Meeting more birb friends can make you happier! A recent study shows that diversity in nature, especially of birds, had the greatest influence on people’s mood. It turns out, having roughly 14 more bird species had a similar impact on happiness as earning an extra $190 a month.
The only problem is, how do you know which birbs live near you other than adorable pigeons?
We are birb enthusiasts at heart who find great value in presence of birbs, especially during the isolation due to the pandemic. We know birds can make you happier than money. That's why we made it easier to get to know the birds in your own backyard!
What it does
“Backyard Birbing” introduces common bird species in your region to help make you happier, get you acquainted with your local nature, and help improve beginner's birding experiences. By entering your province, we give you a beautiful list of birds that live near your own backyard so that you can get out there and recognize that they've been there for you all along!
How we built it
We build a web-scrapper in Python with BeautifulSoup to extract data that tracks bird species by region. We then integrated the scrapper data to the web framework Flask to build a website that tailors the results to your region. We used Bootstrap and HTML to make it pretty and flexible so you can find birds on the go or explore from home.
Challenges we ran into
Initially, we wanted to extract the data by designating a specific location within the province. However, the source that we worked with did not provide in-depth geographic information and thus, it was challenging to extract the data as we hoped. We also ran into issues trying to deploy to heroku because we had no experience deploying with Flask. We also had unforeseen difficulties with Github which ate a lot of our time and energy when we deleted half our files in a merge/clone/pull/not-really-sure-still-what-happened!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We made a product that excites us! We are so happy to have been encouraged to combine our interests with our CS skills instead of being asked to "save the world" with code. Our app is easy and fun to use for anyone interested in their local birds or improving their sense of well-being. Yeram is a first time hacker and Amy has never done webdev, so we both pushed ourselves way out of our comfort zones to get this done!!
What we learned
We learned how to:
-build a web-scrapper
-connect the scraped data to the front-end
-use Github and PyCharm
-do web programming (HTML, Bootstrap, routing)
-that it's way more fun to work all night on a project you care about than it is to work on homework!
What's next for Backyard Birbing
We want to add features that find you the best birding spot for your particular region to let you see what species to expect throughout the year. We also want to get it deployed successfully so that it can be used by everyone!