Inspiration

Carlos: "One day I was helping set up tables at my school while trying to come up with an idea for TAMUHack. Then it hit me, 'Why not make a centralized platform to connect people who want to partner with organizations that need volunteers?'"

What it does

Good Samaritan plots points where users can volunteer at service events, and it provides information about the event and organizer.

How we built it

Carlos: "I was in charge of creating the backend API for accessing the event and organization information. I used Golang to write the application, MariaDB to store the data, and Amazon EC2 to host the application."

Ben: "I was in charge of creating the front-end that accessed the data from Carlos' API and using esri's arcGIS Android SDK to plot that data on a map. I used Android Studio and a few third party libraries, like Volley, to complete the bulk of the front-end development."

Challenges we ran into

General lack of front end development experience.

Ben: "This was my first serious attempt at developing an Android application in Android Studio. I had never used the arcGIS Android SDK or fetched and parsed JSON files from a server, so it was a challenge; however, I learned a lot."

Carlos: "I don't have experience with SQL databases, so it took a while to get the one we needed set up. It also took my some time to migrate the project to amazon EC2 when we realized Android SDK cannot process IP addresses to access APIs. I tried to implement a geocoding function to automatically determine the latitude and longitude of an event, but I failed miserably."

Chance: "The biggest roadblock I came across was trying to parse the data from Carlos's database. Javascript was looking for a file that didn't exist. This took me a while to realize, and once I did, I tried parsing the data from the right place finally, only to find out that the data was already the objects I needed. Not to mention it was my first time coding in JS."

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Carlos: "I'm proud to have set up the backend API quickly and in a relatively efficient manner in a language I am not very familiar with."

Ben: "I'm proud of all things I did for the first time at TAMUHack: parsing JSON files, working with arcGIS Android SDK, and developing a (mostly) fully featured android app."

What we learned

Carlos: "I learned a lot about Golang and MariaDB. I also learned about RESTful API, although the API I wrote was not true REST."

Chance: "I learned a lot through watching Carlos setup the backend and getting EC2 up. Furthermore, I learned about Javascript and how Google's Map's APIs work."

Ben: "I learned how much I still don't know about front-end Android development, but I improved my skills every hour during TAMUHACK."

What's next for Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan is currently in a proof-of-concept/demo phase. We would like to make it more complete and improve the UI/UX.

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