Imagine, tourism redefined by an app, by community collaboration, by utilizing everyone's opinion, to provide the best tourism experience...
Everyone loves to travel.
TripAdvisor is the go-to website for tourist attractions. However, it only lists the major attractions of a city.
Many times, one cannot fully experience the local culture and vibe from visiting those attractions (because it is filled with more tourists). To localize and truly experience the culture of the city, a local tour guide will give the best advice for activities, food, and places to stay.
Our inspiration of the app comes from the fact the we have a better time when we have a local friend to show us around the city.
Thus, why not make everyone who lives in the city become our tour guide?
And voila, AdvenTour was born.
What it does
AdvenTour is a multi-platform application which allows locals to suggest activities to do at a certain location; it can be in a restaurant, an attraction, or a bar. The app will automatically locate the user's location and determine the city he/she is in. Then, "challenges" near the region would pop up as things to do, ordered by the most popular suggestions to the least.
Tourists would get to engage in a locally-guided scavenger hunt where users would pick a challenge and complete it for points. As their points accumulates, they can achieve milestones and discover special rewards.
How we built it
We created a beautiful application through Android Studio and a webpage powered by React and Node.js. Through our Android application, we used Snap Kit API to authenticate users (which will be used as their unique ID) and we store all our information regarding challenges and user info on Google Cloud Platform's Firebase. The webpage is also powered by the Firebase API.
Challenges we ran into
Snap Kit API was extremely difficult to use on Android. What we realized was that Snap Kit does not put an emphasis on Android development. Furthermore, there were limited resources on Snap Kit's API for Android Studio.
Another major difficulty we faced was to interact with Firebase API. In Java, Firebase doesn't offer blocking reads and only supports event-based listeners which made it difficult to structure many sequential data reads through the Android application.
The most difficult challenge we faced was integrating multiple technologies together as a whole. We dealt with multi-platform integration and worked with two APIs in one go. None of us had any knowledge of those APIs prior which makes it a learning experience developing the app.
Lastly, everyone was low on sleep throughout the weekend, which definitely made things harder.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are proud to deliver the product at the end of the day. We manage to combine all the technologies seamlessly. We have successfully built a full stack application along with a mobile application in only 24 hours. We are extremely proud of our dedication, hard work, and continuous effort to produce the best app we can in such a short time span.
What we learned
Integration was challenging but worth it in the end. Through working with the Snapchat and Google Cloud Platform APIs, we gained knowledge in publishing and extracting information. We learned how to locate our GPS through our local device and used Google Maps API to extract city locations and activities.
What's next for AdvenTour
Next up, we need to integrate the reward system of points the user collects with local vendors and businesses to promote incentives. Rewards can range from a free coffee to coupons for a restaurant to prompt user interaction and satisfaction. We did not have a lot of time to spend on the UI interface on the app and we could use some time to make it look more aesthetically pleasing.