Inspiration

Our teammate Katie is an Entomology Student, she works collecting bug data from cutting edge agricultural units called high tunnels. This information is essential to those in the agricultural community, as it provides significant insight into current and future pest problems. Despite the information being both incredibly important and time sensitive, the data collection and archiving process is somewhat archaic. Katie places sticky traps around agricultural centers, and later collects the the traps to count the attached insects using a microscope and pad of paper, then manually enters the paper data onto a local spreadsheet which is provided to those members of the public who specifically request it by email. We wanted to work with her to develop an easier way to record and publicize her data, as well as augment it with some of the cool features blockchain and other decentralized networks can provide.

What it does

This project is accessed from two different interfaces. The first is a simple interface that allows the entomologist to interact with the distributed data network. These privileged users would be able to add their most recent information, as well as make updates and changes to previously entered data (the history of which is still kept on the Hedera network). The second interface is more an example of the possibilities our application can provide. Since at this point the data is safe in a distributed network, anyone can access the raw data and adapt it to better suit their needs. Our example includes a heat map of pest distribution over an area which provides farmers a direct visual representation of one of their most frustrating obstacles. However, the projected features include predicted economic impact of the agricultural community, as well as recommended precautions to take in the upcoming season.

How we built it

We used Hedera Hashgraph technology as the foundation for our project. This gave us a secure distributed system to collect and store the data that was being put through the front end. We used node, javascript and html to build the interface that users interact with.

Challenges we ran into

  • Learning our way around the Hedera materials was definitely a challenge at first but well worth it in the end!
  • Dealing with data i/o and handling around node and Hedera can be a challenge as well. Most of us are much more well versed in Python and C, which meant having to deal with Javascript's heavily synchronous architecture was quite the challenge in itself.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Our team was not very experienced with web-development, hashgraphs or really anything we used, so we are proud of how much we were able to accomplish in 24 hours!

What we learned

  • Most of our team were blockchain novices and they were able to learn a lot about it's importance, functionality, and some neat alternatives.
  • Since one of our teammates is an entomologist the rest of us got to learn a lot about bugs (_ too much _) and pest control methods and she learned a lot about coding.

What's next for Public Pest Network

  • A way to verify who is allowed to input data (User Validation).
  • Keeping track of alternative data points (weather, humidity, air quality) that can be used to draw conclusions and make predictions about the future

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