Due to the recent turn of events, whether it be the coronavirus, the cry for equality, or wildfires, this year has been a hectic year with new news and action that people everywhere should be aware of. It is especially in these times that we couldn't help but realize how difficult it is to get local news. One of our teammates, Abi, was very close to a wildfire recently, and her family did not know whether to evacuate, who to contact, where they could refer to for accurate news, or whether they were safe. Our app aims to tackle such frustrating situations by bringing communities and local people together through our community-driven app to work through difficult times together, in support of one another. While this hackathon is related to returning to school, we couldn't help but associate the current school climate with the turn of global events, and how students are disturbed as well. This app would be useful to students as well, as they can stay notified about what is going on in their community and stay safe, allowing for them to focus on getting back to school with full attention!
What it does
With our app, users can navigate a map of their location to either report emergencies, request for aid or a donation, or look for someone to help out or donate to. If they report a valid emergency, that emergency is notified to others in the area so that they can remain cautious. If the user enters an "emergency area", the user would be notified of the emergency, along with a set of links and resources for them to navigate the emergency. In addition, if the user opts to do so, the app would automatically contact the user's loved ones, notifying them that the user is in an emergency. In addition to such features, the site provides local Twitter news. Along with this, we have functionality for users to make posts, in which they can be more specific about emergencies or aid they require, and users can interact with each other on these posts. These posts allow for users to be constantly notified of only local news, so that they can focus on any emergencies in the area, or can help build their community to be even stronger and more together.
SafeWe = Safe Me
How we built it
We used Google Maps API for the map, user location, and emergency and aid visuals on the map. We used Twilio API to contact the user's loved ones in times of emergency, and Twitter API which would display local Twitter news. We also used Google Datastore for the app's NoSQL database and Google AppEngine for the backend of the web app on a fully managed serverless platform.
Challenges we ran into
We initially tried using Radar.io API for geofencing and other geolocation purposes, but could not figure it out. We were also trying to do something we never did before, and had to do a lot of googling to get to the stage we did.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to create a full functioning app and learned a lot about frontend development, which neither of us are very comfortable in. We developed functionalities that we have never tried before.
What we learned
We learned about frontend development and its nuances, and full stack development
What's next for SafeWe
As the site contains most of the functionality we intended, we plan on beautifying the site more for smoother user experience. We also would like to look into Radar.io. We hope to expand the "support" aspect of this web app by highlighting local businesses and local events, centralize more local news sources, and further develop our current functionalities.