Group 11

Inspiration

Our inspiration for our climate change webpage was the lack of necessary attention and action by politicians in combating the climate crisis. We aim to garner greater efforts from the public with our project to encourage people to learn and demand change from our local representatives.

What it does

Our web application hosts effective static and interactive web-based visualizations of climate change data, provides links to donate and promote change, offers the means to locate and contact politicians and state representatives with ease, outlines relevant news articles and links, allows for messaging capabilities, and presents social media links for more information. With this platform, our users feel empowered to take action with us in this important cause by donating to global environmental conservation organizations and have access to their local representatives to demand change.

How we built it

In our data collection and preprocessing stage we conducted novel analysis of climate change occurrence and consequence data. We performed extensive search for relevant data for visualization, used web scraping tools to derive politician contact information, used R and python to tidy our data, and analyzed initial visualization with Tableau to understand trends. Our static plots visualize natural disaster reports from 1900 to 2020 and global ice sheet change in mass since 2002. Our interactive visualizations depict the global ice sheet change and earth surface temperature throughout the years by US state. To host our webpage, we acquired the domain actonclimatechange.com, performed backend work using the python web framework Django, AWS S3 storages, and heroku. We began with a simple template with html, css, and javascript. From there, we sectioned the starter code into our django application, and sent the static files to S3 storages. Finally, we pushed to our heroku server and created our pristine page.

Challenges we ran into

Finding effective and interpretable climate change data was one of our most consistent challenges throughout our hacking experience. Often times we spent many hours tidying data in order to observe initial visualization, but unfortunately the trends may not have been relevant to our end goal, and we had to move on. On the web application, there were multiple issues with CSS and JavaScript. One issue was getting a horizontal scroll table to render at the start instead of the middle. There was an issue with the the virtual environment not being able to run the elastic bean stalk cli, so we switched to Heroku. The last issue was providing consistent formatting across different devices.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are incredibly proud of our clean and beautiful end result. We were able to accomplish more than we could've imagined in the less than forty hours given to us. We felt that we successfully found creative solutions to each and every one of our challenges and wholly encompassed our projects goals.

What we learned

We learned the most important aspects of developing and implementing a working project from scratch. It's easy to give up after a long obstacle, but we all learnt to approach problems and challenges differently each time we got stuck. Each of us learned new libraries, languages, programs, and platforms to create our project. We were also able to gain strong team collaboration skills and experience.

What's next for ACTonClimateChange

We hope to build the foundations for a successful hub of climate change data, visualizations, links, and more for the general public to take their action in the climate crisis. We also hope to grow our social media following and contribute more in great ways to our web page.

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