MaGDAA (Mass Gathering Data Acquisition and Analysis) is a prototype system designed to support researchers working in the field in the area of mass gatherings. The specification for the MaGDAA prototype system is a collaboration between The Serval Project and the Flinders University Disaster Research Centre FUDRC. The system is comprised of the following four main components:
The These components are outlined in greater detail in the sections below.
The first component of the MaGDAA system is the integration with a weather station. The purpose of the weather station is to provide an overview of the weather at the site of a mass gathering. For example the weather station could be used to provide an overview of the weather at the Adelaide Showgrounds during an event such as the Big Day Out.
It is anticipated that this component will comprise:
The goal of this component is to collect overview environmental information for an event venue. This environmental information is an important part of the mass gathering research model currently under development by the FUDRC.
The second component of the MaGDAA system is the stationary collection of temperature and humidity information. The purpose of this component is to provide this type of environment information for a more localised area where a full weather station would prove impractical. Such areas include an enclosed venue or area such as a “mosh pit”.
It is anticipated that this component will comprise:
The goal of this component is to collect environmental information at specific areas inside a larger event venue. This more localised environmental information is an important part of the mass gathering research model currently under development by the FUDRC.
The software that is developed for this component will also be used on the tablet device to collect temperature and humidity information as the researcher moves around the venue.
The third component of the MaGDAA system is an Android based application that is used on a table such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. The purpose of this application is to support a researcher in collecting textual based information describing a crowd. This information includes attributes such as crowd type, crowd mood and other crowd descriptive data.
As well as this textual data this component will collect the temperature, humidity and weather information from all of the other devices in the system. Once collected the data can then be used as input to the research model currently under development in the FUDRC as well as displayed to the user. The exact specifications for the application will be determined as the project progresses.
Dr Alison Hutton of the FUDRC will be the lead contact for the development of the system specification.
Importantly this component of the system represents the first module in the MaGDAA software which is used on the tablet device.
The fourth and final component of the MaGDAA system is the second module in the MaGDAA software which is used on the tablet device.
In the beginning this module will provide basic analysis of the data and information collected by the various MaGDAA system components. For example providing a chart representing the temperature and humidity information collected by on of the components of the system.
Over time it is anticipated that this module will evolve to include aspects of the model currently being developed by the FUDRC. The exact specifications for the application will be determined as the project progresses and Dr Alison Hutton of the FUDRC will be the lead contact for the development of the system specification.
The two main peices of software that will be extended are as follows.
An Android phone running the Serval Maps software will be able to see data points representing data that is acquired by the three components of the MaGDAA system outlined above. A user of the Serval Maps software could also add POI information that is outside the scope of that collected by the MaGDAA system which can be analysed after the event.
The two systems supplement each other in that Serval Maps is focused on POI information, and the MaGDAA software is focused on the specific research data for the FUDRC.
The Serval Mesh software provides two key functionalities for the MaGDAA project.
The first is the management of the Mesh Network which underpins the entire MaGDAA system. By using a mesh network the MaGDAA is not reliant on any existing telecommunications or networking infrastructure. This means that it can be easy to deploy for researchers and can also be used where this infrastructure is not available.
The second key functionality is the Rhizome technology which facilitates the sharing of data across the mesh network in an efficient and secure way. By sharing data each instance of the MaGDAA software running on one of the tablet computers can have a complete picture of the data that is collected.
The use of the Serval Mesh software provides some other benefits as well. The Serval Mesh software supports secure text messaging so that researchers could communicate via text message without the need for any additional infrastructure. Additionally those researchers who have the Serval Mesh software on their phones can place Serval Mesh phone calls between them, again without any additional infrastructure.
Therefore the use of the Serval Mesh not only provides a platform for sharing data, it provides an infrastructure free communication network as well.