While walking around our neighborhoods, we noticed some safety concerns that we want to improve. We searched for ways to share our ideas but could not find an easy way to do so. We decided to create a website that enables anyone to play an active role in improving their city.
What It Does
Safer City Vision will enable cities to identify areas needing improvements. With our new and innovative website anyone can share suggestions to make their community safer. A form to submit requests is located on the top of our home page. Submissions can be viewed on an integrated Google Map or in a list view that can be sorted by most upvotes, downvotes, or most recent suggestions. On the main feed, users can upvote or downvote ideas to indicate those they support. In order to prevent an individual from voting on a submission multiple times, we added an account creation and login system. Users must be logged in to vote on a suggestion. However, we allow suggestions to be submitted without being logged in because we understand that some people would like to help improve their community while remaining anonymous. If a user creates an account before making a suggestion, they can visit the “My Submissions” page to see the upvotes and downvotes their idea received.
When fully completed, we will license this framework to cities so they can tailor this system to their communities. Using our site, cities can gain a better understanding of the needs of its residents and make improvements that will benefit them.
How We Developed It
We used a server hosting service that we uploaded our PHP and HTML code to get our website running. From there, we used Google Maps API to add a map to display all the community suggestions.
Challenges We Faced
At first, it was very difficult for us to begin programming, as we were new to using PHP. However, one of the most prominent challenges that persisted throughout the entire hackathon was decisiveness. With only three people to work on the project, no one was really the leader, so coming to a solid decision instead of merely suggesting ideas was definitely a challenge.
Accomplishments We're Proud Of
We are very proud to have completed this project within the given time frame, but especially given the fact that there were so many "firsts" in this project. This project was a work of passion, and with that comes pride. As this was our first time creating a website, coding in PHP, and participating in a hackathon, we are very proud of our project. With that said, notable smaller accomplishments include integrating Google Maps API, creating a secure account system, sorting submissions by a specified parameter, and using various new data structures.
What We Learned
Through this hackathon, we learned how to write PHP code, make a website, and create a secure account system for our website. We also learned how to integrate Google Maps API, create a sorting system, use HTML forms, server-side programming, and prototype how we can help the community.
Using our site, cities can gain a better understanding of the needs of its residents and make improvements that will benefit them. When fully completed, we will license this framework to cities so they can tailor this system to their communities. These cities would have administrator accounts so they can review suggestions and indicate the status of suggestions. Submissions will be marked as suggested, under review, approved, or completed. Users will be bale to follow suggestions to receive updates on their status. We would also like to improve the style of our site.