We believe user generated content provides an honest and realistic view of today's world. Everyday locations such as coffee shops, restaurants, landmarks, or hiking trails aren't always depicted honestly by the proprietors or publicized at all. As such, we wanted to expose the reliability and beauty of user generated content in support of exploring and discovering a new or familiar area as seen through the eyes of our peers.

What it does

OutAndAbout allows the user to explore a location of their choice and discover places of interest with the intention of planning a trip around them. Leveraging Foursquare, OutAndAbout provides suggestions on places to eat, things do, photo opportunities, and much more. On top of the Foursquare location layer, we display user generated images from Instagram at each of the suggested areas giving the user a realistic and un-bias perspective of the venue. After selecting the venues they like, OutAndAbout helps plan the user route using Google Maps.

Great use cases:

  • Visiting France? Plug in Paris, France and discover great cuisines nearby. View the different food others have been eating in the area of Paris.
  • North Korea? out of luck
  • Bored? At home, looking for something to do? Discover new things to do in your home town, and find out how to get there
  • Hot date? Plan ahead and impress.

How We built it

  • Using swagger-node for our backend to crawl FourSquare and Instagram.
  • Using Google Maps Javascript API to display our suggestion data, and generate routes between points of interest.
  • The backend api is hosted by IBM-Bluemix.
  • We use AWS dynamo db to store session data.

Challenges We ran into

  • Async programming within Node.js (Specifically Express)
  • Deploying an existing project on Bluemix using Cloud Foundry command line tool
  • Scraping meaningful data from several APIs and aggregating it

Accomplishments that We're proud of

  • Scraping meaningful data from several APIs and aggregating it
  • Quickly deploying a backend with Swagger-node (powered by Apigee)
  • Quickly optimizing Google Maps API to our needs

What We learned

  • Google Maps API
  • Instagram API
  • Foursquare API
  • Bluemix deployment

What's next for OutAndAbout

  • Make user accounts to save trips
  • Utilize other user's experiences in suggestion
  • Own reviewing system
  • Beautify UI
  • Optimize code for scalability
  • Other images source besides Instagram
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