Every year Toronto welcomes many people, most of them being unfamiliar with the city face the problem choosing the best location for their stay. All the members of our team had similar experiences coming to a new city. That is why we have decided to develop an app that will assist newcomers, tourists, as well as Torontonians in choosing the perfect area for living in Ontario's capital city.
What it does
Best Neighbourhood is a web app that is created to help users find the perfect neighbourhood for living depending on their preferences. At this point the app covers only Toronto and includes all neighbourhoods within the city. Users have the option to choose a particular area while taking into consideration what is most important to them (e.g. public safety, transit, health, access to amenities, recreational areas, etc.). Depending on your priorities the app displays the best areas that match your criteria.
How we built it
CODX service provides tons of valuable information that can be effectively used in many spheres of our life. We used it to retrieve and analyze about 70 data sets, we designed the app to cover the most requested features. We have also used Google Maps API to make the app more interactive and to provide visual presence. In addition to using above mentioned services, we used NodeJS for backend, and ReactJS for front-end.
Challenges we ran into
Access to a large volume of information required spending a lot of time analyzing the data and deciding how this data can be efficiently used in the app. Analyzing and parsing of the data was a big challenge, especially given that we had a tight deadline to accomplish "Best Neighbourhood" and familiarize ourselves with the extensive features of Google Maps.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We are really proud of designing a user-ready app within 36 hours. This is definitely a big accomplishment for me.
What we learned
We used Cockroach DB for the first time, that was a definitely new skill. Also, Google Maps API was interesting.
What's next for Best Neighbourhood
We would like to improve our app using additional data available at CODX and incrementally adding more features that can improve users' experience working with our app.