Our inspiration for this project was to become more familiar with using external api's, specifically, the Google Maps Places API. We also saw the opportunity to practice UI design by creating a clean and easy to use interface for our users.

What it does

Our web app to search for nearby vendors that offer delivery or take out meal service. The app displays the nearby vendors in a clean list format. The user can then click on a vendor to get more details, such as the vendor's address, open hours, phone number, website, star rating, and more.

How we built it

We started by creating a flask tutorial project: a simple CRUD app. We then took the boilerplate code and expanded on it to create our app. We handled different form submissions using flask, and sent any processed data from our Places API requests to our HTML templates. We also wrote custom CSS for the entire application, which proved to be a great learning experience.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into some challenges with having a lot to learn at once, since most of our group is very new to web development. Regardless, we learned a lot about building UI's handling backend routing with flask, and making requests to an external API. We also ran into some issues when deploying the application, since we are all inexperienced with deploying a flask app.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

One of the many accomplishments that our team is proud of is creating and running our first ever flask application. This process took many hours of tutorials and learning, which makes it all the more rewarding when it turned out successful. Another accomplishment that our team is proud of is our use of the google places api. This was our first time using google places and to successfully integrate such a powerful tool into our application was extremely rewarding.

What we learned

In completing this challenge our team learned many new and useful skills, as well as honed previous ones. In this project our team learned how to create and run a flask application successfully. Flask is a completely new framework for our team, so to create an entire web application around it was an incredible experience. Another new tool that our team learned how to use was the google places api. This API was new to our team and we were able to utilize it to find nearby restaurants and gather information from them. The information is displayed in a clean and clear UI built by html5 and CSS3. Although members of our team have used these tools before, we focused on sharpening our web design skills to build a cleaner, more eloquent website.

What's next for Local Vendor Search Engine

What is next for our search engine would be to display the menu of the restaurants inside of our engine’s information page. This would allow the users to have all the details they need to order and contact the restaurants on one singular screen. Another feature that would be next for the application would be to filter by country, that is if users want to have dinner in Detroit, rather than Windsor, they can still find the best local eateries, no matter the country.

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