BenchBae

MMPP (Team 1) Calgary Hacks 2021 Submission.
We are submitting to Tier 1, as well as the Google Cloud, Cloud Computing, Domain Name and UX/UI bounty.

Access

Find BenchBae here: https://benchbae.netlify.app/
Or hosted on Firebase: https://mmmpp-calgary-hacks-2021.web.app/
Or on our custom domain: http://benchbae.me/

About

BenchBae was inspired by a dataset detailing Calgary’s park benches from Calgary’s municipal open-source data.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects on our local economy. From temporary closures to reduced capacity, increased sanitization costs and significantly lower revenue, Calgarian restaurants have been slowly suffocating under the weight of the economic downturn. A survey conducted by Statistics Canada showed that nearly 30 percent of businesses in the Food and Drink sector reported that they would be operationally viable for only six more months until facing drastic measures. We aim to help this problem by giving more exposure to Calgary’s restaurants, stimulating our economy.

Mental health concerns have become more and more pressing over the years. Due to COVID-19, the mental health of many Calgarians has deteriorated. Because of this pandemic, 24% of participants in a study reported fair or poor mental health. This is a massive jump from the previous 2018 survey where 8% of Canadians reported fair or poor mental health. Most participants experienced at least one symptom of anxiety in the two weeks prior to completing the survey. We strive to contribute a safe, new way for friends, family and couples around Calgary to relieve some stress and get out of the house.

BenchBae puts an innovative twist on the standard date night process. Our application lets users find the closest west-facing bench to watch the sunset with their partner. This spontaneous and intimate experience is elevated with a hearty meal from a nearby restaurant as recommended by our app. The result is an experience that not only stimulates the local economy but allows users to safely enjoy the company of their loved ones with a beautiful Calgary sunset backdrop. In the future, we hope to continually improve BenchBae and magnify our impact on Calgary’s future. We would love to focus our restaurant recommendations on local businesses, further helping the business owners who need it most.

How we built it

BenchBae comes to life with a Django & Python backend and a React & Typescript front end, tied together with a REST API and a PostgreSQL database. We took advantage of Google Cloud’s places API and the Calgary Data Centre to allow an accurate mapping to the perfect dating location.

Authors

Alexa Calkhoven
Jordan Kwan
Radu Schirliu
Tyler Yip

Acknowledgements

Bench data from the City of Calgary (https://data.calgary.ca/Recreation-and-Culture/Parks-Seating-West-facing-wooden-benches-to-watch-/n6v5-frqe)
Restaurant data from the Google Places API

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