Mobile application moves social media forward

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Cardinal Solutions is working on a mobile application that will allow students to combine the best parts of Instagram, Flickr and Facebook.

Associate Professor of Graphic Design J. Blake Johnson said the project will combine popular apps with photo-geocaching.

“As most photos today have longitude and latitude coordinates built into them, you can challenge others to find and retake your photos based only on that information,” he said. “A photo treasure hunt, if you will.”

He said the mobile application will provide both historical and educational challenges for the user, and, in turn, lets users progress in their profile by completing location-based challenges.

The map feature shows where the user has posted photos worldwide.

Additionally, Johnson said Cardinal Solutions had other help with the project.

“Tom Leaf trusted Cardinal Solutions to help envision what is possible with his patents and how the app will work,” he said. “We are working with an outside company to program the app.”

Cardinal Solutions is an interdisciplinary faculty and student group that teams with local businesses to create marketing solutions.

It features students and professors involved in graphic design, marketing and technical writing disciplines.

A business or non-profit is assessed, its goals are analyzed, and students assist in developing solutions for their needs.

Some of the solutions provided by Cardinal Solutions include web design, web hosting, logo design, app design and business analysis.

Johnson said the mobile application project could take longer than six months to complete, as it requires a large amount of server databases that will contain user profiles and photos.

“Wouldn’t this be a great way to be introduced to SVSU?” he said. “You could explore the campus, learning details about the various sites, and our history and meeting other potential students at the same time.”

Others involved in Cardinal Solutions include Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems George Corser, Assistant Professor of Marketing Chatt Pongpatipat, Assistant Professor of Management Izabela Szymanska and Professor of Professional and Technical Writing Bill Williamson.

Johnson said the mobile application gives students a chance to be assigned with a major project.

“What is important is that our students have been entrusted with such a large project,” he said. “Our students are the designers, and to some degree, the managers of these projects.”

He continued by saying that the group is made up of multiple majors and students can work together to complete a substantial project.

“It is also important because of Cardinal Solution’s unique structure – our course is currently made up of graphic design majors, technical writing majors, and education majors, as well as professors from business, art, technical writing, and education,” he said. “In the past, we have had computer science and management majors as well.”