Indigo (Tourism - Team 4)
Indigo is a go-to for all things COVID-19, intended to incentivize safe tourism and travel to and in Indianapolis. The goal of Indigo is to make changes and other information more accessible to the public via crowdsourced business ratings and business-specific data. In a time of uncertainty, we feel that this is the best way to educate our users as Indianapolis slowly reopens.
At the core, Indigo is an application that has taken a Yelp-like approach to crowdsourcing business data via ratings and reviews; Indigo adds various other features to the mix as well to ensure that our users are well-informed and safe in Indianapolis. Indigo allows users to look into different restaurants, hotels, airlines, tours, and other attractions and the safety protocols that they have each implemented to combat COVID-19. Indigo’s reviews system allows users to receive an understanding of others' first-hand experiences at these locations before committing to traveling there.
Visit the deployment of indigo here. The process will re-compile and execute if the dyno is asleep, which takes approx. three minutes.
Note on Heroku
Given the limitations of the free Heroku dyno that Indigo is currently hosted on, you may encounter a white page after several searches. Please note that this white page is temporary, as it is due to a shortage of RAM on the dyno; the shortage is resolved automatically via Garbage Collection and other memory-saving processes within a few minutes. If you run into other issues, please leave us a comment below!
COVID-19 has and continues to spread around the United States. In the middle of March, the government enforced a lockdown that created a large conflict for many people. Families, businesses, business owners, schools, etc. were all affected by the restriction on travel and closing of non-essential stores. Many Americans, especially in Indianapolis, lost their jobs, while others had to learn to work from home. Recently, businesses have begun to reopen nation-wide with new restrictions and guidelines in place. Unfortunately, Indianapolis tourism was and still is at an all-time low. These events and turnouts now beg the question: how can we incentivize tourism in Indianapolis while keeping tourists safe and still promising them all that Indianapolis has to offer?
Indigo, a team of five students from different Universities in Indiana have developed a solution to this issue: Indigo. Indigo began as an application meant to resemble Yelp, but quickly became so much more. Now, Indigo is a go-to for all things COVID-19 in Indianapolis. At its foundation, Indigo is meant to make changes and other information more accessible to the public via crowdsourced business ratings and business-specific data.
Indigo is best suited for those planning a trip to or within Indianapolis. Even for last minute decisions, Indigo allows users to make quick, safe, and easy decisions for you and your loved ones. More information on our target users is available in our linked demo in the "Customer Persons" section.
Capable of returning any and all Yelp-recognized Indianapolis businesses that match a certain search criteria.
Using Yelp's Fusion API data, we are able to provide key information about each business. In other words, almost every search on Indigo will have a match with key information for our users.
Capable of assigning and modifying a rating to a business in real-time based on Indigo user reviews.
Capable of handling the individual writing and submission as well as the retrieval of reviews for all businesses on Indigo.
Business Response System
Capable of writing, receiving, and displaying a business's reponse to COVID-19 after the business has updated the information on Indigo.
A center for updates on business reopening guidelines and COVID-19 changes, cases, and updates.
A full-fledged authentication system capable of supporting over 10,000 users.
Frameworks and Resources
The frameworks and tools we used in our solution were Spring Boot, ReactJS, SQL, AWS RDS, Google’s Firebase, Maven, Yelp’s Fusion API, and Heroku.
We created an AWS RDS Database instance to store the reviews and business-specific data that users input. We used SQL for the creation of the tables in our database and to specify data search requests.
We used Spring Boot to create a REST API to query, receive, and push data from our database and Yelp’s Fusions API to our front-end. Another helpful tool that we used for the back-end was Apache Maven, which allowed us to specify dependencies for our project, making it as simple as a click of a button to export, compile, and deploy our code to our deployment service, Heroku.
We used ReactJS, which serves the UI to the client by fetching data from our REST API and displaying it. We also used Google’s Firebase along with ReactJS in order to set up a user authentication system for Indigo.
As we began to build and develop the prototype, we had a lot of ideas on where it could go. With only having 5 weeks to develop the application, we had to narrow down what we felt were the most important features for the users. User safety, health, and access to information was our top priority.
As such, our primary target feature was giving users quick access to updates statewide on COVID, while also including information from businesses in Indianapolis on their specific reopening guidelines and procedures.
Indigo allows users to leave reviews on businesses and also look at other user reviews. In addition, Indigo also provides users with key updates on Indianapolis and Indiana COVID-19 information. Such information includes weekly reports of case numbers, resources on official reopening guidelines, and guidelines for major Indianapolis events such as the Indy 500. These features are primarily what make Indigo a go-to for everything COVID-19 in Indianapolis.
As we went into gathering our user testing, we tried to target our audience, age range of 18-50, for best results in feedback. Throughout the development of the application, we have had several users test and provide feedback (located in the Pro Team folder on our Google Drive) on how to ensure that users will have the most efficient and effective experience with our product.
Plans for the Future
- Improve our user authentication system and add various other features to improve a user’s experience.
- Add a geolocation system to provide COVID-19 data by zip code.
- Add a real-time map that indicates hot spots of COVID-19 cases in Indianapolis.
- Mass user testing (50+ users).
- Add a COVID-19 API to the front-end.
- Improve our ‘Claim this Business’ page.
- Add ads to the project and buy a domain to host our site.
- Contact Indianapolis businesses for sponsorship opportunities and validate viability.
- Research more ways to improve our profitability.
- Look into sponsored reviews.
Meet the Indigo Team
Aniket is the lead Full Stack Developer at Indigo. Aniket spearheaded all development and user testing. Aniket is a rising sophomore at Purdue University, studying Computer Science with a concentration in Software Engineering and Machine Intelligence. In the future, Aniket is looking to start his own software-related business for social good.
Jack is a Front End Developer at Indigo. He is a rising senior at Indiana University, studying Informatics with a focus on Business and a minor in Financial Literacy. After graduation, Jack is looking to find a job involving business analytics or data analysis.
Halley is a Designer at Indigo. Halley used her background in graphic design and art to assist the Pro Team with the UI development of Indigo. Halley has also contributed to the Go team by researching and working on several required documents. Halley is a rising senior at Marian University in Indianapolis, studying for a major in Graphic Design and double minoring in Psychology and Studio Art. Halley has a passion for art and photography and would like to use her skills to make a change.
Cage is a Business Manager at Indigo. Cage worked on general corporate strategy functions, including the Financial model, the Go-to-market strategy, and the proposed VI/TCG joint venture. Cage is a rising Senior at Indiana University Bloomington, currently studying in Finance. After graduation, Cage hopes to work in either growth equity investing or Corporate development & strategy.
Xinye Yang (Angela)
Angela is a Business Manager at Indigo. Angela helped perform background research and competitor analysis for Indigo. Angela also assisted the team in crafting the business plan and providing the financial analysis of the go-to-market strategy. Angela is a rising senior at DePauw University, double majoring in Math and Economics. Angela has a passion in Fintech and wants to pursue a career in Finance.