Finding locations that accept food stamps isn't always easy and can be quite frustrating. Not everyone has a smartphone to be able to look up grocery stores on google maps but now, all they need is an SMS enabled mobile!
What it does
A user can text their address formatted as "69 Brown St Providence, RI" and will receive a text with the three places nearest them that accept food stamps [Based on USDA data]
How we built it
We used Google's Places and Maps APIs to access map data [to find nearest locations and access their addresses] as well as Twilio to be able to send and receive SMS messages.
Challenges we ran into
We were new to the APIs as well as Python and hosting on servers. We clean our dataset and manage "free trial" quotas. Place IDs are different based on address vs establishment name so we had to restructure the way we were looking for matches.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have a working product that can be of real use to many people!
What we learned
We learned how to divide and conquer, work together, use APIs, make something that can be used in the real world. "If technology doesn't work for EVERYONE, it DOESN'T work."
What's next for SNAPy
We currently have driving travel time but would like to have it as walking travel time. Make a smart phone app. Extend to allow for search of "Places near me that accept my health insurance" "Memory" of messages so users can reply "more" and get more locations or specific store information [hours and phone number]