Projects are fun, they provide a steep learning curve, you learn how to work in a team and how to contribute, solve problems. That’s what I used to think. Until I landed my first big project and here’s my account of how our project really happens.
What was the project about?
The project was about creating a Geographic Information System (GIS) based website for monitoring pollution scenario of a river and to assess its impact on the health of people using water from the river. GIS is a system which is designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.
We needed to choose a river on which we would build our system on. We chose Yamuna. Flowing through Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, passing by Uttarakhand and later Delhi, and meets its tributaries on the way. One of the most polluted rivers in our country and with all the efforts being made by the Government of India to cleanse the river and money being spent.
In short, the project was to create a website to monitor the condition of a river (in this case, Yamuna) in real-time having salient features like :
- It should display the complete stretch of river (with important tributaries/streams) by digitization from satellite image (google maps or data published by ISRO).
- Displaying all the sampling points and area of health survey
- The system should facilitate user to add/edit/delete parameters for water quality assessment and health assessment.
- The system should facilitate user to add/edit/delete values for the above-entered parameters.
- The project should be able to show reports/graphs for the entered data (including correlation graph).
Who all were there?
Every successful project got an effective and productive team behind it which burns the midnight hours to make it what it is. The people without which this project could be made were:
Where and other fine details?
The project was part of a competition, organized by the Department of Amity School of Engineering and Technology (ASET), Amity University, Noida. We worked under the guidance and advice of Ms. Madhuri Kumari, Dy. Director, Placement & Industry Relations, ASET. Without her help, it wouldn’t have been possible to accomplish this huge task. Our project was awarded the first prize in the competition.
There was a lot of work and issues were needed to be taken care of when the project was being started. Everyone took what issue they are interested to contribute and started working as we were behind our deadline. My interest was in the integration of Google Maps API in reports sections of the website that is designed to store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. The Google Maps API was needed to be customised accordingly for the project. Many markers, visible objects, landmarks were removed from the map for better visibility. Controls were rearranged and new were added to give have a better User Experience (UX). The code needed some additions to view our shapefile on top of the Google Maps API as a separate layer which itself proved to be a challenge.
As the deadline grew closer, we all kept our cool, believed in each other and worked together as a team to fix the remaining issue and bugs. Customisation and keeping the mixture of things that were just right for our project was imperative for the end product. Google’s Documentation of the API was a life-saver as I searched and scoured almost every page there was, to give the API all the features that we needed. With the right advice, help from our seniors and Alumni, innovative thinking and a lot of Teamviewer sessions, we finally did it and completed our project well ahead of the deadline.
Well, now the problem has to be scaled and made bigger which can help actual people and organizations. Which will become the stage 2 of our project, as to releasing the product we created.
My Take from this Project
Projects like these make you experience a lot of emotions that you can’t while working alone. Personally, I learned a lot. A lot. Probably more than I ever could alone. They say practical knowledge is important. You develop practical knowledge when you apply your knowledge to work out a solution on your own or with the help of some like-minded individuals. That’s how. I see it now. I am not stating that studying or learning is not important. But what ask yourself? What benefit is it to you? Personally. When you can’t apply what you have learned in real life. Team management and communication skills also develop which helps in the long run. I hope I get to be a part of many more projects.
Till then live in the mix.