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App: moveMEANT

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The moveMEANT app is a fun interactive, and visual, tool for elementary school children in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Nova Scotia to develop sustainability literacy skills in the topic of sustainable transportation. The app helps children draw connections between various modes of transportation and their environmental and health impacts. While the app is primarily aimed at school children, it be used by anyone to assess the environmental and health aspects of their transposition modes.

The moveMEANT app has two general components. The “move” component of moveMEANT helps users understand and characterize their transportation habits: how they move about from place to place and the environmental heath impact of their trips. The app calculates greenhouse gas emissions (grams (g) of carbon dioxide(CO2)/trip) emitted by vehicle based transportation modes (truck/van/sports utility vehicles, car, public transit, and school bus). To help users picture the amount of CO2 released, the CO2 amount is put in terms of the equivalent number of tree seedlings grown for 10 years. The app also calculates the calories burned per trip by travelling with active transportation modes (biking and walking).

The MEANT component encourages students to ask meaningful questions about the status of transportation modes within their community. The suitability scores layers (bad, ok, good) provide a score based on the time required to walk or bike to the closest bus stop and the time to travel to the Halifax Train Station using public transit. The app also shows points of interest (eg. schools, libraries, and recreation centres) and time to the nearest bus stop by walking or biking and the time to the Halifax Train Station using public transit.

Students can do two possible activities with the suitability score layers and points of interests.

  1. Use their own location to assess he suitability score of the area of their origin or destination. This helps promote critical questions such as “why doesn’t my location have a better score?” Or “What can be done to improve the suitability score of my area?”
  2. Assess the suitability score of points of interest. For example, “If this rec centre has a poor suitability score, then perhaps I should choose another with a better suitability score”

Video Presentation


Team Members

Kenneth Abas: I am Kenneth Abas, I am currently doing an Advanced Diploma program in Geographic Sciences at the Centre of Geographic Sciences. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography at York University. I also received my certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing at York University.

Karen Jiang: My name is Karen Jiang. I am a student at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto majoring in urban studies and human biology. At COGS I am currently studying advanced GIS and working on a project investigating the pricing and location of condominiums in the Greater Halifax Area.

Fatima Khan: My name is Fatima and I am from Kelowna, BC on the west coast. It seems that I am on an academic journey across Canada. First, I completed my BSc in in Land Reclamation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. Now, I am working on the Geographic Information Systems concentration of the Geographic Sciences Advanced Diploma at COGS in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia- on the east coast!

Heather Page: Hi, I’m Heather Page. I’m currently at COGS for the Advanced Diploma in Geographic Sciences with a focus on GIS. Previously, I completed an undergraduate degree in Environmental Geoscience and Geomatics with a minor in Physics at the University of Guelph. My interests in STEM and problem solving are the reasons I decided to go into the field of GIS.