Inspiration

Where I live in Toronto, the winters can get extremely cold and the summers sometimes get extremely hot. In these dangerous weather conditions, the city will open weather respite centres so people without shelter can have a safe place to stay, however people using these shelters might not know whether the centres are open, and it may be difficult to quickly figure out where the closest shelter might be.

What it does

Respite Me is an app which lets users use text messaging to request the status and location of the closest respite centre to them. The sms allows the app to work even without internet connection.

How I built it

I used an logic app to create the program, with a variety of connectors including Bing Maps, MSN weather, and Twilio. I used Azure AI cognitive services for text analysis and translation.

Challenges I ran into

The logic app connectors were convenient in terms of not requiring coding to use, but there were occasional situations where I wasn't able to find a connector I wanted and had to alter my original design. For example, although there's a connector to create a static map, sending a mms message required a media url and so I couldn't send the original map through text.

There were also some nuances with the text analytics AI that I learned along the way, for example if you write "40 Nice St," 40 is set as a number-quantity type while Nice St is set as a location.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of and what I learned

I was able to go from learning about what logic apps were to creating a working project in a short amount of time. I learned a lot about the cloud, and this was also my first time exploring AI services in a personal project.

What's next for RespiteMe

It would be interesting to read more on what other connectors Logic apps has to offer, as well as to explore creating your own functions to extend the functionality of the logic app.

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