Animating a Distribution Chain on Google Maps

Nov 04 2013

The ComActivity Tech Team Challenge
An out-of-hours undertaking by our amazing development team.

The Challenge: Imagine, and use .NET to develop a graphical enhancement to be run in Smart Office that interfaces directly to M3. Focus on creativity and technical skill – stretch the boundaries to see what can be achieved. 

Here is one team’s solution.

Team: Richard, Stephen, Hanh and Jay

Animating a Distribution Chain on Google Maps

The workplace is experiencing the creep of consumerisation in terms of IT. Whether it’s a case of people using their personal mobile devices to do their job, or just bringing their heightened expectations of dynamic, appealing interfaces, this will inevitably drive a change in workplace software. This concept, which uses animation and google maps to display a transport route  is a great example of this kind of change…

Our team in this case tried to think about enhancements to the delivery process in the form of a visual image of the route. The video of their solution sees the order move through a real chain triggered by a purchase order in M3 along a distribution chain on a precise geographic route.

What we loved:

The technical skill in this application is quite clever – you will notice that as the truck makes its journey along the route – it is anchored to the route, even making the twists and turns – impressive when you consider the “floating” icons you often see, and a very clever bit of coding.

The visual power of the animation. This concept could be adapted to fulfill the growing trend of efficient and visual delivery of information. In terms of tracking orders that have shipped, in just a moment, a user could easily identify the visual location of the order en route to a distribution centre in another region, or country – it can be far more meaningful to look at a map and understand instantly not only where the last process point was, but its actual location is now – even if its halfway across the Australian desert. Information is increasingly valued, and dynamic, current information, even more so, especially for companies who may be providing end-user information, who are seeking to enhance their customer experience.

The use of web services and google maps. The team used web services to make API calls to M3 data and then used an open source .NET control tool called GMap.NET to link to Bing for the maps and coordinates when plotting the routes.

Watch the video

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