All of us go to school here in Michigan's amazing upper peninsula. However, for better or worse, when we are here at school studying, we are about a six-hour drive away. When breaks come around, this can be particularly dangerous thanks to all of our state's exciting weather "patterns". From 12 inches of snow in a day, to deadly freezing rain, and high winds that can shut down the Mackinac Bridge and delay your trip, our commute is no joke. Many students do not bother checking the weather before they depart, and it is hard to blame them. Doing that would require looking at weather reports in many different cities for many different hours. With "Don't let the Weather ruin your Road Trip" this forecasting just got a lot easier, and traveling a lot safer.
What it does
"Don't let the Weather ruin your Road Trip" is going to be an Android application where the user enters their starting and ending locations along with a starting time. The application will then tell the user precipitation information (percent chance, type, intensity, and accumulation), wind speed, temperature, and visibility for every hour of their trip at their estimated location based on the start time. It is then up to the user to decide if the drive is safe for them.
This version of the application is still in progress. Currently, we can get weather conditions from the command prompt or through the output window of your favorite Java IDE.
How we built it
We used a roadmap API called mapbox to design the user interface. In the final product, Mapbox will give us a JSON file that we parse can into an arrayList of coordinate pares in java. We then give these pairs to dark-sky (our weather API) which returns a massive string of weather data for the next 36 hours.
Currently, we are able to parse a JSON file and get weather information for the next 170 hours, and output some of this data.
Challenges we ran into
One major challenge that we ran into was using mapbox, which has a variety of API's. We are trying to use both the navigation and map API to make our project work. After successfully implementing the map API, we started working on the navigation, and we were unable to make the app run. After copious troubleshooting, we realized that the current version of the navigation API was incompatible with the Android app libraries.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of all of the major coding accomplishments that we managed, but we are most proud of sticking through to the end of the hackathon. We are also proud that we were able to overcome a great deal of obstacles.
What we learned
One of the major things we learned is how to react when you have no idea what to do next. The answer to this for us was research and asking others.
What's next for Don't let the Weather ruin your Road Trip
What we want to do first is to make our current project work. We really enjoy this project and can see ourselves using the final product. One the output end, we want to organize weather data in a user-friendly way. On the back end, we need to make the navigation API give JSON files to us. For longer in the future, we would like to make our app iOS compatible. We would also like to have an audio feature that speaks directions and tells you about the weather at the same time.