Let's face it - university parking sucks. If you're lucky, you _ might _ get a parking spot in the back corner of the farthest parking lot on campus if you wait long enough. Students at impacted universities everywhere take part in a similar daily ritual. At schools like Florida State University and UC San Diego, eager student drivers will often anxiously follow their peers in parking lots, hoping to catch a newly available parking spot. Some even block traffic, awaiting their turn to park.

Please don't do this. Just use Spot Swap.

What it does

Spot Swap is a cross-platform mobile application that simplifies the process of finding parking for students. Students who need parking spaces are matched with with a peer looking to hitch a ride to their cars from other parts of campus. At the conclusion of the impromptu ride share, the driver gets the opportunity to commandeer his passenger's parking spot!

In effect, the app creates mutual benefit for both parties. Also, fewer students sit idle, blocking the flow of traffic. Students may also save money otherwise spent on uber, taxi fair, or bus fair getting from one side of campus to their car.

How we built it

After overhearing some students raving about Ionic on the bus ride here, we decided to give the framework a shot. Because most of us had very little experience developing mobile applications, it was much easier to use languages and technologies we were more familiar with.

Challenges I ran into

That being said, none of us are javascript experts. The team skill-set run deeps in many other web technologies: django, python, java, and ruby on rails to name a few. Much of the new HTML5/CSS3/Javascript syntax had to be picked up on the fly, slowing down progress and development.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I consider throwing together a mostly functional cross-mobile platform application that fits a social need in 36 hours, without very much prior experience developing for mobile, a huge accomplishment. It really is a testament to the dedication and ability of the individuals in our team. Now that we are all more familiar with these new technologies, I'm excited to see what we will develop in future hackathons.

What I learned

If you have an idea, no feature is impossible. Don't know Swift or Objective-C? Haven't used Android Studio? Doesn't matter. Somebody out there has solved this problem and built a cross-platform framework for developers to code in their language of choice. You just have to choose to try. Dedication wins.

What's next for SpotSwap

We are excited about future of our mobile application. Some potential features include:

  1. Integration with Google Maps API (alpha)
  2. Integration with Twilio API
  3. An interface not unlike uber, in which drivers are notified when their driver is approaching and can monitor said approach visually.
  4. Live spot count per parking garage
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