Los Angeles and the Bay Area are known for the huge amounts of traffic. Our team, consisting of students from both these areas, realized the problem of people often finding themselves subject to large crowds at unexpected (and expected) times. We wanted to let people know which places are busy and when--helping alleviate the search for available parking spots, places to eat on a Saturday night out, or where popular events are happening in live time.
What it does
Parkmark is a heatmap displaying areas where there is traffic--from the locations of phones in the area. From this heatmap, users can determine areas of popularity as well as search for quieter areas.
How we built it
We used Android Studio to build our app as well as the Google Maps API.
Challenges we ran into
A challenge we ran into was the integration of a database in the app that updates the heat map in realtime. While we wanted to create this, we decided to instead focus on the front end in creating the map and its effects.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of creating a functional prototype with a display and a heatmap.
What we learned
We became versed in several different topics through building ParkMark. First, we had to use SDK tools and Manager in Android Studio to document what we were doing and code the API. We also implemented the Google Maps API in our code and used different graphics editor programs to create mockups of our app.
What's next for Parkmark
Part of the inspiration for ParkMark was the idea of helping people find free parking spaces (which is where ParkMark got its name). Once we fully implement the current API and get ParkMark to functionally display the “busyness” of different areas, we hope to expand into further branches of crowdsourcing and traffic tracking. To do this, we will need smartphones to be able to determine when people are driving cars, which Apple still has not completely actualized in full, and when they have stopped or have left their cars.