Ever been in a situation where you are lost and can't find something specific? I ain't talking about being lost on the streets rather being lost in a tsunami of books where you can't find where to look for? There comes the Index! We have got you covered.
What it does
We have created an API for the Johns Hopkins Library which gives the location as where exactly the books are located in the library. Additionally, we have made sure that you are able to access this information right at the comfort of your home. We have created a Google Home based skill where the google assistant in your mobile device and your google home assistant is able to find a book which is present in the library and give you the exact location that where you can look for it and also gives you the status if it's available or not! Thus protecting you from all the efforts of looking into the entire library or even going up to the library or its website for the sake of checking the information about the books you need.
How we built it
We created the entire API by implementing a web scraper in python and we used flask server to get the API up and running. We used google actions and the webhook functionality in order to make it compatible with google assistant on the phone and google mini devices. Thus once the user asks the google voice-based assistant to search for a book in the library the book is searched and is presented with the availability of the book and the location of the book inside the library!
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge was to create an API for the JHU library and setting up webhook and creating an entire API to get the exact information we required was a challenge as there was no pre-existing API of the JHU library which would provide this information to us.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The API which we created to access the book information can be used by other developers too for integrating further functionalities based on library and books information
What's next for Index
We are planning to talk to the library and set up certain google mini and google assistant devices inside the library to help students find the book easily without logging into any computer panel. They can do it using their phones too. additionally, we would like to integrate features like adding the book to cart, check out and also give an option to download the papers and books and send them to the email of the user just by using the voice-based assistant.
In short, we want to make the library and book finding experience as simple as saying the name of the book.