I was always drawn to mini maps in video games. The designers have found a way to gamify navigations. I wanted to bring that to real-life navigations with AR MTA Subway Map. A 3D AR map of the entire MTA Subway that lives as an Instagram Effect, not needing to download any separates apps.
What it does
Using the deprecated NetworkingModule we are able to find the user's location and provide a time table of the incoming trains as you are able to navigate to your next stop within 3D space over a static 2D map.
How I built it
The project was built-in Spark AR and the map was modeled in Blender. I was able to use the MTA API to find incoming trains, note this is temporarily disabled so we are hoping the functionality will be back up soon.
Challenges I ran into
I ran into issues with size on this Spark AR effect. Handling the text for all of the subway stops bloated the effect, I solved this by turning the text into fbx's so they are smaller but also scalable.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I normally do hackathons with a team, this was the first one I did along to see if I could do it and I think this project turned out for a one-person team :-)
What I learned
On paper, I learned spark networking, 3D modeling & learning Spark AR. However, the best thing was coming up with an idea and executing it alone just to see if you could have done it. The power was in me all along :-)
What's next for AR MTA Subway Map
- Add more landmarks on the map to make users understand the lay of the land in NYC a little more.
- Add Daily history facts about the city that show up every couple of days like Google Doodles.
- Get Networking working on the most recent version of spark (https://sparkar.facebook.com/ar-studio/learn/documentation/reference/classes/networkingmodule/)
- Add Quickest routes when users select a destination.
- Animate the trains on the map :-)