Public Lab Research note

Sky Cam Enhancement - GSoC 2014

by mercyorangi | March 21, 2014 17:05 21 Mar 17:05 | #10213 | #10213

Name: Mercy Kemunto Orangi

Affiliation: Computer Science and Mobile Telecommunication

Location: Nairobi, Kenya


Phone: +254710377694

Github Repo:


This project mainly deals in improving sky cam android application in functionality(backend) and design, frontend. The project describes how some features will be improved and integrated with existing features.

The needs my project fulfills

  • Eliminate the need to configure the camera settings all the time
  • Create a home/landing page instead of launching the camera immediately.

How my project will meet this need

The plans I have during GSoC 2014 will help me achieve this. They are outline below; 1. Create a homepage for Sky Cam, with the main features as icons to be selected by the user 2. Add a feature for low power mode by disabling the screen during a flight 3. Improve the Sky Cam action bar, icon alignment and arrangement, and so as to follow a specific theme


Pre-coding Period (Until June 1) - Identify several functionality - Break the functionaliy into several classes - Refactor the code - Testing the code and fix bugs - Have Skype sessions with the mentor for advice and mentorship

June 2 - June 22 - Update the action bar and home page UI - Testing on different android gadgets - Testing

June 23 - July 23 - Code reviews - Refactoring the code and testing - Submitting for mid term evaluations - Implementing the low power mode functionality - Testing the functionality

July 24 - August 21 - Improve the documentation related to the features I have implemented - Code reviews - Submitting for final evaluations

Broader goal for my project:

  • To contribute to open source of Sky Cam
  • To gain skill and knowledge on open source contribution

Resources I will need:

  1. people
  2. documentation
  3. sample data


I am a vast software developer, on the Java and Android. I however have not contributed to any open source project and I hope to fully participate on this year's GSoC


I am fully commitetd to learn, contribute and enhance the Sky Cam project to the best of my ability. I will liase with my mento for direction and advice.


Hi Mercy - we're curious about your proposal -- do you think it would not be too ambitious to add a few more tasks to your plan, such as:

  • tilt/compass data embedded as EXIF tags in photos
  • display of weather information and "how-to" instructions slideshow on the home page?
  • maybe a display of the highest altitude reached since the camera has been running, and the amount of time, # of photos that've been taken?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

Hello Jeff,

Yes it is possible. I think all the 3 tasks will improve the Sky Cam project functionality and make it simpler to use.

One query though, what exactly does the first point (tilt/compass data embedded as EXIF tags in photos) mean?

Regards, Mercy

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

Hello Mercy - so, in the EXIF tags of camera photos is a lot of metadata. For cameras (like those on smartphones) which have GPS and a tilt sensor and compass, some camera apps can store this data (i.e. where the camera was and how high and where it was pointed or tilted) in those EXIF tags. On Linux, you can use the exiftool utility to read them; there are lots of tools available for reading/writing EXIF tags.

Does that make sense?

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Reply to this comment...

Hi Jeff, yes it does make sense, been looking a little bit deeper into it to get a better grip.

Thank you!

Reply to this comment...

Login to comment.