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Travelling the National Gwacheon Science Museum in the digital world
Written by Matthew Choi | Published. 2018.10.16 15:20 | Count : 534

During the summer, I took the time to reflect on my previous experiences at the Gwacheon Science Museum, and I thought that it would be a good idea for me to try to apply it into one of my hobbies: making applications. Using an app called App Inventor, I was able to make a mobile phone application(note that I am still working on releasing it). I was eventually able to create an application that was able to represent a specific part of the museum, and act as a virtual map that could be used on a mobile device since when I came to Gwacheon Science Museum, I had a hard time trying to find where I had to do my voluntary service. Furthermore, I thought that the map would be a good assistance for some, since it is able to represent the museum in a way that people can comprehend it, and there are no proper maps to the museum that can be universally accessed. 

[A view of the museum application. The black dot represents
the user’s position in the museum (taken by Matthew Choi)]

This June, I was able to return to the museum one more time, as a way for me to try to collect the pictures that I needed in order to try and make the application. I was able to visit the Future SF hall, which was dedicated to displaying futuristic designs, as well as potential future inventions involving all of the science departments. However, the majority of the museum was dedicated to exploring outer space, as well as the robotics and gaming department. It seemed to me that humanity was trying to find a way to reach “the final frontier (Star Trek reference),” and was trying to reach beyond our own planet, into interstellar territory. 

[A model of a nuclear power plant in the Future SF sector of the museum 
(taken by Matthew Choi)]

Of course, there were obstacles that got in the way of making the app. One such obstacle was how to get all of the pictures I had taken into the application. Unfortunately, the App Inventor did not provide enough storage space for all of the high-quality pictures, so I had to find a way to retain the quality of the pictures while trying to make the application be within the storage size limit. 

Fortunately, I found a solution to this dilemma by making the images into a website link instead of a storage file in the application (I used a specific website known as Imgur to link the pictures to the application). This way, I would be able to conserve the amount of pictures’ data would take in the app, and also retain the same quality of the pictures. There were no apparent backlashes to this innovative way of thinking, which was surprising, due to how I had a lot of trouble with making application in the past, such as continuous lag(which still occurs in my app as well) and the slow movement speed(which I was forced to replace with having the user drag the ball to move around the museum.) 

All in all, I have to say that this task was a memorable one, and brought forth a lot of good memories, including my previous times serving at Gwacheon Science museum, and I was able to combine my desire to make an application that conveys my experiences serving at the museum, and without doubt, it was a worthwhile achievement for me. Along with that, it also gave me the moral that trying and failing eventually leads to success. 


Matthew Choi 
Asian Pacific International School

Matthew Choi  student_reporter@dherald.com

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