Lubuskie inspires - cross platform mobile app

Authors: Tomasz Soroka

18.10.2016

On the 25th June a celebration of the Days of Lubuskie Region was held. This local festival is eagerly celebrated every year. Taking all the efforts to carefully organize the event and then widely promote it, the local authorities did their best to ensure that not only the inhabitants of the region but also the visitors enjoy themselves during the event. A special element that played a crucial part in this year’s celebration was an application called ‘Lubuskie inspires’ that we were asked to create. Read the post to get to know the story behind creating this app.


Festive application

The Days of Lubuskie Region is an annual event that has been held since the year Lubuskie Region was created, meaning 1998. This year 2016 celebration were held in the Muskau Park. Muskau Park is one of the most extensive historic park sites in Europe and one of the most outstanding achievements of the European art of gardening added by UNESCO to its World Heritage List. The motto of this year’s event was ‘Nature – Science – Space’ and was embodied by the fusion of the natural beauty of the park, music, culture, astronomy and modern technologies. On top of that, there was an unique application specially designed for the purpose the Days of the Lubuskie Region which we were asked to create.


It all started when the representatives of Lubuskie Region Marshall Office located in Zielona Góra turned to us asking to create an application dedicated specially to the celebration of the Days of their Region. On 11th of May 2016 the concept work started, and the first, ready to download version was published as early as 15th June. Due to a very limited time for creating the application, keeping the deadline was the biggest challenge for us. Fortunately, we managed to keep the deadline and as a result of hard work of our project team we managed to launch a reliable version of the application with all the necessary improvements completed by 24th June, so a day before the Festival. 

Functions and features of the application

Within a month we managed to design, develop and publish the application called ‘Lubuskie inspires’. The application was designed for all those visiting the Muskau Park and area around it at the time when the festival of the Days of the Lubuskie Region was taking place, especially families with children from Lubuskie and Lower Silesia regions. The main aim of the application was presenting the agenda and attractions of the Festival. The application allowed to browse through all the important events and places incorporated in the celebration. The attractions were divided into categories and each of them was carefully described. Owing to a clear and easy structure of the application, it was really easy to find those events that would appeal to your interest as well as gain some information about it. 



A feature which made the application really efficient for the visitors of the Muskau Park during the Days of the Lubuskie Region was also a map which included all the sights and landmarks of the park. The map covered the area of a square of 12,5 km side and apart from the events solely connected with the Festival it also displayed all car parks located in the vicinity of the Muskau park. Owing to this feature, reaching the event by car became much easier. 

It is worth noting that in order to make use of the map included in the application no internet connection was necessary as it worked in offline mode. Simply switching on GPS in your mobile device and selecting given attraction or any other location on the map, like car park or a landmark and the application could lead you directly to the desired destination. Implementing such a function was crucial taking into consideration the vast area that the Muskau Park covers. Thanks to GPS on your mobile device finding and reaching any place was as simple as touching a point of the map, even for those who visit this place for the first time. 



Technical data

What was quite unusual about the ‘Lubuskie inspires’ application was that it was only dedicated to one specific event – it was supposed to be used only during the celebration of the Days of Lubuskie Region 2016. To create the application a team of 6 mobile developers, a web developer and an analyst was formed. Our team was responsible for preparing the whole architecture and a mockup of the application, whereas our Client provided graphic design which we adapted for the purposes of the mobile application.

The application was created with the use of Xamarin platform dedicated to mobile applications. When it comes to the administration panel allowing the Client to manage the content of the application, the ASP.NET MVC was applied. We created ‘Lubuskie inspires’ application for three mobile systems – Android, iOS and Windows – as well as a web application. As mentioned before, tight deadline was quite a challenge for us – having just a month to create an application devoted to four different platforms means really limited time and there was absolutely no possibility of moving the deadline. We started working on the application in mid-May, whereas the deadline of implementation was set to 24th June having in mind that the event itself took place the next day, on the 25th June.

This project required quick but also carefully planned work. Creating an impeccable application under time pressure is particularly difficult but in the end we managed to create and implement the application within deadline. This way we constructed an application which not only presented the agenda of the Days of the Lubuskie Region but also helped to discover the most famous landmarks of the Muskau Park and made it much easier to find your way and reach the most important places and attractions organized during the event. Being a multi-platform and user friendly application, ‘Lubuskie inspires’ also greatly contributed to improving the image of the Region enhancing its modern image.