J.K. Rowling captured the imaginations of millions of people around the world – including fourth year Sheridan animation student Kunli Zhan – with the world of wizardry she created in Harry Potter. But unlike most of us, who just think about the books, Zhan has been busy trying to bring a piece of them to life.
Those who have read the books or seen the films may recall the Marauder’s map. It’s an enchanted document that reveals the layout of the famous school of magic – Hogwarts. Besides showing the owner the location of secret passages of the school, it identifies and reveals every person on the grounds, as a tiny dot with a name.
Early last year, Zhan realized that the Adobe Flash platform, which he has used in his studies, could also be used to create iOS and Android apps. As a devout Harry Potter fan, his immediate thought was to craft his own version of the Marauder’s map as an app, for Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus.
Zhan started working on his Marauder Sheridan pet project in March 2014 with the production of the first prototype. A fully functional version of the app was completed by October that year.
To achieve his objective, Zhan poured over online tutorials and taught himself the nuances of app development. The app rides on Adobe Flash using the logged-in devices’ geo-location data to identify the device-owner on the map. It updates every few seconds to accurately show one’s latest location. Sadly, unlike the Marauder’s Map in the Harry Potter series, Marauder Sheridan does not reveal any secret tunnels or passageways at the Trafalgar Campus.
Anyone wishing to get in on the fun and experiment with the app can download Marauder Sheridan for free from the Google store. The project is still in its early stages and feedback, especially on location accuracy, is welcome. For detailed information about this app, or to leave feedback, visit the website.
Pictured at top of page: Sheridan student and creator of the Marauder Sheridan app Kunli Zhan.
Written by: Vinaya Gopaal, Projects Coordinator in the International Office at Sheridan.