Two geographers and a developer sat down with an interest to build something that would improve lives through our collective passions. In a social climate continually motivated and altered by technology, we found a need for inspiring people to learn the land around them and the things that comprise it. So we married the two: technology that encourages outdoor experience, education, and interaction!
What it does
IOE is an interactive map interface. By consuming the user's location, IOE provides a map display of the study area to provide ease in navigation throughout the map as users explore their area and search for predetermined educational points of interest. IOE will actively display a user's location as they transverse across the map and will provide notifications as the user approaches an educational point of interest. Points of interest represent elements of the natural environment such as trees, animals, plants, and more from natural habitats. The notification will serve to educate the user to keep an eye out for the respective element and will allow the user to learn about attributes of the item: "Hey, look around for a Northern Cardinal!" Additionally, the app will encourage useful engagement by accepting predetermined types of inputs and through the configuration of GeoEvent be able to alert the necessary recipients. Ex: See a looming yellow jacket's nest on a frequently used trail, or a mudslide that renders a trail less usable? Utilize IOE's ability to allow for user engagement by creating a point served to notify anyone from park staff, public works, or animal control which improves everyone's experience.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We were intentional about understanding GeoEvent Server before the hackathon began. We wanted to configure a pop-up from new features being added into the study area. As we began pursuing the technical demands of our project, we came to understand that GeoEvent has limitations on its output connectors. Resultingly, we shifted goals and expectations for what we could achieve, while maintaining the theme of user engagement. This still came together nicely -- as we allow users to add points in the area needing servicing, that will generate an email to the respective staff (e.g. debris on a trail notice being sent to a park ranger).
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Effectively connecting users with their natural environment by utilizing the power of GIS to educate and inspire users to explore their world and expand their science of "where!"
Adding a dynamic checklist within the app to reflect where the users have been in the park.
What we learned
Adamantly cultivate the vision... But be willing and eager to seek different ways to achieve that vision. Why you are creating something and what it will solve is crucial, but how you do it can be very flexible.
What's next for IOE (Inspiring Outdoor Education)
Our application going mobile!