California suffers from many wildfires and earthquakes throughout the year. As a way to try an help people be more notified in advanced about fires, we thought it was a good idea to try and build an app around it. We were hoping that in a way, people could be warned in advance about a wildfire, so we could reduce the number of people caught in the middle of a wildfire. Also, it could serve as a way to warn firemen in certain areas where wildfires could pop up.
What it does
Fire Acquire is an app committed to improving the safety of people all around the globe. Using our app, people may acquire information about areas of interest including wind speed, humidity, temperature, and precipitations; factors generally taken in when calculating the risk of a fire. Using this information gathered by the Dark Sky API, the app then displays a travel warning depending on the risk levels.
How I built it
The project is coded in Swift and meant for an iOS device. We used the Apple Maps SDK to get the front end maps for our application, and the Dark Sky API to pull the needed weather variables (humidity, temperature, precipitation and wind speed) to calculate forest fire risk. We then return a danger rating (from 0 - 1) to determine how dangerous a area is, which then draws the colored circle around your area.
Challenges I ran into
One of the challenges we ran into was creating network requests for the JSON file and integrating the API with our app. This was the first time any of our team members worked with APIs so performing the API request was challenging but we did end up accomplishing this task and learning a new skill.
Another problem we ran into was calculating how prone to forest fires a particular area might be. We tried to use the forest fire index used by Canadian and New Zealand governments, however this required too many variables, most of which weren’t available in the API. Hence we had to do a lot of research to determine what factors went into forest fires.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
All our team members are new to iOS/Swift programming and for most members, this was the first mobile application we had ever built. We are really proud of being able to complete this app and we are also proud of its design.
What I learned
We learned how to work with and integrate an API with the backend and work with network requests for JSON files, to integrate that data with our iOS application.
We also learned a lot about forest fires, the factors that go into them, and how to implement these into a danger index.
What's next for Fire Acquire
With more research and actual experts in the field, we could look and get a better index for forest fires. We could make our readings much more accurate and give better coordinates. Also, we could make a pin drop system from the search bar that could give the same amount of data that our app gives.