In many developing countries or when traveling abroad, mobile data is limited or non-existent. Google maps is great, but it requires data to function. We were inspired to make an SMS navigation solution that uses zero data.
What It Does
SMS Maps returns directions between two points given by the user, all via SMS.
How We Built It
We utilized Twilio to create a workflow between a user’s phone (SMS), a program that pings Google Maps API for directions, and a system to send the directions back via SMS. We used the Google Maps API to implement the detailed instructions for each route. This tool allowed us to change a variety of parameters such as: mode of transportation, optimization based on the traveling salesman problem, origin/destination, and avoidances (tolls, creeks, etc.).
Challenges We Ran Into
Connecting the various tools (Google Maps API and Twilio) was a difficult task because each tool required a specific type and set of input that did not necessarily match that of the output for another tool.
Accomplishments That We're Proud Of
It is up and running!
What We Learned
Through this project, we were able to get more experience with the tools we used. We also learned more about this market and its possibilities.
What's next for SMS Maps
This sort of feature can be applied to a variety of fields (health, education etc.) and we seek to make this a more viable product and eventually retain a solid customer base.
We are four high schoolers from Gunn High in Palo Alto. We are very passionate about Computer Science!