ENSCI Workshop: Big Data and Quantified Self

app prototype

Last week I took part to a really great workshop (You can find a storify about it here). The principle was simple: 5 days to make a prototype of a mobile webapp using the Big data accessible through APIs. Since I never did any web programming work this was a quite exhausting week (damn you JavaScript and your unclear system of variable definition!).

The workshop was animated by Geoffrey DORNE and Florent DELOISON . Geoffrey has a really great website (in French) about graphic design and Florent a blog about all the cool stuff he is making (in both French and English). 


I mostly worked with the Twiiter API. My project was an application allowing you to locate the closest tweet with a user-choosed hashtag, locate it and then help the user find it by displaying a compass.  I thought this could be fun to use in marketing, something like "First one there get free food " or to meet people in your city: "If you find me, I pay you a drink".

I couldn't fully finish the project in the timespan. I had a lot of problem with multibrowser javascript support. Parts of my code worked on one browse, parts on another (I understand the pain of web developper and this story much better). In the end I came up with one app working on my laptop, witch searched the closest tweet with a specific Hashtag, and one app on Chrome Ipad witch displayed a compass leading you to coordinates entered by the user. If I find some time I might try to work on it with the help of the StackOverflow people and make one fully functioning app.



Anyway, here are the best piece of code on the subject: 

First to implement the compass heading, you can access your Ipad and Iphone compass through this piece of code  (sorry android users). It's a real compass heading north, not just gyroscope which is pretty great. 

To get geolocated tweet here is a cool Github repository. It displays tweets around you using your device geolocation.

To search through Hashtags, here is another Github repository.

Finally a nice piece of code for Processing that I found, witch allows you to simply use Twitter4J to post message. You got to be registered as developer on Twitter website (make sure you register you application as Read and Write to post).  

Well this is it, I hope to make another post soon to talk about my fully finished and multibrowser-compliant webapp!