Inspiration

This project was a response to the events that occurred during Hurricane Harvey in Houston last year, wildfires in California, and the events that occurred during the monsoon in India this past year. 911 call centers are extremely inefficient in providing actual aid to people due to the unreliability of tracking cell phones. We are also informing people of the risk factors in certain areas so that they will be more knowledgeable when making decisions for travel, their futures, and taking preventative measures.

What it does

Supermaritan provides a platform for people who are in danger and affected by disasters to send out "distress signals" specifying how severe their damage is and the specific type of issue they have. We store their location in a database and present it live on react-native-map API. This allows local authorities to easily locate people, evaluate how badly they need help, and decide what type of help they need. Dispatchers will thus be able to quickly and efficiently aid victims. More importantly, the live map feature allows local users to see live incidents on their map and gives them the ability to help out if possible, allowing for greater interaction within a community. Once a victim has been successfully aided, they will have the option to resolve their issue and store it in our database to aid our analytics.

Using information from previous disaster incidents, we can also provide information about the safety of certain areas. Taking the previous incidents within a certain range of latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates, we can calculate what type of incident (whether it be floods, earthquakes, fire, injuries, etc.) is most common in the area. Additionally, by taking a weighted average based on the severity of previous resolved incidents of all types, we can generate a risk factor that provides a way to gauge how safe the range a user is in based off the most dangerous range within our database.

How we built it

We used react-native, MongoDB, Javascript, NodeJS, and the Google Cloud Platform, and various open source libraries to help build our hack.

Challenges we ran into

Ejecting react-native from Expo took a very long time and prevented one of the members in our group who was working on the client-side of our app from working. This led to us having a lot more work for us to divide amongst ourselves once it finally ejected. Getting acquainted with react-native in general was difficult. It was fairly new to all of us and some of the libraries we used did not have documentation, which required us to learn from their source code.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Implementing the Heat Map analytics feature was something we are happy we were able to do because it is a nice way of presenting the information regarding disaster incidents and alerting samaritans and authorities. We were also proud that we were able to navigate and interpret new APIs to fit the purposes of our app. Generating successful scripts to test our app and debug any issues was also something we were proud of and that helped us get past many challenges.

What we learned

We learned that while some frameworks have their advantages (for example, React can create projects at a fast pace using built-in components), many times, they have glaring drawbacks and limitations which may make another, more 'complicated' framework, a better choice in the long run.

What's next for Supermaritan

In the future, we hope to provide more metrics and analytics regarding safety and disaster issues for certain areas. Showing disaster trends overtime and displaying risk factors for each individual incident type is something we definitely are going to do in the future.

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