"# grizzhacks" Inspiration
Our inspiration comes from seeing people struggle to navigate places during the Covid-19 pandemic. During this pandemic, simple activities such as going to the park or supermarket are becoming stressful tasks. We created Locator C19 to reduce this stress and make it easier to find places nearby that align with their preferences.
What does it do?
This program is used to help people navigate and choose different places they want to go to. The options for places are supermarkets, parks, restaurants, gas stations, salons, and Covid-19 testing facilities. The user is first prompted to enter their town name, county, and location. They are then able to toggle filters to their likings such as their desired proximity to the place and the number of people at the place (for social distancing and safety preferences). After the user has provided this information, the program displays the list of locations that matches their preferences. At this time, the user chooses which place they would like to go to. Additionally, the program lets the user know whether or not safety protocols were being followed. For each location, the program displays average ratings and gives the user the opportunity to fill out a mini-survey on the safety protocols taken by the specific location and would update the location’s details with the new information. Afterward, the user is able to provide ratings out of 5 stars. The user will be able to navigate to other places from there as well.
How did we build it?
We created this program using the java programming language, designating classes for this program for the filters. The main class was used to execute our program. This where we interacted with the user on learning about where they want to travel, safety precautions taken at that place, and giving customer ratings. The county class holds the information of each town in the county. Additionally, we created a town class to create a model of our real-life society. This class contained a 50-mile radius map consisting of common locations people travel to on a daily basis like supermarkets, restaurants, etc. We also added COVID-19 testing centers due to the need for people to know testing locations nearby them. We used this class, with the aid of the Location class, to track the location of the user as well as provide information about the places they visited like average ratings, distance from user’s location, etc which was stored in the Building class. We also created a Person class that would hold information about the user like their current location, location of their home, preferences, places they visited, and store information about their opinion on the safety protocols taken by each location. The Restriction class was used in order to check the comments given by the user on the safety protocols and store it for future users’ information while they are using our program.
Challenges we ran into: We initially faced some challenges on how to approach our idea. We kept coming into some dead ends due to poor planning at the beginning, but after setting a proper structure that we could follow, it was easy for us to build and also adapt the basics of this program. We slowly started adding more and more features and tried to make it a bit more user friendly. We faced some challenges along the way like getting incorrect results from the filters, exceptions/errors, difficulty in running the code initially, but we persevered through all these challenges and developed a working product. There are still a lot of improvements we can make to this product, but we have worked hard to pass all obstacles and create this program.
What did we learn?
This was our first hackathon and our first opportunity to work as a team to develop an innovative idea. We made a lot of errors throughout this whole process, but we were able to fix them, which boosted our coding confidence. Additionally, we were able to transform our plan on paper into a full-fledged executable program, which was amazing. We are amazed that we were able to create a full-fledged program that would be able to perform the tasks we had intended it to do.
We believe that this prototype is the stepping stone for easier navigation both during and after this pandemic. An important step we can take to extend the project is to integrate it with available software and databases based on some sort of online maps. To extend this project, we could increase user-friendliness. One way would be to create a mobile application to increase convenience. Lastly, we can extend this program to social justice protests occurring around us. The program could inform the user of the location of these protests, updates on violent riots, the number of people, and safety. The applications for this program are limitless, and we believe the prototype that we have here can revolutionize navigation during these unprecedented times.