Texting while Driving? GPS-enabled App on your phone will shut you off!
If you are one of those folks that like multitasking while driving, especially texting while driving, ouch!, this might not be a good news for you but it is meant to save you a lot of danger and trouble.
Researchers have come up with a smart mobile App that is ever prepared to automatically shut off your ability to text, when you are making any attempt to do that behind the wheel because it knows you are driving.
This was made possible through the seamless integration of geospatial technologies (GPS), Smart phone keystroke analysis algorithm and other data.
Really awesome discovery, the article below couetesy of Larry throws more light to how this stuff works. Have fun!
“People have gotten good at multitasking, butsometimes this skill is taken too far, and the result can be deadly. Texting while driving a car is a prime example. Laws prohibit it, but many people still find it impossible to resist. Ideally, there would be a way to eliminate the temptation altogether, through safeguards on the cell phone itself. At the moment that’s not possible, but it may soon be.
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are studying how software on a cell phone could analyze keystrokes to determine when that phone’s user is distracted while composing and sending text messages. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person is driving, of course, but combined with GPS and other data, it may be possible to determine when a texter is behind the wheel. In that case, the phone could shut off texting functions automatically. Such a feature could take the form of a mobile app for any phone—independent of the manufacturer, operating system and wireless service provider.
“If you think of your brain as a CPU, multi-tasking means your brain is dealing with a large amount of information,” says Mike Watkins, manager of applied physics at PNNL, operated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. “Related to texting, even if you don’t have to look at your cell phone screen, you’re still cycling those mental resources.”
Such “cognitive timesharing” behind the wheel isn’t anything new—car stereos, argumentative passengers and even eating all contribute to distracting drivers. But texting is especially problematic because it involves manual, visual and cognitive distraction simultaneously. Sending or reading a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which estimates that at 88 kilometers per hour—the U.S. speed limit in many areas—such a lapse in concentration is like driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.
The NHTSA estimates that in 2010 more than 3,000 people were killed and 416,000 others injured in road wrecks caused by distracted driving in the U.S., including crashes involving texting or other cell phone use. In response to the larger problem, the NHTSA earlier this week announced a new grant program to provide about $17.5 million to states that have enacted and are enforcing anti-distracted driving laws, including anti-texting statutes.
The PNNL researchers are hoping their work can help in ways that laws cannot—using the phones themselves to flag those who can’t resist the impulse to text and drive. They tested their approach in a limited study a few years ago by analyzing the behavior of six study participants who were instructed to text while operating a driving simulator.
The texters used a Nokia model 6790 Surge phone that logged the duration and sequence of keystrokes during a 20-minute texting session and then during a 20-minute texting session while using the driving simulator. During simulated driving, the texters used several techniques to tap out short messages: by placing both palms on top of the steering wheel while texting, by using a single hand to text, and by taking both hands off the steering wheel and returning them intermittently to make steering corrections. Drivers would drive off the road, run red lights and commit other acts of poor driving, being tracked all the while.
The researchers then investigated the potential to use various keystroke dynamics as a means of determining if an individual was texting while driving. In particular, they focused on “keystroke entropy,” when keys were struck at irregular intervals, as an indicator that the test subjects’ attention was divided between texting and driving.
After evaluating the sensitivity of the keystroke entropy indicator against the number of keystrokes recorded, the researchers found they could accurately and relatively quickly identify when a test subject had been both texting and operating the simulator. They found normal texting took on more rhythmic patterns.
The study is limited, Watkins acknowledges, because it used so few participants and a simulator as opposed to an actual car. He and his colleagues are hoping to expand their test to drivers on a closed course, where safety would be more of a concern to participants.”
Data Appeal – Create Google Earth Awesome KMLs Easily
Everyone who reads Geoawesomeness know that spatial visualization of data can give you new perspective on your analysis. Map is far much more informative than tables or database records and it provides a quick way to visually analyse complex and voluminous data. Most of you probably knows that it is not easy to make a really good map. When using GIS software first you need to geocode your data, than to add background data (if you have it) or WMS and WFS services (if you don’t have it), than you can perform spatial analysis and finally generate map. Due to the fact that GIS visualization effects are quiet limited (if any) at the end you need to export it to software like Adobe Illustrator and play with it for hours. At the end it looks good but it’s not interactive.
Google Earth KML
That’s way I’ve been fascinated by Google Earth’s KML (Keyhole Markup Language) for a while. It’s simple way of visualizing data in an awesome way. There are four main reasons why it’s so good. First of all it’s relatively easy to use, just a little bit of XML which shouldn’t be a problem even for an amateur. Second of all, it’s free which means that is free for both: you and your clients. Moreover it allows to visualize your data with Google Earth’s background. And finally it allows for cool interaction between your map and the user.
There are a lot of examples of great visualizations made with KML:
But in order to create visualizations at that level you need to write some code because it’s a little bit too complicated to do it manually. You can find online some simple software to generate basic things automatically but it’s not going to look cool.
Solution – Data Appeal
Now there is a solution for those who want to create cool, custom visualizations but have never seen nothing like XML. Data Appeal is the first online automatic KML generator with cool customizable features. The project is based on PhD research of its founder Nadia Amoroso and allows you to generate some cool visualizations with just a few clicks of a mouse. Data Appeal position themselves as a GIS software but I would classify them as a the first powerful geo-vizualization software is based on Google Earth.
It is really simple. First you have to prepare you data in excel, where you can automatically geocode them if you don’t have coordinates. Than you upload the file and you can move to simple and easy to use creator, where you can change shapes, colours, size, you can add legend and so on. Everything is nicely displayed online, but you can in any time download KML and use it directly on Google Earth. If you’d like you can share it on social media as well.
Check out the video to learn more about Data Appeal:
What you can do with it?
Right now the software is still a little bit limited but guys at Data Appeal told me that they’re working on new features, which they will launch soon. So what can you visualize with it right now? Basically geocoded points with assigned values. Those values are represented in hight and size of the shape that you choose e.g. prism, cone or bubble. With old school theory of cartography this would be considered redundant use of cartographical device, but actually on GE it looks awesome and gives users nice map experience. I like it. Soon they you’ll be able to visualize not only points but as well polygons and create a lot of other cool stuff.
Will it work for you?
I’ve been searching for a good KML generator for a while already, and I guess that Data Appeal is what I was looking for. The value of GE can be big if you know how to use it. When you work with non-GIS people it’s crucial to let them play with solutions they know. And everybody knows and uses Google Maps and Earth. Great job Data Appeal Team and keep on making your software even more awesome!
source: Data Appeal