First Android Application Released: River Water Level Stations

Update: I gifted this code and basically the entire project with related software tools I had made to my friend who I was trying to start a business with after we decided to stop. The app is still active and available on the market under his account and not “CWSolver” anymore.

A friend and I just finished our first Application targeted for the Android marketplace. The application basically allows the user to monitor the level of rivers in the United States thanks to publicly available data that is updated frequently. This is useful to anyone who does boating among other various activities that have some relation to rivers.

Here is the link to Water Level Stations on the Android market.

Here is our official description:
“Do you fish and hunt? Are you out on the river frequently for business or pleasure? It is important to know what the level and flow of the river is, so you can stay safe and maximize your enjoyment. We have an application tailor made for you.Water Level Stations allows you to monitor the flow and level of water in rivers throughout the United States of America. It is simple and easy to use with automatic GPS location acquisition that will load river stations in your area right after you start up the application. If you are interested in viewing stations in another area, it’s easy to turn off the GPS and select any location with the touch of a finger. Advanced graphing is available for many stations, allowing you to see how the water level has changed over a period of days and will also give you an estimate of where the water level will be in the future if that data is available.”

From a technical standpoint it has these features:
– Fully multi-threaded, this means when it downloads additional information to create a water level graph it happens outside of the main process.
– Full GPS capability with code to smartly use what is available to get the most accurate coordinates possible in the least amount of time.
– Integration with Google maps for displaying of station location as well as selection of custom user defined coordinates.
– Full screen graph of observed water levels as well as forecast if the data is available.
– Unit conversion throughout the application (US-Units or Metric).
– Customized help screen for each application screen.

Here are a few screens from the application:

The application took around 3 months longer than initially planned. We also didn’t realize there are a few competitors with our basic idea, but at this point our application has much more usability and functionality. We will most likely add improvements in the future, but I personally want to make sure the application will be lucrative to spend more time on it that I already have.

Edit:
We already had to update the application.
1. We didn’t have the Google Maps API key set to the production keystore. What needs to be done is:
– call the terminal command keytool -list -keystore /dir_to_file/keystorefile
Where keystorefile is your production key. Take the resulting code that was outputted and input it into the site: http://code.google.com/android/add-ons/google-apis/maps-api-signup.html, which will result in a code that should be placed in your XML layout files for all google map views.
– I still need to figure out an easy way to get the maps to display for production and testing. There might be a way to link eclipse up with the production key so I can simplify things.

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