This photo shows an area of New York City with red dots of varying intensities, the darker ones of places where more assaults have occurred.
A closer up of two dots, with the darker one showing frequency of assaults
We wanted a way for people new to a city to be able to explore safely, with information about where the highest crime rates happened so that they would know where to walk and how to get places safely. So, we created an Android App to help users with this.
What it does
This app allows users to navigate a map of where they are in New York City, marking locations where sexual assaults have happened based on data from the New York Police Department website. The marks are indicated using red dots. The transparency of the red dots are based on the number of occurrences that have happened in this location.
How we built it
We built this app using Android Studio and Java. We collected data from the NYPD, parsed the data into a JSON file with the latitude and longitude of occurrences and the number of occurrences per location. We created red dots at the locations where assaults have occurred, with varying intensity/transparency, based on the number of occurrences.
Challenges we ran into
One challenge was figuring out how to most effectively layer the NYPD data onto the map and getting through the JSON data. Another challenge was using Firebase for our backend database.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of finally being able to connect the pieces of the data with our red dots - integrating this was challenging!
What we learned
We learned how to parse through JSON files, work through intricacies of Android Studio, use the Google Maps API to put the circles onto maps, integrate other APIs with our code, and how to work with databases.
What's next for ExploreSafe
More data from other cities, other types of crimes beyond sexual assault with different colors, and a feature to be able to plan the safest route to get to a given location. We also want to add locations for nearest police stations, as well as a feature for the user to be able to quickly send their current location to a nearest police station if they needed help and did not feel it was safe to call.
In the end, we want ExploreSafe to help people explore freely, safely, and knowledgeably!