In 2016, the Global Literacy Survey revealed significant gaps between the knowledge young adults currently hold about today’s world, and what they should know to successfully navigate in it.

  • 1,203 college-aged adults who attend or have attended a 2- or 4-year college in the United States were asked 75 questions about geography, recent foreign affairs, and economics
  • 86% said they consider themselves at or above average in terms of knowledge about global affairs
  • The average score on the survey was 55%, a failing grade by most educational standards

Given our increasingly interconnected world, geographic literacy and geopolitical understanding are more important than ever. Luckily, this information is at our fingertips. In fact, with Pangea, the world is, more or less, in the palm of your hands.

What it does

  • Pangea is a web application with a simple map interface where users can select a location on the map and observe the recents news and trends in that area
  • The interactive display would not only inform users of trends on a global scale, but also foster a learning environment that promotes cultural awareness and a knowledge of geography, world demographics and foreign affairs

How I built it

For the frontend, I utilized the Mapbox API, HTML, CSS and JavaScript to create a simple, user-friendly map interface, as well as Adobe XD for some GUI mockups. I used Python for my server-side script.

Challenges I ran into

I think I spent more time reading the Twitter API reference docs than I did actually writing code. I had initially tried to set up a node.js server but quickly ran into issues with the oAuth verification process, so I made the impromptu decision to switch to Flask, which I had no experience with. I leveraged the Tweepy module, and that made it a lot easier to interact with the Twitter API, but then I struggled with communicating with the DOM through Python.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Adapting to Flask
  • Managing my time as as both a volunteer and a hacker
  • Staying awake!

What I learned

I learned that reading documentation can be very, very time-consuming.

What's next for Pangea

  • Integration of various third-party APIs to deliver a broad range of news from around the world
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