UCT CS Research Document Archive

The Applicability of Wireless Communication in CyberTracker

Peacock, A, L de Voux and R Douman (2006) The Applicability of Wireless Communication in CyberTracker. Technical Report CS06-15-00, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

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Abstract

CyberTracker is software application for mobile devices which is used for data collection. It consists of a mobile client and a desktop server. It has been used with significant success in previous years within various contexts. The most noteworthy being the collection of wildlife information in National Parks throughout Southern Africa. The application allows users to create data entry templates which is then used to record sightings on a mobile handheld computer. When the user wishes to view reports of the sightings, the device has to be physically docked and synchronised with the desktop application. With the data already being stored electronically, it is unfortunate that the information is not available sooner. The CyberTracker extension discussed in this paper allows for users to send data that they collect to a remote database. This functionality will eliminate the need for users to return to base thus increasing productivity as the users routine will not be interrupted. The extension also allows for the possibility of having information sent from the remote database to the mobile device. Wireless technologies such as GPRS and WiFi have been utilised in a number of different fields including medicine, field work and education. These technologies enable users to be mobile by allowing them to have access to remote databases as a means of receiving and updating information. The CyberTracker extension implemented builds on the existing CyberTracker application by using various technologies. These include sending and receiving of information via TCP/IP in the form of structured XML packets. The extended system uses store-and-forward as a means to save collected data when a connection to GPRS/WiFi is unavailable. Two case studies presented illustrate the usefulness of the extension. The case studies focus on the applicability of the extension by trackers in wildlife parks and traffic officers working in the UCT Traffic Department. The extended system could increase the productivity of both trackers and traffic officers by allowing them to carry out their tasks without needing to return to the office. Trackers and traffic officers can then carry on working without any disruptions of having to travel to the office. Data collected can also be available to analysts or administrators on a real-time basis thus reducing time delays of when data is available. The extended system can also be useful in terms of the data that can be sent from the database to the user. Trackers could receive information about where they have been in previous days and traffic officers could receive information about cars that have outstanding tickets. The information presented in this paper shows that the extension to CyberTracker could be useful not only the users currently using CyberTracker but also to new users.

EPrint Type:Departmental Technical Report
Keywords:wireless communication, CyberTracker, distributed data collection
Subjects:A General Literature: A.0 GENERAL
ID Code:365
Deposited By:Peacock, A
Deposited On:15 November 2006