We wanted to build Smokey Bot because we’re big fans of nature and always have enjoyed the national parks that we’ve visited. By building Smokey Bot, we aimed to encourage people to learn more about the parks and potentially visit them once things get better and travelling is safer again. We think that national parks are underrecognized by people, especially the younger generations, so we wanted to build a tool that can help them be exposed to the park system and maybe find a future place to visit.
What Separates Us From the Rest
We believe that our web app stands out from competitors since it consolidates information about all the national parks into one website. This is in comparison to something like google, where you would have to look up each park individually. We have a clean and simple UI that allows users to intuitively navigate and interact with our chat bot. We also think that the idea of having a chatbot to ask questions to is more engaging to users, and provides more of an opportunity to encourage visitation by providing relevant information, right from the National Park Service.
What We Learned and Used
Because it was all of our first time creating a fullstack application, creating a web app from this idea wasn’t a straightforward process for us, and we all had to do a bit of front end and back end development. For our stack, we ended up using React on the frontend and Node.js on the backend. This hackathon was a great learning experience as we learned about apis, new web technologies, and working collaboratively with git.
Our Plans for the Future
Although we are happy with our experience at our first hackathon and are proud of our project, we could not accomplish everything under the given time constraints. If we had more time on this project, we would work on expanding the features of the chatbot. Such items could include the usage of other APIs that could give us more accurate information about the weather or location of the national parks. In addition to the chatbot, the design could be polished, and the overall quality of the code could be cleaned up.
Our ZipperHQ link (don't know where to put the link)
Mitch Radvansky Nicholas Kim Christopher Youn
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