If you have ever walked by a mural, you've probably had a fleeting thought about who the artist is or what is the story behind it. A member of our team had walked past the same mural for months and went through this exact process until his art professor told him about Michael and Kevin. Two young adults who lived in Philadelphia where Kevin was shot by the gun supplied by Michael and as a result ended up in a wheel chair for life. An unusual apology turned these two into an unlikely duo that would become best friends and tour the country talking about the perils of gun violence. Unfortunately Kevin died from complications regarding the shooting a few years later. Michael, Kevin's mom, and many organizations around Philadelphia would come together and paint a mural that embodies Kevin's message of forgiveness. I hope that most of the untold stories in the world are not as tragic as this one, but I do know whether it's the town you've lived in your whole life, or a new city you're just traveling to, there are countless stories waiting to be discovered. And it is our goal at arra to offer a centralized distribution platform to those with stories, whether they are tragic or light hearted, historical or modern. We want to chronicle them, share them, and most importantly celebrate them.
What it does
Arra is extremely easy to use with seamlessly integrated screens that focus around a main map view. The map displays your current location as well as pins around you that hold the location of a story. For the ones in range, you can directly click on the pin, and choose one of the many stories that may be located at that location. For the pins out of range, only the title of the story will be available as we want to encourage users to make the trek to the physical location to truly immerse themselves and step into the shoes of the narrator. On a specific story, you can choose to listen or read with two interchangeable views. All users are encouraged to create and leave their own stories. If this is done near an original landmark, then the user's story will appear there; however, new landmarks are able to be placed as well using google maps API.
How we built it
We decided to use react-native in order to allow for cross platform access as well as a simpler stack design. The backend is a firebase realtime database alongside a firebase storage database for the photos and recordings. The design of all the screens was built on Figma before any development began in order to allow for easier integration as well as a cohesive design.
Challenges we ran into/Accomplishments
Working with a time constraint, we had to work hard and efficiently to be able to develop an entire full stack application that is able to collect, upload, retrieve, and display geographic, visual, auditory, and textual information. We are proud of being able to create so many features that function robustly in a easy to user and intuitive manner.
What we learned
We learned that AWS is weird to use on react-native. Like so weird we used google cloud.
What's next for arra
We plan on taking this idea and the MVP we have established and showing multiple organizations around Philadelphia in the hopes of working together with them in order to gather more stories and promote people to discover the stories collected. We hope that in the future when you go to a new city, arra is the app that shows you the hidden culture, the untold stories, and the unsung heroes and heroines of those stories.