We first were inspired for GeoVent when we saw that the hackathon organizers were trying to reach out to us to notify us about something important by using the Facebook page. We quickly realized that not everybody was on the facebook page and the notifications didn't spread as quickly as would be desired. We wondered whether we could make an app that would only spread notifications to the people inside the hackathon - no one else. From that seed of an idea, it grew into the idea that we have now - a conferencing location-based app that lets you draw your event location, monitor and chat with the people inside your event, and even exchange contact info or create shared docs and boards.
How it works
The core of our app was a map, created with Google Maps API, that centers around your current location and displays all the events as polygons. We used drawing API's to draw the polygonal "fences", and used some interesting math to figure out whether a person was inside a fence (essentially, see whether a line extended out to infinity intersects the polygon edges an even number of times). You create new events simply by tapping. You can click on an event in the list of your available events to join it, and once in you enter a page where you can chat with the people in the event (using Moxtra), exchange contact information, view the locations of people within the event, and generate shared docs.
Challenges I ran into
Most of us had no Android experience whatsoever and it took 5 hours for us to download Android Studio. We also had a lot of trouble integrating API's like Moxtra (which we eventually managed to get working by talking with a helpful mentor).
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're all proud of learning Android quickly enough to build a "relatively" complex app in only 30 hrs. We were also proud of the reactions we elicited with our idea (one mentor said that they would definitely even use the app in their workplace if we executed it well).
What I learned
We all learned how to program in Android, and perhaps more generally, how to learn to program in a new platform quickly. I think we all also learned the value of a good database service in doing all the work.
What's next for GeoVent
We are planning to add even more services, including features like video chat and perhaps shared to-do lists. We want to make this the ultimate conference/get-together app!