South Korea is a country that was able to control the spread of COVID 19, by excessive testing. Now not all countries have access to the same resources that could allow it to test as extensively. Hence the best way to identify and track everyone with COVID 19, would be too have access to a list of all people who are known to have had some contact with the Coronavirus. To identify this group of people who are expected to have exposure with the Coronavirus, we need to know the locations of all places visited by COVID 19 patients in the past two weeks.

Now we do not want to track the exact locations of COVID 19 patients as that is a breach of privacy. Fortunately for us, patients also want to be proactive, and would gladly mark out places they have visited. So I decided to create an app and website that would allow COVID 19 patients to markdown locations they have visited so that others can avoid visiting the same location, and get tested if they already have.

What it does

The Website displays a live map centered at your current location. Red circles on the map indicate locations that were visited by COVID 19 patients in the last two weeks. The opaqueness of the color, and size of the circle convey the number of patient visits visually.

COVID 19 patients have the ability to log in using social media or their phone numbers and add locations they remember visiting in the past two weeks.

Hence the app facilitates the collection, filtration, and distribution of data indicating local locations that have been determined to be COVID 19 hotspots.

This data can be used by the government to identify Coronavirus hotspots and issues warnings, by organizations to ensure that their locations are disinfected regularly, and the common man to identify themselves as a possible Coronavirus carrier or to prevent themselves from exposure to the Coronavirus.

How I built it

The original plan was to build an app as well as a website. So I started off with a website as porting it to an app through React or Flutter would be easy. Hence the frontend of the website is in HTML and CSS with Javascript used to interact with the dynamic elements of the website.

The backend of the Website uses Google Firebase. All locations are stored in a Firestore database that allows for realtime updates, and user authentication is also facilitated by Google Firebase.

Challenges I ran into

The use of Google Firebase makes the backend database management easy. However, since the goal was to build a website and app that is ready for deployment, and not just a minimum viable product, I had to iterate over the Database structure extensively to ensure that it allows for easy access and modification.

While the website might seem very simple at first there are a lot of intricacies to ensure the reliability of data. Users must log in in to add locations, as their unique identifiers are stored with the location to ensure that the same User is not allowed to enter the same location multiple times. Along with this, it is also important that a user has the ability to edit and remove incorrect data they might have entered. Thus creating a database structure that is dynamic and reliable to complete these operations was a challenge.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am really proud that I was able to deliver such a refined product with a simple user interface within the limited time of a hackathon. The emphasis of the project was to build a product that was ready for deployment rather than building a complex MVP as there is an urgent need to control the spread of COVID 19.

Personally I am very excited that I was able to learn Google Firebase and Javascript over just a weekend. While even now I am no expert in either, I started off the weekend with close to no experience, but I am now confident that I can use either to complete any project that I might undertake.

What I learned

Technologically I did learn Javascript and Google Firebase. However, my primary takeaway from the hackathon would be the ability that I have to make an impact and the power of cloud services. Using Google Firebase I, a sophomore college undergraduate, was able to build a website that can help governments, organizations and the common man tackle COVID 19.

What's next for Find COVID 19

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I was not able to complete the development of the app. So the immediate step would be to port the website to a cross-platform app for ios and Android. Once this is done I would like to integrate timestamps of these location visits so that the app can provide even more relevant data to the user.

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