The other day when we were taking the train to get from New Jersey to New York City we started to talk about how much energy we are saving by taking the train rather than driving, and slowly we realized that a lot of people always default to driving as their only mode of transit. We realized that because of this there is a significant amount of CO2 emissions entering our atmosphere. We already have many map apps and websites out there, but none of them take eco-friendliness into account, EcoMaps on the other hand does.
What it does
EcoMaps allows users to input an origin and destination and then gives them the most eco-friendly way to get from their origin to destination. It uses Google Maps API in order to get the directions for the 4 different ways of travel (walking, biking, public transportation, and driving). From those 4 ways of travel it then chooses what would be the most convenient and most eco friendly way to get from point A to point B. Additionally it tells users how to get to their destination. If the best form of transportation is not driving, EcoMaps tells the user how much carbon emissions they are saving, but if driving is the best form of transportation it will tell them approximately how much carbon emissions they are putting out into our atmosphere. Our website also gives users a random fun fact about going green!
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Another problem that we faced was dealing with different screen sizes for our website. Throughout our testing, we were solely using devices of the same monitor size, so once we switched to testing on a larger screen all of the proportions were off. At first, we were very confused as to why this was the case, but we soon realized that it was due to our CSS being specific to only our initial screen size. We then had to go through all of our HTML and CSS and adjust the properties so that it was based on percentages of whichever screen size the user had. Although it was a painstaking process, it was worth it in our end product!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of coming up with a website that gives users the most eco-friendly way to travel. This will push individuals to be more conscious of their travel and what form of transportation they end up taking. This is also our second ever hackathon and we are happily surprised by the fact that we were able to make a functioning product in such a short time. EcoMaps also functions in real time meaning that it updates according to variables such as traffic, stations closing, and transit lines closing. This makes EcoMaps more useful in the real world as we all function in real time as well.
What we learned
What's next for EcoMaps
In the future we hope to make the app take weather into account and how that may impact the different travel options that are available. Turning EcoMaps into an app that is supported by mobile devices is a major future goal of ours, as most people primarily use their phones to navigate.