Inspiration

The inspiration for this app was centered around excessive data costs and lack of WiFi in time where you could really need it. Personally, I like spending time going out for jogs around Waterloo, and several times I ended up in unfamiliar suburbs. Combining that with limited data, and the general uselessness of BlackBerry Maps prompted the creation of this service. (Google Maps generally doesn't work well with my BlackBerry and when I told my BlackBerry to bring me to the University of Waterloo it directed me to Laurier)

What it does

Our hack is a chatBot that is linked to google Maps. All you have to do is text the number a message to start the service, and it will reply asking you where you want to go, where you currently are, if you are walking or taking a car and then it will reply with step by step instructions on how to get to your destination.

How we built it

We built it by hosting a web service that we built in Visual Studio on Microsoft Azure. The web service uses Twilio to send and receive text messages, and the mapping service is done with google maps. To get the directions from google maps, we create a webClient and filter through the received XML file for the directions.

Challenges we ran into

The majority of challenges that we ran had to do with an unfamiliarity with the platforms. This was our first time setting up a chatbot, and there were problems with the online set up with Azure. The other challenge that we ran into was getting the proper tags from the XML document.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are most proud of the fact that it is something that we really would be able to use.

What we learned

We learned how to use the Twilio API and how to set up a webService with Azure along with sharpening C# skills.

What's next for NavBot

The next step for NavBot is to unlock more features. Google Maps is very powerful, and we are just scratching the surface with our webservice. Throughout the hackathon, we also tried to develop point of interest references so that you could search for nearby restaurants by text and get directions to those as well.

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