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Prototype app to guide users on "quests" which reveal interesting things about the Fairmount Water Works (and perhaps ultimately other sites in Philly).

This application is built using PhoneGap/Cordova which enables developers to build native Android & iOS applications using HTML/CSS/JS.


  • Node 0.10.48
  • Python (for serving static assets)

Getting Started

  • Clone the repository, then use nvm to set your current active Node version to 0.10.48.

  • Install grunt-cli globally:

npm install -g grunt-cli
  • Install the project's Node modules:
npm install
  • Build PhoneGap assets with grunt:

After making changes to the app, you should re-run grunt to produce a new build.


To serve the application for local development, first build the assets using grunt, then

cd www
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 8000

This will serve the app on port 8000.

Local Testing

The application is designed and intended to by run on a touch device. You can run the built site in a standard browser (Firefox and Chrome have been tested thoroughly) with the caveat that you must be running in mobile emulation mode (supported in the aforementioned browsers' developer tools) to ensure touch events are properly triggered.

Using the PhoneGap Developer App

If you want to more quickly view changes to the app during development, you can skip the publish and build process by using the PhoneGap Developer App. Instructions to install the app on your machine and development device can be found at and are reproduced here:

  1. Install the app on your development machine: npm install phonegap -g.
  2. Search for and download the "PhoneGap Developer App" from the app store on your device.
  3. Build the app: grunt app.
  4. Start the PhoneGap server from the project root: phonegap serve.
  5. Open the PhoneGap Developer App on your device and input the server address give by the PhoneGap server.

Once you are connected to the application on the device, run grunt watch locally. The app will reload on the device anytime grunt catches a change.

Update Map Tiles

Map tiles were generated in MapBox Studio ( To alter them you will need a running copy of mapbox studio. The current project was created by Daniel ( Exporting is a complicated process but we created a VM that has all the tools needed to create a raster-based mbtiles file. The VM can be found on the fileshare (smb://fileshare/projects/PWD_StormwaterBilling/data/mapboxstudio.ova). You will need a mapbox studio key. There are instuctions in text files on the desktop. The username and password are "azavea". This user has administrative rights. Once you have created the mbtiles file, move off the VM and use mbutil to extract the tiles ( Then drop them in /src/tiles.

Native Builds

Recent versions have failed to successfully build using the phonegap platform and tooling. Creating native applications has proven successful. In order to do this you will need the IDE for the platform you want to build (either Android Studio or XCode). To start, wipe out any files you may have that are lying around from older builds:

phonegap platform remove ios


phonegap platform remove android


phonegap build [ios, android]

This prepares the build directories in ./plaforms/[ios, android]. If properly setup it will also actually compile the application. In either case, you can open the appropriate project file in the IDE for that platform and build or test in a simulator.


Prototype app to guide users on "quests" which reveal interesting things about the Fairmount Water Works (and perhaps ultimately other sites in Philly).








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