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COMP3018 Coursework 2

 COMP3018 Coursework 2 – Running Tracker

In this exercise you are required to build an Android running tracking application, and 
document its design and architecture in a report. This is an assessed exercise and will account 
for 40% of your final module mark. This is an individual coursework, and your submission 
must be entirely your own work – please pay particular attention to the section of this 
document regarding plagiarism. This is a sizeable and open-ended coursework compared to
the previous assessed exercises. This document sets out general requirements that your 
application should meet rather than specific instructions.
Your application and report should be submitted no later than:
• 3pm on Monday the 11th of January 2021
Submissions should be made electronically via Moodle. Standard penalties of 5% per working 
day will be applied to late submissions.
Your coursework must be submitted as a .zip or .tar.gz file containing your report and 
application, including all relevant source code, configuration and related files, and a compiled 
.apk file – i.e. the contents of the directory containing your Android Studio project. Do not 
submit RAR files.
The Quantified Self or life-logging movement has been around for a number of years, but 
advances in mobile and wearable computing have increased the ability of people to collect 
data about their physical activities. The most common of these track activity as it happens for 
fitness, health or gamification purposes, for example displaying comparisons with previous 
activities, keeping track of best time or longest distances etc.
The goal of this coursework is to design and implement a mobile application that functions as 
a basic Running Tracker, in that it should allow the user to track their movement when they 
decide to walk, run or jog, principally by logging the change in physical location using GPS.
The application should allow the user to inspect this data in a useful manner. The user might 
expect to want to be able to ask simple questions of the data such as “how far have I run so 
far today?”, “how much have I improved?” or “have I run faster than my best time today?”.
The application should allow the user to annotate their data. They might expect to be able to 
tag a particular exercise activity as good, or bad, or note something about the weather 
conditions, or they might want to associate a photograph with the exercise activity.
At the minimum, your application should support:
• Logging the movement of a user when they go running or walking
• Saving the movement data in an appropriate manner
• Allowing the user to inspect their data in an appropriate manner
• Allowing the user to annotate their data in a useful manner
• In principle allowing other applications to make use of the data
How you approach building this application is up to you, however how you consider and make
appropriate of the major Android application and architecture components is a significant 
part of the assessment criteria.
For this reason, it is important to consider how the task can be broken down into multiple 
atomic components, how they communicate with one another, and how their various 
lifecycles should interact. Other than making data available, there is no requirement that your 
components will be accessed by components outside of the application.
Some hints and tips regarding getting started with location services / GPS monitoring are 
provided below.
Your application must be written in Java or Kotlin and make use of the Android SDK. There 
are no requirements to target a specific Android API version, however you can assume that 
your application will be tested on an emulated device (1080 x 1920 420dpi) running Android 
API version 29 (Android 10.0).
Your application should have appropriate comments and variable / class names, so that a 
reader can easily understand how it works at the code level.
Adding further additional functionality to the application is encouraged, as are, for example, 
different interpretations of what it means to log running – you could consider walking, or 
other kinds of movement activity as might be measured by sensors on an Android device –
however as always your application should meet the above specification primarily. Indeed, 
an appropriate interpretation of the app’s required functionality is an implicit part of this
You must provide a report alongside your application that documents its design and technical 
architecture, in particular providing a rationale for the components that you have 
implemented based on their underpinning capabilities and paradigms, their relationship and 
communication with one another, and the behaviour of the application from the user’s point 
of view.
The report should be at minimum 1000 words long, with a maximum length of 1500 words.
There is no set structure for the report, however you may wish to include a diagram showing 
the components and their relationships, and a short explanation of each one, for example 
how the task is broken down into discrete Activity components, how and when Services are 
started, how data is abstracted from underlying storage etc.
N.B. Use of third party assets (tutorials, images, example code, libraries etc.) MUST be 
credited and referenced, and you MUST be able to demonstrate that they are available 
under a license that allows their reuse.
Making significant use of tutorial code while referencing it is poor academic practice, and 
will result in a lower mark that reflects the significance of your own original contribution.
Copying code from other students, from previous students, from any other source, or 
soliciting code from online sources and submitting it as your own is plagiarism and will be 
penalized as such. FAILING TO ATTRIBUTE a source will result in a mark of zero – and can 
potentially result in failure of coursework, module or degree. 
All submissions are checked using both plagiarism detection software and manually for 
signs of cheating. If you have any doubts, then please ask.
Assessment Criteria
Application Functionality
How you have interpreted the provided Running Tracker specification, 
and the functionality that the application provides, including novelty and 
Application Structure and Implementation
How you have implemented and made appropriate use of Android 
components and principles
Programming style
How easy the application is to understand, with comments explaining 
each part of the code, correct formatting, and meaningful variable names
as well as 
Description and justification of the design and architecture 25
Total 100
Each element of your coursework will be assessed against the standard criteria: 
Exceptional (90-100%) The work should exhibit all the characteristics of an Excellent 
grade. Additionally the work should be essentially without fault 
and of the highest possible quality, exhibiting a substantial 
original component.
Outstanding (80-89%) The work should exhibit all the characteristics of an Excellent 
grade. Additionally the results should exhibit independent 
thought and originality. Any short-comings should be no more 
than incidental.
Excellent (70-79%) The work should display a complete and thorough understanding 
of the conceptual and practical issues surrounding the topic. The 
work should be well structured with a clear line of argument and 
the quality of the analysis should be excellent. The work should 
be comprehensive and rigorous. Any software should be 
complete in all respects and exhibit very high quality. There 
should be evidence of reading beyond the core lecture material.
Good (60-69%) The work should show a good understanding of the conceptual 
and practical issues surrounding the topic. Arguments should be 
clearly structured. The quality of analysis and writing should be 
good. The work should be competently conducted using 
recognised and appropriate methods. Any software should be 
complete and usable and exhibit good levels of quality.
Average (50-59%) The work would be expected to display a fair understanding of 
the key conceptual and practical issues, although weakness may 
be present in some areas. There work should have a basic 
structure, and there should be some argument around the 
information available. The analytical content should be fair. Any 
software should be adequate to illustrate principles; it may 
display weakness in areas not central to the work.
Adequate (40-49%) The work would display an incomplete understanding of the 
central issues relating to the topic. The work would lack a clear 
structure and strong argument and the quality of analysis would 
be below average. Any software would be poorly designed, 
incomplete, poorly commented and difficult to understand; it 
would exhibit poor levels of quality.
Poor (below 40%) The work would display a very poor understanding of the area; 
there would be no clear structure and the analysis may be weak 
or incomplete. Any software would be limited in capability, and 
difficult to use.
The following areas will be taken into account for each part of the assessment:
• Demonstrating knowledge of the area
• Quality of the concept, including appropriateness and novelty
• Quality of the technological design, including appropriate use of software design 
concepts, and appropriate good coding practice (abstraction, commenting, naming)
• Quality of the realization, including how well it works and elaborations over and above 
the basic requirements
• Including all of the above aspects, clarity of structure, quality of argument / evidence, 
and insight / novelty
Hints and tips
Using Location / GPS tracking
There are different mechanisms for obtaining the location of the device, including GPS, Wi-Fi 
or cell-tower signal triangulation, and different mechanisms for how this data can be accessed 
by the device.
Increasingly Android is attempting to push this functionality into Google Play services (giving 
Google more control over parts of the Android stack), and this provides a unified approach 
that fuses multiple location systems into one to provide an abstraction over multiple pieces 
of hardware and to reduce battery usage. This requires making use of an emulator with the 
Google APIs installed – generally this will be a different emulator system image.
There is, however, a simpler approach that is perfectly adequate for this coursework, and that 
is to use the LocationManager system service to provide GPS (global positioning system) 
updates that reveal the user’s location.
Accessing location requires permission from the user:
import android.content.Context; 
import android.location.Location;
import android.location.LocationListener;
import android.location.LocationManager;
The LocationManager is a system service, and so needs to be retrieved from the service 
manager via getSystemService. Then it can be passed an instance of a LocationListener that 
will receive updates from the GPS provider. The two other parameters specify the minimum 
frequency of updates (i.e. we can say that we want at most 1 update every 5 seconds), and 
distance between updates (i.e. we can say that we only want to be told when the device has 
moved at least 5 metres). The fastest update frequency for GPS is around 1 second, and 
accuracy varies from a few metres upwards depending on environmental conditions.
LocationManager locationManager = 
MyLocationListener locationListener = new MyLocationListener();
try {
locationManager.requestLocationUpdates(LocationManager.GPS_PROVIDER, 5, // minimum time interval between updates
5, // minimum distance between updates, in metres
} catch(SecurityException e) {
Log.d("g53mdp", e.toString());
The MyLocationListener class receives these location events by implementing the 
LocationListener interface as follows:
public class MyLocationListener implements LocationListener {
public void onLocationChanged(Location location) {
Log.d("g53mdp", location.getLatitude() + " " + location.getLongitude());
public void onStatusChanged(String provider, int status, Bundle extras) {
// information about the signal, i.e. number of satellites
Log.d("g53mdp", "onStatusChanged: " + provider + " " + status);
public void onProviderEnabled(String provider) {
// the user enabled (for example) the GPS
Log.d("g53mdp", "onProviderEnabled: " + provider);
public void onProviderDisabled(String provider) {
// the user disabled (for example) the GPS
Log.d("g53mdp", "onProviderDisabled: " + provider);
} }
onProviderEnabled and onProviderDisabled methods are called when the user enables or 
disables the GPS, and onStatusChanged gives information about the status of the GPS signal:
The important method call is onLocationChanged, which reports the current location as it is 
measured, and provides a Location object that can be inspected to obtain WGS 84 latitude, 
longitude, altitude (elevation), reported accuracy of the signal etc.
Note that geodesy and global positioning are incredibly complicated subjects in their own 
right - the Earth is in no way perfectly spherical, and we like to think of linear distances on a 
locally flat surface as opposed to degrees around the world – however the Location class hides 
most of this from us. In particular the distanceTo method will calculate the distance between 
two points given as latitude and longitude:
float distance = myLocation.distanceTo(someOtherLocation);
Emulating GPS
It is possible to complete this coursework entirely using the emulator – there is no advantage 
to or necessity of having a physical Android phone. There is also no expectation that you 
handle the everyday practical details of GPS – losing signal, inaccurate signals etc. You can 
assume that it will be tested on an emulated device with “perfect” GPS.
The emulator provides a mock GPS device that feeds NMEA (latitude and longitude position 
updates) to the phone where they will be handled by the LocationManager as if they were 
real updates, via the extended controls menu. This can be found by clicking “…” on the 
emulator side bar.
Furthermore, the emulator can replay a series of GPS events from a GPX file (a standard log 
format for many GPS devices and applications). It is also possible to export from Google Maps 
to GPX.
Three example GPX files have been uploaded to Moodle for use as “real” latitude and 
longitude positions that can be played out.
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