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We wanted to learn more about IoT and its applications to the real world.

What it does

Gathers realtime location data of people at a large event. Allows event hosts to view a heat map of current and past foot traffic. Hosts can then use this data to:

  • Determine and deal with high traffic spots and chokepoints
  • Find out which stages or areas of the event were popular/unpopular at what times
  • Use this data for future event planning:
    • hire artists that attracted large crowds
    • reduce risk by dealing with chokepoints in the future

How we built it

  • Used IBM Watson IoT platform to gather data from simulated devices which was then stored in a Cloudant NoSQL database.
  • Created a Cloud Foundry app using Node-RED and Google Maps API to serve up a visualization to users

Challenges we ran into

  • Low memory limitations on free instances of bluemix led to crashes
  • Integrating a third party api (Google Maps) into the Node-RED ecosystem.
  • Correctly handling websocket messages
  • Inconsistent real time arrival of data so maps don't have an equal number of points
  • Lack of real world test data

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Figuring out how to use Bluemix applications and services in synergy

What we learned

  • Google Maps API
  • Node-Red
  • Bluemix

What's next for Crowd Track

  • Optimize collection, storage, and retrieval of data to be able to handle thousands of devices concurrently
  • Figure out how to collect data from actual devices that have an event app installed
  • Display data points on an event map instead of on a bird's eye view of Earth
  • Offer Crowd Track as a service and be able to handle multiple clients and events
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