✍️ Inspiration

Notepool was originally inspired through our collective experiences after completing our first year at UofT and McMaster University. Going through the motions, our team of 4 has had to cram for exams, assignments and most notably of all — homework. Not only this, but various universities’ courses cover content in different manners which make it increasingly difficult to find relevant content.

🔎 What it does

Notepool saves students the stress and headache of scouring for help by making the resources you need accessible. Our platform stores the course-specific files that students can upload to help students like themselves. These files are then sorted and stored by university, course, and keywords found within the files themselves. Any user can contribute and search through their class's notes frictionlessly.

🚧 How we built it

Front End: built with React, Sass
Back End: MongoDB, Express.js, Node.js
Google Cloud Products: Google Cloud Storage, Google Cloud Vision

🛑 Challenges we ran into

  • Incorporating user interface principles and UX design patterns into the web app
  • Deploy local PDF parser to extract text from PDF
  • Authenticating Google Cloud Platform user

✅ Accomplishments that we're proud of

Implementing nearly everything we could've thought of in the span of 48 hours. We somehow managed to do it all! We are especially proud of using a combination of techniques to perform global text search on PDF and image files.

💡 What we learned

Given that half of us have never participated in a hackathon before, we learned the ropes to brand, design and develop a functional product on a tight timeline. Additionally, we learned quite a bit of React and how to implement CSS variables during this process.

💭 What's next for Notepool

Moving forward, we would like users to be able to upvote and downvote other people's notes to ensure that users can easily identify higher-quality notes to study from. Additionally, implementing subject detection (to be able to identify what unit/topic the notes are about) in addition to keyword search.

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