As a team we were discussing our lives in university and realized that there could have been so much more to do. The problem was not a lack of activities but not realizing how close the events actually were, and finding relevant activities that we would enjoy. Instead of seeing activities appear as lists or as posts on social media, we realized that seeing activities on a map makes it easier for people to be informed and easier to attend. Furthermore combining events collected across multiple media sites would provide a greater variety for the users to explore. We realized this would require a lot of information, so we decided to combine the data of well established APIs, web-scraped data, with the relevance of crowd-sourced information to create Roid.
What it does
Roid combines a google maps interface with a database containing information collected across multiple media sites (including Kijiji, Yelp and Eventbrite) to provide a large collection of nearby events and destinations. This collection of data is combined with crowd-sourced information to increase user relevance. Users can see local events and much more based on their location for a more visual feel of what is happening around them.
How we built it
Roid currently runs on a Google Cloud server. It uses Vue JS to host its web-app, Standard Library to host its APIs, AirTable to host its database, and Python to continuously gather information. Furthermore an Android app allows users to see what events are available nearby based on their location. Powered by Google's APIs.
Challenges we ran into
It was a large tasking being able to collect information from different media sites and combine it into one database. We encountered many problems with parsing information from the media sites and sending information to the database. It was specifically tough to develop the first data aggregation script for the first media site (Kijiji). However we were able to learn a lot and move forward relatively easily afterwards.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of developing a beautiful user interface and providing helpful information to users. We have color-sorted markers to make it easy to determine what type of event is shown on the map. Also, it is possible for the community to plan their own events by creating them dynamically inside the Android application.
What we learned
We learned how to use Standard Library efficiently, store values in a database, and collect big data. We learned a lot of about building map interfaces, and how we can make these more visually appealing for users.
What's next for Roid
Roid will likely improve its aesthetics and scalability to further involve crowd-sourced information and truly become Google Maps on steroids! There is a lot of room for functional improvements, such as nicer, more flexible user interfaces and more platforms to gather data from. Anything from finding the closest bathroom to the next big party, Roid has the potential to do it all!
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