During the pandemic, we’ve all missed being able to travel and explore new places. As we look forward to post-pandemic life, travel may continue to look different for some time to come so we created a program that lets you not only plan your future road trips in depth, but also lets you explore them visually by walking along the route and seeing pop ups about each place as you pass it.

What it does

Our finished program would allow you to visually walk through the map and explore pushpins on interesting places along the way. It would also allow you to create a trip between two places, either based on a trip you create from scratch or one that you let the program create. We would like to add a create a “random trip” feature because we know that trip planning can be hard so you have the options to let the program find the most interesting path between two places and get ideas about where to stop along the way.

How we built it

We built our project in Java. All four of us worked in Eclipse, using a shared GitHub repository. We began by designing a main class that would our game in all of its states (menu screen state and game state) and would incorporate our map and images of campus. Then we designed classes to represent individual objects in our game - namely, pushpins to represent map locations, and a student to move around campus.

Challenges we ran into

There were several challenges along the way. The first of these was working with GitHub - it took a couple of hours to set up our shared GitHub repository and create our project. We were also having trouble with using images in Java in combination with JFrame, JPanel, and JLabel, and with creating graphics objects represented by images. Some of these problems were solved - our program now contains graphics objects that look like images and we were able to add images to a JPanel which was ultimately added to a JFrame. However, we are still not sure how to display multiple JPanel images on a JFrame without the top layers concealing the bottom ones and we have been struggling with adding popups to our pushpins.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We’re really proud of our solid teamwork and good communication skills. We grew so much as a team and learned a lot together. Figuring out how to allow student movement and bring images into our program was a huge achievement, as was drawing the path that the student leaves behind them as they move around the map.

What we learned

Through building our project, we learned how to set up a git repository from scratch and how to incorporate JFrame, JPanel and JLabel more seamlessly into our UI.

What's next for SpaceWonders

We hope to finish working on the Mount Holyoke pilot version of our program. Once this is finished, we hope to tackle our original idea and expand this concept to the United States and then the world. We could as well make the game into 3D.

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