We were inspired to create Lost Paws because we noticed a need for a platform to track lost and stray pets. With many lost pet posters seen around and no centralized location for tracking, we decided to create an app to help owners find their pets. Lost Paws can also contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing the need for paper posters and flyers. Instead of posting physical posters around the neighborhood, owners can use Lost Paws to create digital lost pet postings, reducing their environmental impact.

What it does

Lost Paws is a platform for tracking lost and stray pets. It allows pet owners to create lost pet postings complete with location, date last seen, pet description, and contact information. Users can also report sightings of stray animals with a location on a map and short description. Additional features include filtering postings by description, editing listings and account information, and donating to animal charities.

How we built it

We built Lost Paws using Flutter Dart for the front-end, Firebase for user authentication, and MongoDB for the database. The use of Flutter allowed us to create a cross-platform app that is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. By using Firebase for authentication, we were able to provide a secure and reliable user authentication system. MongoDB allowed us to store and retrieve pet postings efficiently. Additionally, we used JavaScript and Node.js for the backend and integrated the Google Map API to provide an accurate map view. We are proud to announce that we have a functional app running on the Android emulator, which showcases Lost Paws' key features such as browsing the home page, making a posting, and creating an account.

Challenges we ran into

One of the main challenges we faced was that this was our first time participating in a hackathon. We had high expectations for what we could accomplish in the given time frame, which proved to be a bit unrealistic. Additionally, we had to learn to work together as a team, which took some time to get used to. We also encountered technical challenges, such as integrating the Google Map API and machine learning algorithms. We also had to learn how to use Figma, a new design tool for us. Despite these challenges, we were able to overcome them by working collaboratively, taking breaks when needed, and prioritizing the essential features of the app.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud to have created an app that provides a platform for tracking lost and stray pets. We're also proud of incorporating a donation feature to help support animal charities.

What we learned

We learned a lot about integrating different APIs and databases to create a functional and user-friendly app. We also learned about the importance of user authentication and notification systems.

What's next for Lost Paws / Why we want to continue working on our project!

In the future, we hope to expand Lost Paws to include machine learning algorithms to help the app automatically recognize animal descriptions from uploading a picture, improving the search feature. Additionally, we hope to incorporate a feature for tracking lost and found pets with RFID chips. By utilizing this technology, we aim to improve the accuracy and efficiency of pet tracking. Finally, we would like to incorporate a complete map view showing location pins for missing animals last seen near the user's location, include real-time notifications for when a new missing pet posting near the user's location has been added, and collaborate with animal charity organizations to encourage donations through the app.

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