Hydration is an essential component of human life. There is no individual that is capable of escaping the need for water, and with climate change increasingly making an impact on our livelihoods our world is very aware of the need to improve the way we manage our sources of clean water. Later this year it is expected that the City of Cape Town will be forced to shut off over 100,000 taps throughout the city as the primary reservoir is close to drying up entirely. California has experienced several droughts in the past years, and these problems are only expected to get worse. Water Quest is on a mission to help citizens locate sources of reliable drinking water, assess, and improve the management of these resources through an interactive mapping experience.
What it does
This pulls data about water sources from the OpenStreetMap database, and imports it into an AR map in order to show the user nearby water sources
How we built it
We used Unity with the Mapbox v1.3 SDK, and AR Core SDK. Using the Mapbox SDK we pulled in custom datasets that we got from the OpenStreetMap database.
Challenges we ran into
We had two main mapping frameworks that we were looking at that created much debate and wasted time. Our team was more familiar with the Unity Game Engine with the Mapbox SDK, although the team was inclined to work on the ESRI mapping set because ESRI was one of the sponsors, and had a newly released Beta SDK. As some of our team began researching the feasibility of the ArcGIS Framework, this created uncertainty on what environment the front-end should be on, thus limiting the design team's ability to work. This led to much debate, which inevitably led the team to decide to follow the path of least resistance, which is the Unity + Mapbox combination.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- We were able to get the AR and VR versions of the ArcGIS SDK working on an android phone.
- We figured out how to pull specified data layers from the OSM database
What we learned
Speak clearly about expectations in the hackathon up front, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Identifying priorities for the entire team is difficult. If the majority of the team has defined things to move forward on, and you're not sure of your role, get creative. If you're the leader, make sure everybody has something to do.
How to pull specific data from the OpenStreetMaps database. THIS IS KEY!
What's next for Water Diviner
We will most likely all go separate directions, some of us connected on social media, and take this approach to water utilities, mapping, and constructive communities in general as an added lens on which to see the world. I'll definitely be using the OSM accessibility, Mapbox capabilities, and ESRI Runtime SDK as things I will work on in the future.