We realized that conversations about the environment were often surrounded by misunderstood data and poorly supported statistics. The inspiration behind EcoMap was to raise awareness about energy consumption patterns throughout different states. Before we started, we were interested in the distinctive differences in energy consumption throughout the United States. The availability of certain resources means that different areas have different access to energy. A critical idea of the project was to include regional illustrations that could help people understand the availability of certain energy. By combing through intricate data, we hoped that we would be able to present the same information in a visual manner. We hope our illustrations will empower people to do more research and breed consciousness in energy consumption.
What it does
EcoMap is a website that visualizes energy consumption data for each state. There are three main modules that our website includes. The first piece is a map of all the power plants located in the state. It takes into account the total megawatt production for the size as well as the primary source of energy for color when displaying. The second piece ranks each state in comparison to others in a few key statistics. These include emission, generation, renewable energy, and retail price. It offers a simple yet meaningful pie chart that highlights each state’s rank. The third piece includes color-coded graphs of energy consumption. The graphs highlight a contrast between renewable and non-renewable energy to bring focus to our energy consumption choices.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We faced many challenges throughout the project as many of us were working with new things. One of the most challenging aspects was creating a map that displayed different power plants in each state. At first, we struggled with finding the necessary data to complete this. We ultimately found an API that gave us coordinates of different plants, as well as libraries that would help us display and plot graphs. A lot of the map libraries were difficult for us to use or were deprecated, so we struggled with getting it set up. We also had trouble ensuring that our website would be responsive to different devices. Most notably, Chart.js and Leaflet.js were not built well to handle different screen sizes, making some styling very difficult to modify. There were also issues with the API where we had to validate and modify data, as there were some inaccuracies with the API.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we were able to bring our idea to life. Even completing the website seemed like an insurmountable challenge at first, and we are extremely proud to see what we have been able to accomplish in the short span of 36 hours. As beginners, we are happy that we have been able to learn so much more through the experience and there are so many celebrations to make for everyone on this team. We are excited that we’ve been able to participate in this hackathon and can’t wait to start our next project.
What We Learned
What's next for EcoMap
We hope to develop EcoMap further by expanding the data that we provide and include more methods of visualization. We hope to incorporate the total production and sales, these will hopefully provide more of the economic context of the story. Our biggest hope for EcoMap is to help raise more awareness about the climate and what consumers can be doing for the environment.