Navigating campuses can be difficult and often times frustrating when there are always things going on around campus. Inherently, things often break in that process and can be obstructions in the paths of people as well as take a long time to fix. There is also a prevalent lack of support for those with disabilities across the mobile development industry in terms of design which we hope to help correct by building an application specifically to make those lives better.
What it does
Allows users to view and report obstructions on the map to help other users effectively navigate.
How we built it
Heroku Node.JS server with an Android front end and a PostgresSQL database. We use a custom HTTP RESTful API.
Challenges we ran into
Transferring JSON information from server to app was tricky to figure out. There were some packages that we needed (npm body-parser, Android Volly, and GSON, for example) that we determined were required to have the server and mobile device.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
How quickly the server and database were fleshed out. The fluency gained with Android Studio as development progressed.
What we learned
SO many things! Android Studio, NodeJS, RESTful calls, API design and implementation, Google Maps integration, and SQL database interactions to name a few of the highlights.
What's next for Handy Holyoke
More disability integration and way-finding from place to place on the Mount Holyoke Campus. Also categorization of buildings, entrances, and other important features for the disabled, to make navigation more comprehensive. Most importantly, we intend to fully integrate the app with all available Accessibility features in the Android System.