Archive for December, 2009

Two thoughts about Belltower

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

I have a Maemo application called Belltower in testing, which lists towers hung for English full-circle change ringing (rather than any tower in the world which happens to contain bells). Here is a screencast of the app in use. The data comes from Dove’s Guide. It allows you to

  • find all towers nearby, using the GPS
  • find a tower by name
  • find a tower by geographical area (country, then county, then alphabetically)
  • bookmark towers and come back to them later

Here are two questions about Belltower on which I’d like your feedback.

1. The front screen currently looks like this:

But I’m wondering whether it would be more Maemo-ish to give it an interface like the app manager and the media player. Something like this (excuse the quick mockup):

What do you think?

2. Generalising Belltower. An application to find belltowers is useful for ringers, but the same code could come in useful in other ways for other people. Eiffel on t.m.o suggested that there should be a wiki which lists sets of geographical points within a particular category, such as

  • belltowers
  • Tube stations
  • public toilets
  • perhaps a chainstore might want a set of points for its own stores
  • stone circles
  • UFO sightings…

which could be fed automatically by sites such as Dove and openstreetmap, or just by people editing the wiki itself. Each point would have

  • a name
  • a short block of HTML giving facts about the point (such as, for a Tube station, which lines it was on)
  • possibly a picture
  • possibly a URL to follow for more information
  • and always a latitude and longitude pair.

Then son-of-Belltower should be able to pull from this wiki with a custom API; the user could select which overlay they were interested in.

I think this idea has a lot of merit. I may do it. I’d like to hear your ideas about it as well.