Inspiration

The inspiration for our project comes from how we wanted to build an app to help people access their outdoors in the prevailing pandemic. There has been a large impact on the tourism industry and businesses, reduced outdoor activities for youth, a rising number of health issues due to sedentary lifestyle choices, and a general social disconnect within locals and communities.

We have tried to produce a solution leveraging the power of GIS and Blockchain to create a GeoBlockChain - to promote outdoor activities, and at the same time, help local tourism by encouraging people to get involved with their local environments.

What it does

  1. The Idea is to provide the audience an app that can be used for viewing hiking/trekking trails around.

  2. The user can capture his own route via geolocation tracking along the route. This route information is stored on a smart contract and published to the public ledger at the finish point. The contract can hold information like, start/end points, route information, timestamps, mode of travel (hiking/biking/trekking etc.), encountered new POI .

  3. After submitting route information into a contract, the user earns crypto-points that can be used for discounts on groceries/utility bills/access to national parks, etc.

  4. The new contracts can be used to enhance the app experience for new users, provide publicly available, immutable, and credible information, and help boost local tourism.

How we built it

We used the ArcGIS API for JavaScript to capture the location of a user at fixed intervals of time. Using these points, we generate the route as a polyline graphic, which is added to a feature layer. The feature layer was created using ArcGIS Pro and it is published to ArcGIS Online to maintain all pubic trails. Our blockchain is conceptually implemented using Typescript and the Node.js platform. It contains the implementation for the user wallet, transactions, and blocks.

Challenges we ran into

We were not very familiar with the concepts of blockchain and had to learn while we built it conceptually. We faced issues with the integration of the Web App with the blockchain in the node environment.

Why is it important

  • Reduce Carbon footprint by promoting outdoor activity/hiking/trekking etc.
  • Globally scaled, credible navigation routes that can enhance existing databases
  • Ensure credibility of routes via immutable, anonymous public consensus records
  • Promote sustainable behavior and ensure benefits for local communities
  • Enhance tourism experience via a reward system
  • Crypto coins can be exchanged for:
    • Discounted passes/tickets to National Parks and Recreation Spots.
    • Local tourism activities, sports etc.
    • Exchange cryptocurrency for Discounts on Fuel/Groceries/Utility bills.

What we learned

We learned concepts of blockchain and future of GIS integrated with Blockchain technology. We also learned how to use the ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Online for publishing and managing feature layers.

What's next for Block Blazer

  • The GeoBlockchain holds great potential by using Crypto-spatial coordinate system to add an immutable spatial context that regular blockchains lack. It can be used within a social-media app, allowing the user to connect with the hiker community, share information in an immutable + verifiable way, and collect publicly available, anonymous review data to help improve safety and accessibility of the routes.
  • From our app, routes data and relevant information can be collected and uploaded to AGOL. Along with the increase of data sample, post data analysis can be implemented to show the users the statistics of the hiking and routes. The outcome of the data analysis can be helpful to improve local tourism or relevant small businesses.

Links

Github

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