The school year is a major challenge for bus systems to provide daily transportation for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's humongous student body. To help with accommodating busier locations, congested bus routes, and even places with lower bus usage. Team PyggyBack has created a special tool to see where student clusters are throughout the busy school week!
What it does
Users would be able to view colored spots of the hot spots around campus. Using this information, any one would be able to see where there may be pressure points for the bus system.
How we built it
The pertinent data for this project was scattered between many databases. So, we were able to successfully aggregate all the data into a central location. From there, we had to geo-locate the buildings to pinpoint where the colored spots are on the map. After all our data was prepared, we needed to integrate all of the information into Google Map API. (Check it out here: [link]https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/) Finally, we needed to hook up all of our different HTML elements, like the sliders and changing the days, to query our database. The result is a what we present here at PygHack 2018! Voilà!
Challenges we ran into
As aforementioned, data was scattered, so we needed to aggregate from many sources while also making sure that any changes to the data did not compromise its integrity. Another challenge was that we did not have prior Web Development experience and had to learn how to integrate API's, manage our views and controllers, and pull in data from the app all within 24 hours. Granted, it was fun.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to get a minimum viable product and have it look somewhat aesthetically pleasing (in our opinion). We worked with technologies we've never worked with before and were able to rapidly learn and apply on the fly.
What we learned
Data is all over the place and to tackle a specific problem like ours required multiple sources and stitching them together.
What's next for PyggyBack
The next part of PyggyBack is integrating more data across this school and even expanding to other schools so many different bus services can optimize their routes and schedules. The data we have gathered focuses on the population of each building, but it can be expanded to students traveling to their next classes, helping the bus system even more.
Here are some of the GIFs as short demos for the project.