We’re starting a new series featuring our IGNITE Finalists! Get to know more about the people behind the Smart M.Apps and more about their innovative ideas as they continue to bring their Smart M.Apps to life over the next couple of months. We’re kicking off the series with IGNITE Finalist, Łukasz Lechowski. In this Q&A, Lukasz shares information about when his passion for maps first began and what he hopes to accomplish with the Smart M.App he is developing, called .GEO.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I live in Lodz, which is the third most populated city in Poland.
Q: Where did you attend school and what did you study? Why did you choose this subject?
A: I studied geography at the University of Łódź in Poland. Geography has been my passion since childhood. As a very young child, I used to play with maps, search interesting places in selected charts of geographical atlases, and learn capitals of all countries around the world. My geography classes at primary school inspired me to discover new places and learn about processes taking place on the Earth. As a result, I decided to study geography.
Q: Where do you currently work? What is your job? What are your responsibilities?
A: I work in the Department of Geoinformation at the University of Łódź as an Assistant Lecturer. I am working on my doctoral thesis under professor Iwona Jażdżewska. My PhD dissertation concerns the impact of new road investments (A2 motorway) on land use changes in its vicinity based on spatio-temporal data. I teach students mostly the basics of GIS and its implementation in spatial planning policies in addition to spatial management. I also carry out research on settlement and spatial management.
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do during your free time?
A: I love to spend my time actively, mainly traveling. My favorite destinations are the mountains, where I spend my time with my family in the contact with nature. In addition, I like traveling to urban areas, especially big cities. I love to discover new places, such as restaurants not mentioned in travel guide books. I also like talking people who live there. One of my other interests is taking part in location-based games and organizing such games.
Q: Where did your interest in geospatial/mapping/information services come from?
A: Maps have been always very important for me, but the first time I had a contact with geospatial services and tools was during my studies. At first, I tried to develop maps with use of GIS tools on my own. Then, during my studies, I got a job in cartographic-geodesic enterprise where I developed my skills in cartography and geodesy.
Q: How did you hear about IGNITE?
A: I first heard about IGNITE during a meeting with Marek Brylski at the Department of Hexagon Geospatial in Lodz. He spoke enthusiastically about Hexagon Smart M.Apps and inspired members of the Department of Geoinformation to take part in the IGNITE Challenge.
Q: Why are you excited about this competition?
A: I believe that children learn best when they are playing, hence the reason we turned this Smart M.App into an educational game. I am excited because this competition give us the opportunity to develop a tool that can be useful for educational purposes and change way geography can be taught. In addition, this tool may also draw attention to the importance of environmental protection and use of spatial analyses in everyday decision-making.
Q: What is the problem your Smart M.App addresses?
A: This Smart M.App helps to educate people about conservation while also teaching them about spatial planning problems. It encourages people to become familiar with key concepts of conservation in an environment, and changes people’s behaviors using educational and logical games.
Q: What is your Smart M.App called?
A: This Smart M.App is called “.GEO.” The name contains a dot, because the Smart M.App derives from a traditional dots game, in which one player has to surround dots of the opponent.
Q: What IGNITE Theme does it support?
A: This Smart M.App supports conservation.
Q: What does it do?
A: This Smart M.App broadens people’s knowledge about conservation while also making them familiar with real environmental concerns. Imagery data is used as a game board. Dots are placed in the center of each cell. First, a player selects a cell where he or she wants to insert a dot. The dot is inserted once the player solves a task correctly. That task or query relates directly to the part of imagery situated inside the cell selected by the player. The player aims to surround dots of the opponent while solving tasks. The winner is a person or a group, who surrounds more opponent’s dots or who has more dots placed on the board. This game is developed to:
- Broaden people’s knowledge about conservation and spatial planning problems
- Teach children about environmental issues based on experience related to local and regional samples
- Raise awareness of players for environment, especially related to spatial planning policy and conservation issues
- Make children familiar with use of spatial data
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your Smart M.App?
A: I would like to teach people how to protect an environment while managing their space in regard to sustainable development. I hope to make people much more familiar with use of spatial analysis and furthermore, show how important and useful it can be in their everyday lives. My goal is to raise funds necessary to improve and continue to develop this Smart M.App, and eventually increase its popularity. This competition is also a chance for me, to gain skills and experience crucial for further improvement and development of Smart M.App applications.
Interested in developing a Smart M.App that can solve real-world problems? Visit our website to learn more about Hexagon Smart M.Apps and how you can get involved.
Note: Although this Smart M.App is no longer available, you can browse through tons of other Smart M.Apps on the M.App Exchange.