Socialocalize, socialize and localize. Sococa.org

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Abstract

In Japan, most cell phones have the capability of receiving GPS signals. Besides the cell phone there are many other devices that can keep track of GPS data, including the GPS device made by Sony. If all this GPS data is collected and organized, one could get a good overview of peoples whereabouts. That is why the goal of this project was to develop a tool that keeps track of peoples movements, share a visualization of these movements with other people and allow for other means of social interaction, such as chatting, messaging, finding other people and so on. To realize this goal we created the Sococa system. The name stems from the full name we had devised at first, Socialocalize. Additionally, the Japanese phrase 'sokoka' can be taken to mean something akin to 'over there?'. The system consists of a client part and a server part. The client program can parse and upload users' locations to a server in real time. The server has an interface which also allows other programs to upload their location data. Because the user doesnt always have an internet connection available, it is also possible to upload files with location data at a later time. This can be done on the website or with the client program. The server hosts a website on which a map with all positions of the users are shown. When a user uploads a new location to the server, this is directly updated on the map. The map also has the capability to show animated routes the user took in the past. The website has some social networking features. It is possible to create an account and add some personal information to it. It is possible to look up ones friends using the search option and add them as friend on the website. After they are added, users can chat in the global chat or send private messages to each other. To ensure the users' privacy, the user can choose to limit the availability of his location data to his friends or only to himself. The most important things the current system is lacking are full OpenId support and support for the Opensocial API. OpenId is a service which allows users to have only one account for the whole internet. This technology is supported by the website, but not by the client program. The OpenSocial API links social networking sites to each other, i.e. friends can be easily imported from one site to another. Because of the complexity of this technology, we have chosen not to implement this.