Inspiration

What inspired me is a common issue that I and others have, often leaving home and then forgetting to buy items on a shopping list.

What it does

This app tracks your location in the background and updates you on whether there is a store nearby that has an item on your shopping list(s) so that you don't have to miss another opportunity to buy what you need.

How I built it

Using Radar API to get Places information (location coordinates and place name), I was able to check, at the minimum, whether the store the user created a list for is within a certain distance of their current location. I have 800 meters set for now, which is 0.5 miles.

Challenges I ran into

The biggest challenge was thinking of a great idea that is creative, and useful. I found that I spend most of my time in the hackathon brainstorming ideas. On the development end, I was using React-Native for mobile development, something I have not done before. I was hoping to use Google Cloud for Google Maps, but I was unfortunately not able to get access to credits for the platform, so I went to look at Radar.io. There, I was stuck for some time because I was not sure whether they provide the map or not, so after I saw that they only provide JSON data, I went to look for an open-source map API, and I chose Mapbox for the application. It also tracks current-location, which I integrated at the end of this hackathon.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud of myself for developing an application in such a short amount of time using technologies I worked with for the first time this weekend. I reached out to many hackers in this hackathon to form a team, but unfortunately, it did not work out, so I had to work solo. I am feeling good about being able to create an application and form some design in this short amount of time, all by myself, although it would have been great to share this experience and learn with a team of hackers.

What I learned

I learned that I should start hacking at the start of the hackathon, and not lose any time, as well as constantly be thinking of new ideas. I feel like I had a lot less time on this project than I could have had, if I had thought of an idea at the start. I have to say that majority of my time in this hackathon went to me brainstorming ideas for the concept of the app.

What's next for spotter

What's next for spotter is fully implementing the map tracker and make the app more complex -- adding user profiles. I want to allocate a good amount of time on improving the design.

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