Inspiration

The world is growing disillusioned with the media. People seek new forms of communication, free of targeted advertising, political bias, and censorship. Discourse provides the people with a novel form of finding content, based on transfers between users who are in geographic proximity. "The people" decide who's messages spread.

What it does

Users submit content to Discourse, and other users receive their content when they come in close proximity to each other. Any user can swipe a message to determine whether or not they will automatically forward it to other discourse users, or halt it's expansion. Users can also tap messages to see a map of where the message originated and where all of the necessary transfers took place so that they might find it in their discourse inbox. Finally, users can save messages that they've forwarded on and track how they continue to spread.

How we built it

We developed an android app in android studio and a django back-end to handle message and transfer-location storage. We used the Google Maps API to create our network graphs, and we hosted out django back-end on and apache server running on linode's hosting service.

Challenges we ran into

My computer BSOD'd 3 times during the night. We also planned on using wolfram alpha, but encountered discrepancies between the current version and the documentation, so we had to switch to using google maps for plotting data.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Almost all of us were working with technologies for the first time. Alan and Patrick hadn't done Android before, and Henry and I hadn't built back-ends on django/linode either.

What we learned

We learned a lot about android, web hosting, and the google maps API.

What's next for Discourse

We want to work on optimizing our message storage mechanics, and on figuring out other interesting ways of visualizing transfer data.

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