Inspiration

In an age of global warming and rising congestion it is clear that we must move away from reliance on cars from long distance travel in Switzerland. For many people outside of the large cities their only chance of being able to properly utilise the railways for travel is to park at a nearby station and take the train. Sadly the current system from SBB does not provide travellers with a good experience. We present Find My Spot, a system to bring Park+Rail into the hands of the Swiss.

What it does

Using a traveller's current location and destination, Find My Spot determines the best route that leverages a nearby station with available parking. The costs of travel to the station as well as the ticket price and cost of renting a parking space for the day are shown clearly. With this information, the traveller is empowered to choose Park+Rail over endless traffic jams and contributing to the global climate change catastrophe.

How we built it

The backend is written in Python using a Flask REST server. The backend leverages datasets from SBB to provide the best route to travellers. The interface is powered by Mapbox, a powerful tool allowing us to visualise the route and car parks for travellers.

Challenges we ran into

The incompleteness of certain data sets and lack of concrete information about pricing meant that we had to make some assumptions and drop results which in real-life would probably be more optimal for travellers.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Processing and displaying large amounts of data in a friendly, understandable way that really empowers travellers around Switzerland.

What we learned

The pitfalls of working with large datasets and the errors that come from assuming their consistency. We learned that Switzerland is very uneven in it's distribution of stations.

What's next for Find My Spot

Integrating more car parking providers so that travellers have even more choice.

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