2020 has been a tumultuous year filled with raw and authentic emotions that will forever resonate throughout the history of our kind. One such monumental movement is that of Black Lives Matter and demanding political equality for those who have been silenced for centuries. Protests.Me is a web based application that allows users to locate protests occurring near them and submit protest forms for the public to attend. It allows users to see how many participants are intending to attend an event, the date, time, location, and important information such as items to bring.
What it does
Protests.Me allows users to create and participate in protests occurring within their vicinity. Upon accessing the web application the user sees a feed of protest locations pinned around their area. They can choose the pinpoints on the map to see additional information (date, time, number of participants), as well as an option to attend. Logging in allows the user to save their joined protests, and get reminders for upcoming protests. It also enables them to assemble their own protests and spread relevant information about it.
How we built it
This project’s frontend was built primarily in HTML, CSS, and BootStrap. The backend was built and deployed on Firebase in order to enhance features like connectivity to other social media platforms and authentication. In order to connect our front and back ends, we used node.js. The protests that were created were stored on Firebase.
Challenges we ran into
As a team, we ran into challenges and difficult decisions when discussing features that we wanted to incorporate within our application. We all had a diverse amount of ideas, all which are necessary for an application, but had to prioritize those that we felt were critical to maintaining the integrity of the application given the time restrictions. Additionally, we found ourselves facing difficulty when it came time to implement data transfer and display protests on our frontend from the data stored on Firebase.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Learning and using a new devops/backend service Firebase to bring together our end product is the biggest accomplishment we are proud of. As mentioned previously, none of us had experience with Firebase, so we are proud of the functionality we were able to implement through it. We are also proud of our two teammates who pushed through and learned some HTML/CSS/git so they could help in creating the project. Although they had zero experience with web-development prior to this, they were persistent and helped create our UI.
What we learned
As a team, we learned collectively how to communicate and harness each other’s strengths in order to create an application that we were all satisfied by. We coordinated and discussed throughout the days in order to ensure that all of our teammates were up to speed on what was going on. Additionally, we all learned a lot about Firebase as none of us had experience with it prior. Firebase includes a multitude of features that we were unaware of going into it, however, they were very simple to implement.
What's next for Protests.Me
In the future, we will look to expand Protests.Me so it is accessible on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android as well. This would allow for a greater reach and more users to take advantage of the services it provides. We will also be adding a live feed of protests from participating protestors and the ability to attach photos to previous protests. We will also implement a Public Service Announcement functionality so that individuals are able to send messages concerning protests for others to be aware of.