We created this app in light of the recent wildfires that have raged across the west coast. As California Natives ourselves, we have witnessed the devastating effects of these fires first-hand. Not only do these wildfires pose a danger to those living around the evacuation area, but even for those residing tens to hundreds of miles away, the after-effects are lingering.

For many with sensitive respiratory systems, the wildfire smoke has created difficulty breathing and dizziness as well. One of the reasons we like technology is its ability to impact our lives in novel and meaningful ways. This is extremely helpful for people highly sensitive to airborne pollutants, such as some of our family members that suffer from asthma, and those who also own pets to find healthy outdoor spaces. Our app greatly simplifies the process of finding a location with healthier air quality amidst the wildfires and ensures that those who need essential exercise are able to do so.

We wanted to develop a web app that could help these who are particularly sensitive to smoke and ash to find a temporary respite from the harmful air quality in their area. With our app air.ly, users can navigate across North America to identify areas where the air quality is substantially better. Each dot color indicates a different air quality level ranging from healthy to hazardous. By clicking on a dot, users will be shown a list of outdoor recreation areas, parks, and landmarks they can visit to take a breather at.

We utilized a few different APIs in order to build our web app. The first step was to implement the Google Maps API using JavaScript. Next, we scraped location and air quality index data for each city within North America. After we were able to source real-time data from the World Air Quality Index API, we used the location information to connect to our Google Maps API implementation. Our code took in longitude and latitude data to place a dot on the location of each city within our map. This dot was color-coded based on its city AQI value.

At the same time, the longitude and latitude data was passed into our Yelp Fusion API implementation to find parks, hiking areas, and outdoor recreation local to the city. We processed the Yelp city and location data using Python and Flask integrations. The city-specific AQI value, as well as our local Yelp recommendations, were coded in HTML and CSS to display an info box upon clicking on a dot to help a user act on the real-time data. As a final touch, we also included a legend that indicated the AQI values with their corresponding dot colors to allow ease with user experience.

We really embraced the hacker resilience mindset to create a user-focused product that values itself on providing safe and healthy exploration during the current wildfire season. Thank you :)

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