MIT EECS — Duke Energy Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Digital Mapping for Mobile Humanitarian Technologies
Mobile devices can aggregate and analyze data that relief organizations depend upon for long-term relief projects or during times of crisis. However, technical barriers to entry for mobile app development have limited the role of smart devices in relief operations. App Inventor is a platform that works to lower these barriers by letting users create Android apps with visual blocks. Punya, a framework on top of App Inventor, extends this effort with specific functionality for relief operations such as Linked Data capability for easy integration, off-line tolerance, sensors and more. My work is to add mapping abilities to Punya by adding OpenStreetMap support. These maps can be annotated, built with application-specific layers, etc. which is useful for needs like live crisis mapping.
I’m a 6-3 junior with an interest in computer systems. One of my goals is to be able to use the software engineering skills I’m developing to somehow make a positive and meaningful impact in peoples’ lives. This project appealed to me because I have the chance to work on a platform that will support the efforts of international relief organizations.