•   over 8 years ago

Can we Beat The Deadline?

Our team had previously underestimated the scope of the project assuming that it will be finished by mid Dec..The app is almost done but we have to compromise some detail due to time constrains..We aint complaining that the time was short ..but its just interesting to see programmers stuck at times.. all the best

  • 11 comments

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    I have been working by myself and wanted to do a project that really let people do a lot of interesting things with so much data. So I've ended up in the same boat as you; I will be able to get a project done but there are a few of things that I have had to cut to meet the time line. At this point I plan on getting something in for the competition, then completing the project and getting it online, but it is far from ideal. 
    Good luck getting as much done of your original idea as possible. 
    To Richard from the Apps team - Has there been any discussion about a possible deadline extension? There seems to be at least a handful of groups working on some really big things, and given that a lot of time in the last month of the competition will be lost to traveling and holiday things for many people, an extension could really make things less stressful. I'm just curious, I will have something done from my project as I am sure everyone else can, but a little more time could make a big difference in both the number and quality of applications.
     
    James 
    www.uniformchaos.org/stoc.php

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi James
    Sorry for the late reply. There has not been any discussion about extending the deadline. We understand the holidays are coming along.
    I think your idea of getting the core functionality of your app working by Jan 10th and then adding extra elements later on outside the competition.
    It's great to hear that groups are working on some really big things! If I can help by answering any questions about the competition or the World Bank data please don't hesitate to let me know - by posting here.
    Good luck!
    Richard - Apps for Development team 

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi Guys,
    I just wanted to report that I started on a simple application called FACTCHA - a Fact-filled way to CAPTCHA. Its basically a CAPTCHA method that uses a fun way for a user to verify that they are human but at the same time raises awareness of the Millenium Development Goals.
    The application uses the MDG data set available from data.worldbank.org and will be submitted as fulfiiling the objective "Raise awareness for the MDGs". But it can be used for advocacy and dissemination of data for any other data set from any source, not only WorldBanks... and I am certainly going to use it on the Transport Observatory projects I am working on for the East African central and northern corridor (A TradeMark East Africa and SSATP cooperation).
    Should be submitting this before Monday. Got a question though, the use of the data.worldbank.org... do we have to do it via the API for now or am I allowed to download a small sample to use offline just to demonstrate how the application works? (Of course, for full implementation I would do API calls).
    Check out the sneak preview here: http://bit.ly/hnDnk3
    Once I am done with this, I have a couple of other simple ideas that I will work on and submit and I am sure I will be ok with the 10th deadline :D

  • Manager   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi, it's Brandon from Apps for Development. It's great to hear you'll be submitting an app. Per your question, the rules state you must use at least one of the datasets. So as long as you're reasonably using a dataset (rather than the full API) you'll be eligible. Thanks.

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi,
    Thanks Brandon and thank you for the response and clarification.
    - Ath

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Hey World Bank team,
    Thanks for the response on my questions and for monitoring the boards so well.
    You've been asking for any problems people find in the data and I just found an extremely frustrating one.
    I am using the XML files because I am trying to use every indicator I possibly can in my app, which means using the API would make the user have to wait for it to all be called and the data being stored locally would make it faster. It comes out to roughly 14.5 million pieces of data once all the holes are filled so that they will work in my project, which would take far too long on a slow connection.
    Aside from the fact that there are anomalies in the country names, like different spaces in "Korea, Rep. of" in the files for example, which make it much harder to pull that data out in code. You can get around by using the 3 digit codes for all the countries, although I couldn't readily find a list on the world bank site that had all the countries in the World Bank Data set along with their 3 digit code. It's not a big pain to go to Wikipedia and manually make an excel sheet with that information. But those are two things that should really be fixed.
    What I found that makes absolutely no sense to me in the xml files is that some of them, after listing all the data, have a long section like this:
     <data>     <country id="N">N</country>     <indicator id="N">N</indicator>     <year>2010</year>     <value>v</value>   </data>
    They only started in the net official flows from the UN files, the IFAD on and on, in the aid effectiveness  and economic policy xml folders, but I haven't finished going through the rest of the files. 
    Turns out, for some reason, someone decided to add to the end of these files the name of the file spelled out one letter at a time in xml code. I'm cleaning files and trying to find a way to code around it, but the consistency in the data files is really lacking and stuff like this doesn't make any sense. 
    It would be amazing, for the future, if you made available files in the format of years, with every country and every topic, regardless of whether or not there is data for them. This way every file is in the exact same format, and developers using the local files don't have to write code to fill in country or year gaps since the lack of data also needs to be shown.  It would also  allow a person to download all the data they could need in the minimum number of files (50 year files instead of 213 country files or 1363 data files as they currently are available). 
    I'm in the process of producing a .csv file that can be read into a 3 dimensional array organized this way for my application, but it's taken a lot of work to get there between filling in the country gaps and the year gaps across the files and cleaning them up. It will be a much more useful format for the data once it is complete, and I can make it available after the competition. It is only the indicators you get from the xml files though, so there is a lot of data missing for anyone trying to make something that gives the user access to all of the data. 
    Just some stuff to think about for the future when people are looking to tackle large chunks of the data set.
     
    James

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    James
    Thanks for your feedback. I've passed your comments onto a colleage in the team who compile the data found in the data catalog. 
    I'll post back here when I get a response from them.
    BestRichard - Apps for Development team

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    James,
    Great Points.  We will add your suggestions in our next update (January). The entire dataset is also available in one single csv file from the data catalog page. 
    Link to Data catalog page - http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog
    Link to WDI dataset in csv format - http://databank.worldbank.org/databank/download/WDIandGDF_csv.zip
    This file includes the codes and the missing data points.   Hope this helps. 
     
    Best
    Malar - Apps for Dev team 

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Thanks for the reply Richard and Malar.
    That CSV would have been great if I had found it earlier. I think one of the issues I had was that there were so many different formats for the data that after looking around awhile I just found one I knew I could work with and moved on instead of looking for the best one. 
    It might help future projects to have a category that shows all the ways the entire data set is available, then break it down from there. Or maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place or missed it. 
    Thanks again
     
    James

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Thanks James.
    I appreciate the suggestion and we will look into how we can get users to the best access point for the data they are interested in. Maybe we need to have something that says "Also available in ...".
    Cheers, Sup

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi,
    Done with the first app, took me about a week of coding from scratch, with some borrowed concepts from reCAPTCHA (especially the look & feel of the mini-site is based on http://www.recaptcha.net).
    As explained earlier in this discussion, it will use the MDG data set, but it can be modified to work off any other data set available and to advocate it as users go about their business of filling in forms.
    I should be submitting it for consideration in a bit after I compile the documentation requirements as per the competition guidelines.
    I am not worried about plagiarism (I am of thee opinion the guys on this forum would not stoop to that :D and plus I had a lot of fun working on this and want to share it!) so the sneak preview is hosted at http://demo.modernization.co.ke/factcha/rgstr/index.php.
    It's basically the FACTCHA idea with a complete mini-site with instructions on how it works... feel free to try it out!!! :D
    regards,Athman

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