Those who have been watching may have noticed I quietly started developing an Android application in the last month or so. It’s still super-buggy and far from feature complete, but I thought it was time to announce it here (“release early, release often”). It’s not ready for real users yet, but developers may like to take a little look.
Occyd (-k d .. sounds like rockied or oggied) is an application for tagging geolocations, aimed at GPS-enabled network-connected devices. It currently consists of an Android client, and a server backend running on Google App Engine. The (evolving) API is simple enough that it should be easy to write clients (or servers) for various platforms. The idea is to enable people to tag locations on the surface of the planet with a list of keywords, just like they can tag web pages with delicious. They should also be able to search for tagged locations, based on tag(s), on distance from their current location and recency of the post.
Here’s one possible elevator pitch (for a very long, slow elevator ride):
“You are a member of a large bird watching club. Your members like to record where they have spotted various species, and use Occyd to share the locations at which they have sighted various birds. You are out in the park, when you spot the rare Orange Bellied Parrot. You pull out your Android phone, fire up the Occyd client which automatically knows your location via GPS, and tag that current location ‘orangebelliedparrot parrot birds’. You then decide to see if others have spotted parrots in the area. You search for ‘parrot’ in the Occyd client; a map appears showing the locations of all the other sightings tagged ‘parrot’ in your vacinity. You tweak the search settings to show only ‘parrot’ sightings within 100 metres and 14 days … on the map you see that your friend RobHill spotted an Orange Bellied Parrot here last week – looks like the numbers of this population are recovering !”
Ponder for a bit, and I’m sure you can think up at least a handful of other great uses (tagging good fishing spots, favorite cafes, or maybe even sightings of parking inspectors 🙂 ).
As with any new project, there are lots more ideas than time to implement them (and I have a day job that doesn’t involve Occyd …). The Occyd Android client and Occyd GAE server source is currently available under the GPL v3 on GitHub, and I’m keeping all my documentation and notes on the Occyd Android client wiki provided at GitHub. Watch this space ….