While spending the past two weeks traveling throughout Hong Kong as part of a school trip, my friend and I found ourselves facing a tremendous issue: as long, busy days turned into fleeting, blurry nights, the task of recording a daily journal became nearly impossible without losing significant amounts of information – outstanding memories, really – in the process of playing catch up. These journals are intended to be more than just a grade; they're meant to be a keepsake, too, which is why its too bad that so many of the entries were rushed in order to meet a deadline. Another keepsake that had been diminished was our passports. Many countries have begun to exchange the passport stamp system for landing slips (Hong Kong included), which in a lot of ways strips travelers of a timeless badge of honor. Seeing an opportunity to right these wrongs, we set out to develop Pathway.

What it does

Pathway is a mobile application which tracks your travels via the location data saved in your smartphone's pictures and develops a timeline of your day. Each location is then given its own heading in a journal page alongside some of the pictures you took. Essentially, Pathway outlines your day for you, so you can spend more time embracing the world and less time jotting it all down.

How I built it

The concept was sketched out and iterated upon in Precursor in the early phase of Pathway's development. The concept map was built later in atomic.io in order to get a sense of how the UI felt to use. Two versions of the application were then attempted: one built in Swift, and another in React Native.

Challenges I ran into

It turns out that there wasn't enough experience in mobile app development between the three of us to make use of Xcode and Swift. Late into the night, an attempt at a workaround was made and a new version of the app was started in React Native; our intention was to make use of the framework's Javascript underpinnings (a language we are more comfortable with) to speed up the development process after falling behind due to Swift. Unfortunately, this did not occur.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

A lot of teams packed their bags and gave up as the night grew on; despite our struggles and frustrations, we stuck it out until the end. Even though we didn't have a functioning mobile app, we did develop a strong concept piece that is an excellent representation of what we intended to create.

What I learned

We learned first hand how important proper preparation and communication is to a successful hackathon. We also realized how much more we have to learn about programming and the possibilities it affords.

What's next for Pathway

A working product.

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