What it does

A state of the art pseudo-mystic plunge into the catacombs of the nuanced web; Intelligence in its seemingly mechanical operation grasp at a finite index of ideas, a task mimicked by semi-conductive molecules behaving in predictive transformation of property, oscillating in rhythmic waves towards its goals, a strange adherence to the manifestation of consciousness. JavaScript appends language from nothingness, a stochastic task, and finds some page plastered on the world web, algorithmic intelligence, algorithmic non-determinism, dowsing well.

In other words, it will find randomly generated websites based on the word provided to the engine. It does so by checking the generated domains for server response. It will then display the webpage in our website (as best to our ability).


Much like the random nature of our intelligent agent, the idea materialized from unidentified sources and was amply confirmed by my peers.

In other words, it just came to our group member Eric and we rolled with it.

Our Name and Domain

Our name is a pun and comes from taking some more literal meanings of the two words. The purpose of dowsing is to find wells, but having a well would indicate that the dowsing is done. But that's where our name really becomes beautiful. See, we have the the wonderful wellspring that is the complete internet. And although there are many options, we won't always find "water". In these cases we have to keep dowsing, until we find something worth our time. For this is the meaning of our name Dowsing well.

We obtained the domain name www.dowsingwell.com from domain.com. Although, due to server propagation times, our domain is currently not pointing to our website at this time. Our site can be found at the "try it out" link below.

How we built it

Dowsing Well was built using Amazon Web Service's (AWS) Relational Database Service (RDS), Elastic Compute Generation 2 (EC2), and Simple Storage Service (S3). We used a combination of S3 and EC2 to host the website, and used RDS to store our data and our indexed websites. In addition to this, we used web development tools such as sublime to code our website. We used jquery, php, javascript, css, and html to bring this vision to light.

Challenges we ran into

One of our teammates was rather sick during the event and we ran into the issue of not being able to work for the straight 36 hours. Our algorithm writer was learning how to optimize and speed up our sophisticated algorithm. When it came to setting up all of the elements of our website, we ran into problems with just about every aspect. When it came to domain we spent a few hours just trying to get it to point to the server. Setting up our GitHub for the project ran into problems when one teammate accidentally committed to the wrong branch. Thankfully, we all had kept previous versions of the code on our individual machines and was able to correct the problem quickly. Many of the people on our team did not know a lot about web development but we all seemed to have become (self proclaimed) experts on developing websites. Although, we are reluctant to use javascript in the near future.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

We pulled together as a team to divide up tasks and complete a finished product within the 36 hour time frame. We were able to add most of the functionalities we planned on implementing and we were able to make a functional product that is hosted on amazon web service's EC2 within the short amount of time allotted to us.

What we learned

We gained intimate knowledge of html, css, javascript, and jquery. We learned how to operate and host a server through amazon web services. We learned the basics of github and how fun merge conflicts are. We also learned a good amount of angularjs even though we didn't end up using it in this application.

What's next for Dowsing Well

We would love to improve the algorithm, along with improve the interface. Adding a rating and comment system can really help index the internet. If we had more time, we would have included a trending section on the home page using angularJS.

Final Thoughts

We had a lot of fun building this application, and as soon as it was built we started messing around with it. It's really a lot of fun to use and we encourage people to try it out. Although, we do warn you that it is the full, unfiltered internet and we have no control what will come up. Even though in our testing it seemed to be quite safe, there is always a risk.

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