes from Supervisor Meetings

Our FYP Poster

Our presentation date is on 13 April 2010, SIS Level 4, Meeting Room 4.4, at 1130 am

File:Poster FYO.jpg
FYP poster designed by FYO

Bug Tracking

We will be using Excel to track the bugs found during development stage.

Bug tracking table

Team Collaboration Tool


The team uses Dropbox to store and sync files such as meeting minutes, tutorials online and between computers and share files and folders with others. This is useful because the synchronization of the files and folders are done automatically without user intervention. The files store in Dropbox are not confidential and do not require frequent changes.

Google Code

This is used for project hosting on Google Code where it is a fast, reliable, and easy open source hosting service. The codes hosted in Google can be shared and checked out using Flex Builder 3 Professional with subversion feature enabled.