The App Challenge Team Spotlight series consists of articles focused on teams that participated in the ECCE App Challenge and the apps they built for the competition.

In the first annual ECCE App Challenge, Majuratan (Maju) Sadagopan, Jonathan Van Dusen, and Shanqi Zhang joined together to form UW Team SDS. Maju, Jonathan, and Shanqi are all students currently enrolled at the University of Waterloo studying different aspects of GIS and spatial analysis.

Jonathan Van Dusen (left), Shanqi Zhang (centre), and Maju Sadagopan (right).

Maju Sadagopan graduated from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning with the GIS Diploma of Excellence and the Urban Design specialization. His graduate research interests lie in the use of GIS and spatial support systems in the field of planning. Maju is particularly interested in studying the possible use of emerging GeoDesign tools and visualization techniques to engage citizens in issues associated with land management and planning. Through his research, he hopes to touch on topics such as VGI, Web 2.0 and decision support systems.

Jonathan Van Dusen is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Geomatics program at the University of Waterloo, currently working on his honours thesis. His research interests relate to the usability of geographic applications in desktop and mobile contexts – particularly for the collection of volunteered geographic information (VGI) – as well as to the uses of VGI within government.

Jonathan is passionate about usability, human–computer interaction, and geographic information, and he enjoys learning about and critically evaluating new technologies. For his honours thesis, he is investigating the usability of VGI creation using OpenStreetMap’s “iD” editor, specifically in terms of its workflows for humanitarian data creation.

Shanqi Zhang completed her Master’s studies at the University of Georgia, where she wrote her thesis on exploring spatio-temporal changes in the socio-spatial structure of Beijing, China. Her current research interests include the use geosocial media in participatory planning and the accuracy aspect of citizen-generated data.

UW Team SDS created PredictION – a transit and routing app designed to provide transit authorities a unique approach to engage and inform the public. PredictION allows the public to explore how their everyday commute will be changed by authoritative plans. Specifically, PredictION allows users to compare their commuting cost under the current public transit system with that of the proposed service. Meanwhile, government agencies can use PredictION to publish their proposed public transit services in reference with General Transit Feed Specifications to predict the impacts of possible changes in the transit system.

PredictION allows users to project how future transit plans may affect their commute.

PredictION has been implemented for the Grand River Transit network in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, with specific attention given to the upcoming ION Rapid Transit lines. You can read more about PredictION at the UW Team SDS Github page or check out a live version of the app at