I was recently looking around for apartment housing for the next school year. Reviews were a primary factor in whether or not I would apply. I realized how useful it would be to incoming freshman or people who are thinking of applying to 2nd Year and Above Housing to make a site that makes dorm ratings easy to check.

What it does

This website lists the ratings and summarizes the reviews of every dorm on the Oregon State University campus. There is also a search bar functionality.

How I built it

I built this website using Python's Flask framework. To retrieve the review information, I used the Google Places API. To summarize the reviews for each dorm, I used the OpenAI API. For the search query, I used the fuzzy-search Python library. I used GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT to assist the coding process as well.

Challenges I ran into

I had difficulty with some JavaScript animations, and it took me a while to figure out how to work with the Google Places API, as I have had no experience in the past with any API's. I also don't have much experience with HTML, CSS, or JavaScript so creating a good-looking website took longer than expected.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

I am proud of learning how to make API requests and how to work with the information I receive from them. I am proud of making the website look how I wanted in such a small time-frame despite having little to no experience with HTML and CSS. I'm also proud of the ChatGPT implementation, I wasn't originally planning on integrating it within my website because I didn't think I would have time.

What I learned

I learned how API's work and how to implement them in a website. I also learned some new functions of Flask that I did not know about before. I solidified my CSS fundamentals.

What's next for OSU Dorm Review Site

Adding a login page and a database with user authentication would be a great start. This would allow users to favorite dorms. Another change I could make is to the layout of the individual hall pages. The user interface for those pages is not very conventional and might be confusing to navigate. Making the page responsive is something I can focus on as well. I could also add an option to sort by highest rating on the dorms list page.

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