CSE2325/3325 : Assignment Specification, 2007

Details about the answers you need to provide for assessment are given below.

Here Be Dragons

Using JavaScript, and CGI scripts (in any appropriate language) implement an interactive online map that runs in the Firefox Internet web browser as follows...

The aim of the website is to produce an interactive, "spotter's" map to be accessible over the WWW. A spotter's map is a map that allows users to mark the location of something they have seen in order for others to go and visit that location. For instance a whale-spotter's map might mark the presence of whales at various locations around a coastline for people to go whale-watching. A trolley-spotter's map might mark the location of shopping trolleys abandoned around suburbia so that supermarket staff can return them to the supermarket carpark.

As well as marking the location of features of interest, the spotter's map should allow an administrator or a user to remove spotted items from the map once they have "expired" (after a certain time has elapsed) or once the item has been moved (a whale has swum away or a trolley has been collected).


Create your own map of a real or imaginary place. This is a chance to be creative! There is a vast history of beautiful map making from which you can draw inspiration. You might create a map of a lost city, a section of the sky, the galaxy, the ocean or perhaps of your university campus or the suburb in which you live. You will need to consult references on the art of cartography to assist you in designing your map, selecting the colours and typefaces you use, and the selection of the iconography you employ. The map can be serious or humourous. It might store good fishing spots, the locations of hidden treasure chests or favourite cafes.


As a basic feature, the map you place online should permit a user to select a point location and attach some information to it. The map will then display this information to the website's visitors. This information may have an expiry date. If so, your software should automatically monitor this and update the map accordingly. Users might be able to remove information from the map if they think it has expired, or submit a request for an administrator to remove some information after they do some basic checks. Perhaps your map allows attachment of icons to locations of various types. For instance a bird-watcher's map might allow a user to mark the location of various eagles' nests with certain icons, whilst marking the location of favourite hunting grounds using different icons. Perhaps entire regions can be entered by a user (for instance areas in which an animal roams, paths of sky where aircraft are permitted to travel etc.).

Have a look for existing maps online and in books. What features do they employ?

Consider employing some of them in your own website.

Here are some (mostly static) maps as examples:

Some features to consider:

  • Indicate clearly the marked locations on your map;
  • Provide a means for viewers to mark locations on the map;
  • Provide a means for viewers to read/see/hear the information stored about the marked locations and to update or remove it if necessary. How will you protect against malicious interference with the map's data?
  • Allow users to show or hide certain types of information and to search for particular features.
  • How will you handle the situation where the map needs to be displayed at a resolution higher than that of the user's screen?

Other things to consider:

* NOTE: The images appearing on this page are of old maps produced by people who are no longer living and who no longer hold copyright over their work. However, work submitted for assessment must be the original work of the students enrolled in the unit.

Task Details


Part 1: Design Document (DD)

(See course outline for due dates)

The DD is web-based and will be assessed online. You will need to post it as a web page on the Monash website of a host-student who you select from your group.

Before you can post your DD you will need to post a splash page containing:

Submitted in partial fullfillment of the requirements for
CSE2325/3325 Multimedia Programming and the WWW
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Monash University, Australia 3800.

This site is the original work of author1, author2, author3, author4

The DD needs to contain the sub-sections listed below. Each sub-section must be clearly labelled.

[Square brackets] contain an approximate % mark for each assessment task. Please note that the effectiveness (and therefore grade) of each section will to some extent be determined by the effectiveness of each other sub-section. This is how the WWW works... the overall design and content of the information you present says a lot about the authority and professionalism with which the information will be credited... people do judge a book by its cover, especially online (where there are no books... how ironic!)

  1. Target audience & concise specification of problem

    Exactly who is your website targeted at? What are its primary and secondary target audiences? What will their expectations of your site be? Include a brief, clear description of the aim of your project in light of these expectations and the resources available to you. (~200 words) [10%]

  2. Concise description of the proposed solution

    1. Explain exactly what you are going to do to meet the aim of the project and the target audience's expectations. What will your project look like? How will you represent the map? How will the landscape and buildings appear from the user's perspective? How will the user interact with the map to meet their requirements? (<400 words) [40%]
    2. Include at least one (probably more) visual mock-up to clearly explain the functionality of your system. (A visual mock-up is a document that looks like a screen-shot, picture or diagram of your proposed web site but the underlying functionality has not yet been implemented. The document should be annotated with text explaining what each of the elements will do in the completed version.) [20%]

    3. Describe a user's interaction with the map from start to finish exploring a couple of different user goals and the sequence of events by which they are met. This may be in the form of a series of key moments and/or decisions for the user. It can be in text or visual form, or a combination of both. [10%]

  3. Tools and techniques

    Give a brief description of software tools, techniques & algorithms you think will be required to implement your solution (You will need to research this. Don't be concerned if later you discover there are better ways of implementing your solution, you just need to show that you have researched the possiblities). In particular, you might like to describe the algorithm you will use: e.g. to calculate the routes between locations. (~200 words) [10%]

  4. The DD content, layout & design

    Don't focus on the technology or your perceptions of what's easy or hard to implement on the web. Marking will be based on the innovation and thought you show in your problem solution (not the difficulty you might have in implementing it) and also the way the DD itself is presented online.

    Therefore, the DD should at a minimum include text, images and hyperlinks. You are limited to using a few pages for the DD. Only add material that is necessary to build your case. Unnecessary material will result in loss of marks if your readers become disinterested.

    Overall quality and presentation of design document [10%]

Part 2: Implementation

(See course outline for due dates)
  • Revised DD...
  • Navigation...
  • Site Layout...
  • Labelling...
  • Page layout & Visual design


  • Interactivity...
  • Programming...
  • Evidence of testing...
  • Usability...
  • Overall quality of web site...


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