Depending on where they're going, gay travellers can face great risks. In six nations around the world, penalties are as severe as death for homosexuality. Additionally, same-sex sexual activity is a crime in 70 countries around the world. Thus we created safeTravels: a map of the world that indicates the friendliness of each country towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, so that LGBTQ+ travel enthusiasts can feel safe and enjoy their trip.

What it does

safeTravels is a dynamic website that scrapes the web for data on anti-discrimination legisilation, marrige and civil partnership status, transgender rights, religious influence, prosecution, murders and much more.

These factors are then scaled and incorporated into a colour legend from -1 to 1. This data is then stored in MongoDB, and the MapBox API reads the data and updates its display on the website.

How we built it

SafeTravels was built in Visual Studio Code using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, MapBox API, and MongoDB. For version control we used Github and Github Desktop.

We collaboratively divided up the work in terms of front-end, back-end, firebase ui and overall design (logo, slogan, etc.). We had a task document that was updated every hour or two hours in order to keep us on track and provide deliverables.

Challenges we ran into

All of us in our team wanted to learn new technologies, which presents its own challenge. MongoDB was a steep learning curve for our team, as our collective experience with it was very little. The Map Box API wanted information in a specific way, which was a large JSON file that was hard to edit and manipulate.

We ran into hosting issues as well. Hosting both the front-end and the back-end was a challenge as it was required to be served on separate heroku apps.

Like most participants, we learned a lot this hackathon, and learning all these things in a time crunch proved challenging.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of our improvement in skills from our own previous hackathons. We are proud of coming together and making a product that we are passionate about and truly believe in. We are proud of learning new technologies and frameworks on the fly.

What we learned

Combining front-end with back-end and fully completing a web app; learning how to easily pick up on new technologies; How to incorporate MongoDB, MapBox API and Heroku.

What's next for safeTravels

Allow people and users to leave reviews or personal experiences within the website, taking these into consideration for the safety score. Allow users to zoom in and get more local data such as different provinces/states. When hovering over an area, have recent LGBTQ+ news and friendly travel links pop up such as local travel links

Other marginalized groups such as BIPOC also have unpleasant experiences when travelling. We hope to overlay a similar map for different groups so users may be able to see one overlay, both or none as we understand that intersectionality plays a role in people's identities. As well as in the future we hope to provide a separate map for transgender people as it has been shown through recent events that sometimes they may get singled out in the LGBTQ+ community.

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