This project is read-only.

Project Description

Trazers (aka Trailblazers) is the next generation of a navigation system. It enhances normal map data with specific information collected by the community. It was originally created for the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006, which is a world-wide software development competition. In 2006 the competition was focused on increasing people’s healthiness. Therefore at the very beginning Trazers was aimed on disabled people who are bound to wheelchairs. The basic idea behind Trazers is to to increase their mobility by providing a navigation system that helps to navigate in a barrier free manner. Besides Trazers is able to provide useful and specific data to user groups, like runner and biker.

All available navigation systems rely on maps that contain data about streets only. Our solution to this problem is to create a large community of users which we call the “Trazers”. These users carry a mobile device (e.g. PDA) and a GPS device and constantly record their exact GPS coordinates. The recorded coordinates are transmitted to a central Trazers server in specific time intervals (e.g. every X second). If the user is currently in an area without WLAN or GSM/UMTS connection, the data is temporarily stored on the smart client and later sent to the server as a bulk load when a connection could be reestablished. The recorded data is analyzed during nightly batch runs. When users use a way a certain amount of time, the server recognizes this because a certain threshold has been reached. The result is a new created trail in the database which can be included in future routing operations. The users are also able to insert specific points of interest to provide specific information for other users. Somone in a wheelchair can provide needful information about steps, including a picture, to other users so the he would be the one and only who has to face such kind of a barrier for the first time.

Mission statement

We were thinking a lot about what we could do with this piece of software after the Imagine Cup was over. Start-up, research project at university,... Finally we decided to make the software open source, because we think this fits best to the spirit the idea was developed with: power to the people so that they can help their selves. Now it is up to you what happens next. Everybody is welcome to be part of the project. If you want to contribute, drop me a line Mark


Date Topic
2007-11-25 Binaries online. Source code for client will follow in a couple of days.


Date Event
2006-05 Trailblazers won national Imagine Cup in Software Design in Munich, Germany
2006-06 Trailblazers met Bill Gates in Redmond, WA, USA
2006-08 Trailblazers plazed 7th international Imagine Cup 2006 in Dehli, India
2007-01 Trailblazers at the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator in London, UK
2007-05 Trailblazers won INNOTECH Prize 2007 in Hamburg, Germany
2007-10 Trailblazers named Trazers and Go Live! on
2007-11 Trailblazers became open source and published on CodePlex

Detailed information


How to get started


Trazers is a mobile client/server application that provides following features:
  • personalised navigation (e.g. in a barrier-free manner for the disabled)
  • personalised points of interest
  • mobile social network
  • friends finder / friends tracking
  • communication


Personalised navigation

The user enters an origin and a destination address on the mobile device. The result - maps, barrier-free routes and points of interests - a fetched from the service and presented to the user on the device. There is no need to stay connected to the service all time. The calculation of the route takes place on server and also on client-side if the user leaves the provided route corridor. During navigation the position information (e.g. GPS coordinates) are stored permanently on the device and in case of an established connection to the server they are transferred. On server-side new trails are generated based on all collected position information of all users.

Personalised points of interest

The user is able to collect specific information about points of interest. Therefore he can take a picture, provide a name, description and tags. The point of interest will be transferred to the service, stored in a database and shared with all other users.

Mobile social network, friends finder and communication

The user can build up a social network by inviting friends to his frinds list. He can then track the position of his friends in real time and they can communicate with each other by sending text messages.

Last edited Nov 25, 2007 at 11:29 AM by JackSmith, version 33