What it does

There are two people using it, the helpers and the helped. There are commonalities and differences between these two. Both can choose to use their location through geolocation, or enter their latitude and longitude manually. They both can enter their names and their phone numbers, and both can enter a short message. Once they submit their information, a marker pops up with their name and their role on a google map. If someone clicks on their marker, their information shows up. The people requesting assistance specifies how many people should come for help. The people giving assistance to others can select a marker, and it will show their distance. If they choose to help that individual, a line will show up and connect their marker with the assisted individual for all to see. If another helper comes online that is closer to the assisted than the current helper, the newcomer can click on the previous helper, get his phone number, and contact with him and the helped. This provides a simple and useful way for people to give and receive assistance when necessary.

How we built it

We built this using the ASP.NET web api framework, so if needed, anyone can use our app. The backend is coded in c# and the frontend is (obviously) coded in Javascript and jQuery.

Challenges we ran into

We first planned on using Node.js for our backend, but we found out that node.js doesn't allow POST and anonymous requests, and setting up a Node.js server on Azure was too tedious and difficult. Instead, we packed everything up and decided at the last minute to move to .NET, which both saved us and cost us a lot of time.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of the outcome of our project. When we first started, we didn't think we would get much done, and we didn't have many ideas. I don't think any of us could have predicted this outcome. However, the outcome is definitely not just the outcome, but what we learned getting here. Many of us didn't have much knowledge on requests, and most of us only heard of Node.js once or twice. But after completing this project, we now have a solid understanding of these topics that we couldn't have learned otherwise.

What we learned

As said before, we learned the different types of HTTP requests through the Javascript's built-in XMLHttpRequest feature. After moving to .NET, we also used the jQuery .post and getJSON features. We also learned how to host a server using Node.js, which many of us did not know how to do before now.

What's next for eHelpers

For the website, we plan on making this website easier to use for people with disabilities. We will also be increasing the security by having users register an account, make the backend bulletproof, as well as fix any exploitable weaknesses. The main focus, however, is to make a phone application. A web application is too hard and inconvenient to use, while a phone app makes it much easier, and opens up many opportunities and tools, such as a GPS.

We also plan on engaging hospitals and stores/restaurants such that people can view nearby hospitals and stores and gather information about these buildings. This information includes average wait times, availability, infectious patients, and communication between the user and the store/hospital.

We will also be expanding our website for additional applications past disaster relief, such as helping in outdoor sports rescues.

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