• The Ford Go Detroit Challenge - asking developers to solve bigger problems and making an impact in the lives of people we might never otherwise come into contact with - was what inspired us to take on building this app.

What it does

  • An android web-view application built on top of Node.Js to simplify the parking situation for Detroit residents by crowdsourcing available parking locations to ease huge wait times - a known problem

  • Parkcore leverages the Google Maps API (Distance Matrix Services API for Node.Js, Geolocation API for Javascript) to provide real time location; reverse geolocation and best routes to available parking spots.

  • Parkcore lets users :

    • mark places they vacate as available parking spots
    • look for vacant parking spots in the users' vicinity
  • Parkcore ranks unoccupied parking spots on the basis of

    • time elapsed since it was marked vacated
    • time required for shortest route to it

How we built it

  • Parkcore is essentially a web application built using Node.Js - served using Express, Pug and MySQL - and eventually transformed into an Android application by using Android WebView.

Challenges we ran into and accomplishments we're proud of

  • The primary challenge with this sort of concept is the lack of initial, recent and relevant data - which is why crowdsourcing seemed to be the most viable option

  • We had zero experience with Node.Js and associated platforms; we decided, however, to go ahead with them, even had a few problems with them - including a phase in between when we were almost about to return to the safety of good old PHP - but decided to stick with them on realising the better applicability of Node in the project, especially due to the heavy use of the Google Maps Javascript APIs.

What we learned

  • The applications of math and computer science in our daily lives was something each one of us came to appreciate through building this project - the heavy reliance of mathematical concepts such as matrices and graphs in route optimisation and time calculation was something we better understood while having to consider these factors for Parkcore.
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