Inspiration

It is no doubt that the ongoing pandemic has shattered our day-to-day lifestyle, staggered our economy, and made us fear social interactions even further — thus, crippling our personal development and evolution. Seeing the effects COVID-19 and the culmination of decades of institutionalized prejudice have wrought, we wanted to provide a service, a relief, for the common individual — both in regards to public transportation and city navigation, as well as in regards to personal well-being.

What It Does

Our web application [ MapSense ] makes it easy for users of New York City to safely navigate their streets and helps them avoid unnecessary dangers and infectious interactions through the visualization of relevant data from NYCHealth and NYPD. In the future, this functionality will expand to other major cities around the world, and feed more accurate data to minimize bias.

How We Built It

We have mined and analyzed more than 1500 data points from the past year, removing discrepancies as we refined our sources. We then visualized the data with distinct and colorful icons using Python and Google Maps JavaScript API, allowing the user to customize their search on the go while receiving the most recent data from reliable sources.

Challenges We Ran Into

Initially, we had trouble deciding on a project that was both relevant to modern, real-world problems and feasible within a short timeframe. Although our team's members have experience in Full Stack Development and Data Analysis, we encountered quite a few challenges due to the use of a new technological stack. We spent quite a lot of time reading documentation and learning a new programming language, but it was well worth it.

Similarly, we had difficulties finding reliable datasets without authoritative bias, as has been a very current problem of our generation. Adjustments were needed to minimize the amount of data collected and refined, as well as to divide roles in such a way that we all had a purposeful hand in the end product, without cutting corners.

Similarly, our team's members are from all over the world. Time management and cooperation has also proven to be difficult, but was eased by good communication and mutual respect. All in all, the challenges we faced were overcome, and we achieved a successful output.

Accomplishments That We're Proud Of

Considering the short amount of time we had to research and complete our project over a great distance, different time zones, and mixed sleeping schedules, we accomplished a lot over the course of this hackathon. It was an enjoyable learning experience, using new API's and incorporating new methods to refine the data, working with new teammates, and creating art assets from scratch.

What We Learned

We learned to brainstorm before buckling down for a project, and to not give up halfway through with one goal for another. Additionally, we learned how to better manage our time and resources, and how to divide up roles for the express purpose of making magic happen.

Moreover, our most valuable accomplishment was team cooperation and collaboration. We were able to combine our strengths and use them to achieve a common goal. We learned a new programming language, learned to use a new API, became familiar with a new stack, and built new friendships.

What's Next for MapSense

As of right now, MapSense focuses on New York City. We plan to include art assets and more icon features for our map, as well as to expand to different locations. We are hoping to establish partnerships and connections with government officials to ensure public safety and protect global citizens from threats, as well, by providing them with the most powerful weapon: Knowledge.

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