Food Markets Visualization in China


Our objective is to produce the first dynamic map of Chinese food markets (considered here as any selling point of fresh food) showing their local and national distribution with key descriptive information on their activity. This map would be highly relevant to promote a sustainable development and improve epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases. For this, we want to build the first mobile and participatory application in order to collect information on these markets while providing an interactive and educative experience to the users.

The information gathered by the users and collected from the app would include :

  • GPS localisation of the food markets on a dynamic map
  • Date 
  • Validation system by the users to correct old data points
  • Type of selling site (ex: permanent market, itinerant market...)
  • Type and quantities of food sold at the market 
  • Option to input photos

However, the app should have educational features added. The app and subsequent map will be initially developed and tested in a selection of Chinese cities (Beijing and Shenzhen) but should be extended to other relevant locations in Asia and the world. Our primary target audience would consist of the local consumers but also national and international visitors (e.g. tourists and travellers) as we wish to reinforce their cultural experience by giving them the opportunity to learn and share their experience with others. The app will also have pages of information on exotic products and local practices (e.g. cooking), while respecting specific health recommendations (e.g. to minimize foodborne infections). Finally, the map generated by the app could serve as a guide for tourists to visit specific areas within markets or markets in other parts of the city.  

Weekend Goals

The goal would be to set up a game version of the application with a map which allows users to input new data and validate old data points. This game version would create more incentives to the users.

Skills being sought
  • Programming skills
  • App development (Android)
  • JavaScript 

Awareness of JavaScript and app development.

References and background material
  1. A Guide to Healthy Food Markets [Internet]. World Health Organization. 2006 [cited 10 June 2016]. Available from:
  2. Webster R. Wet markets—a continuing source of severe acute respiratory syndrome and influenza?. The Lancet 2004; 363(9404):234-236. Available from: