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Hiking Safety


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This project is for someone interested in hiking and public safety. Hikers head off into the woods without a cell phone, compass, GPS (Global Positioning System) or GPS tracker, without telling anyone where they are going, or when they are due back. Then they expect crews to search for them for days in horrible weather and dangerous avalanche conditions. The idea of this project is to set up a website that could be managed by the parks service or a ski resort to take the search out of search and rescue. It has several functions:

A flight plan consists of:

Most of the time the park service just files the flight plan away and does nothing with it. The only time they would look at it is if the computer flagged someone as overdue.

The traffic load would be negligible, so the app could be hosted on pretty well anything. You would want to design the app to work from a smartphone or tablet computer as well as a desktop.

When frequent hiker filed a plan, he should not have to start from scratch. The computer should remember his previous plans which the hiker can then modify.

I suspect this plan would save no much in search and rescue, they could afford to rent out the GPS tracker units free, just a deposit.


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