Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust

European Regional Development Fund Logo with blue background and circle of gold stars.


Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust wanted an Android application to be developed for an automated commentary to be provided on the Derby’s first electric river boat ride.  

Issue to be resolved 

The University of Derby helped the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust through an ERDF project to design an Android application that enabled them to automate the commentary on the electric boat ride they are planning to launch over the river Derwent. The boat will ride across River Derwent allowing guests to enjoy the river journey and learn more about the enriching history of Derby.

Action taken

Designed an Android Application that provided the ability to automatically play commentary on the river ride using geofences through an android based mobile phone using the onboard GPS/location services. 


The result was an Android-based application enabling to play commentary on the river ride. It allows users (boat operators) to set geofences at various locations along with the associated commentary during the ride based on their historical significance to learn more about Derby.    

Additional information

The application provides an interface to select the size of the geofences (in meters), along with the ability to set geofences by placing the PIN (correct location of geofence) and an associated button to select the accompanying commentary (MP3 file) to be set. Furthermore the ‘Start’ and ‘End’ Buttons allow the Captain of the boat to run a welcome/safety announcement and a farewell announcement on the way towards the completion of the ride. It also has a reset button to reset the geofences.

A selection of mobile phone app examples
Figure 1, 2 & 3

Figure 1 & 2 – Starting Interface (Allowing application access to device location and access to media)         Figure 3 – Selecting radius of geofence Interface 

A selection of screen grab images from a mobile phone app
Figure 4, 5 & 6

Figure 4 – Location for the start of boat’s journey   Figure 5 – Dropping PIN to select location for geofence  Figure 6 – Selecting the accompanying audio file.

A selection of screen grabs from a mobile phone app
Figure 7 & 8

Figure 7 – Geofence created                         Figure 8 – multiple geofences created for the whole journey