Inspiration

After hearing Garlin Gilchrist II talk about the problems facing the people of Detroit, we wanted to create an elegant mobile solution to the issues that would allow for a transit system that better serves the people of Detroit.

We analyzed the suggestions made by the people of Detroit by doing online research and did our best to try and solve those problems using the power of software.

What it does

The app has a number of tabs that would give users easy access to functionality that would better the Detroit transit system.

For transit users that have long wait times at bus stops, we will ensure their safety by informing them of whether or not their location is prone to high rates of crime. The app will subsequently inform them of safe areas nearby to take shelter in.

If a user has a complaint that they would like to file, we have a form that easily allows them to do so without the hassle of maneuvering through the Detroit transit website. The data from the form is efficiently stored in a spreadsheet.

We have Facebook functionality that allows users of the Detroit transit system to discuss the issues facing their City. This would allow like-minded citizens to mobilize and bring about positive change in the community.

How We built it

We built the project using the ionic framework, which allows for hybrid native and web development on the iOS and Android mobile platforms.

For server side data storage, we used Zapier with the Google Sheets tool. For location data, we used the Google Maps API. For Facebook integration, we used the Facebook API. To identify crime ridden areas, we ran a python script that would allow us to identify troublesome locations by performing analysis on the data obtained from the data.detroitmi.gov website.

Reflections:

Arsala: Submitting the form data using back-end server side development was very challenging, especially since I was completely new to it. I had dabbled with php in the past but this was a completely new beast to tackle. I tried php and node.js, but being a complete newbie, it was a monumental task to post the data and then store it.

Luckily, a mentor helped me out by telling me about Zapier. It solved all my problems and even allowed for the data to be stored wonderfully using Google sheets.

Jon & Jeffrey: The bus journey to MHacks was the first time we ever programmed using HTML, CSS and Javascript. We were put in charge in the design, logo and tab switching functionality.

Santiago: I tackled the Maps portion of the project. Our scope of functionality was very ambitious, and after we learned of the API's limitations, we managed our scope accordingly. I learned a lot about how the API works and how complex the navigation and location architectures are.

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