We knew that we wanted to make a safer GPS system but had several audiences we were targeting. At a prior hackathon, I came across this idea with several other teammates, but ultimately was not able to get past the initial stages for several logistical reasons. I live in Boston, and I have noticed in the subways that several of the disabled people were having difficulty getting around all of the stairs inside. I thought about how we could improve the transportation system for them and thought about this idea.
What it does
We developed a site that collects all the data from wheelchair users that specifies the location of all of the barriers (including staircases and escalators). As this data is collected over time, the GPS system will calculate a new route that will avoid all of the barriers and facilitate getting from A to B.
How we built it
We used the API from Esri and we received mentorship from Esri members. With Python, we created a user registration system. In order to input the data of all the barriers from various wheelchair users, we used Survey123 that is part of Esri's resources. For database collection, we used Firebase and Github to create the site.
Challenges we ran into
The greatest challenge was to map the data that we collected through the survey onto the map. Another big challenge was actually putting in the barriers onto the map.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are so thankful for the team that we found through the hackathon. Initially, we did not have a team and ended up finding each other through the team formation round. Our initial idea was not working very well, and we worked very hard to find different ways to make it work. More importantly, we had so much fun together and have all become close friends in only 36 hours.
What we learned
We learned that it is okay to let go of some of the things we worked hard for because ultimately starting over after an initial idea is not working can be the best way to make something great. We were stuck on a few different parts of our project; by persevering through the challenges, we were able to make a site that we are proud of.
What's next for Let's Roll
There are a few ideas coming up for Let's Roll. First, we must consider in greater depth how we are going to market and implement our site for a global audience. Furthermore, by modifying parts of our code from Let's Roll, we can create another GPS system for public safety that tracks crime rates in all locations and calculates the safest route for pedestrians. Ideally, we would also like to create a mobile version of this app so that users can use the app as they are navigating through the city.