Crime affects all societies, not discriminating based on class, gender or race. We wanted to help the subgroups most vulnerable: women, non-binary people, transgender people, and individuals facing homelessness. Reported rapes in New York City have risen steadily over the last few years. Violence and discrimination against transgender people continues to persist. At least half of transgender and non-binary individuals feel unsafe to openly identify themselves, even to their peers. We wanted to create a tool that would assist them in their commutes and in deciding the safest areas to preside. MapIt Pink is by women, for women and the gender non-binary.
What it does
A user inputs the desired location to get a rating of its safety. Our application will use open source data of crime rates throughout the city to assign the user-inputted location a safety index. Based on where the index falls on the scale, the map is colored into regions. This will help users see the safety of their surrounding as well as places they want to visit. Secondly, the app will tell the users landmarks, such as police stations, hospitals, and homeless shelter. If they find themselves in a situation where they feel unsafe, they will get suggested places in relation to their location. Our application is functional on the iOS, Android, and Google Watch platforms, allowing all users to utilize it, regardless of their device.
How I built it
The iOS app uses an XCode framework with the Swift programming language. The Google Watch extension was also created using Android Studio with Kotlin. The data was cleaned up using Python/Jupyter Notebook. The Android app was created using Android Studio and Java for the backend, and a a react-native implementation was also attempted, with plans to improve upon it in the future.
Challenges I ran into
Once we accomplished iOS functionality, we wanted to expand the app to other platforms to increase accessibility. We explored the use of React-native and Java for our android application, but due to time constraints, we plan to develop it further to get a working prototype.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We got our application running on three different platforms: iOS, Android, and Smart watches. We collaborated on an idea that will ensure the safety of women, the homeless, and other vulnerable urban citizens.
What I learned
This project was a learning experience in both product design and mobile app development. We learned how to collaborate and brainstorm effectively, by having productive and efficient conversations on design and roadblocks. To create a good user experience, we sketched and modeled our ideal functionality and views. Many new technologies were researched to accomplish the project. Mobile app development in xcode and Android Studio, the Google Map API, using Python/Jupyter Notebook to clean and refine data, Swift, React-native, Kotlin, Java, and HTML/CSS frontend development.
What's next for MapIt Pink
We want to improve our Android prototype, work on the user interface of the iOS app, and update the Google Watch app when the Google Maps API functionality improves (for smart watch interfaces).