We wanted to take on a challenge by analyzing big data. The taxi challenge seemed interesting and practical, and the "Day in the life of a taxi" animation inspired us to create a cool visualization as well.

What it does

The Taxi Calculator allows the user to input their pickup destination, dropoff destination, and time of departure. With this, the program uses a database of past taxi cab rides to give a time estimate, fare estimate, and maps the route on Google Maps.

How we built it

On the back-end, we imported the taxi cab data into a database and then wrote a mySQL query that, given a start point, end point, and departure time, returns average fare and average trip time of past similar trips found in the data. On the front-end side, we used Google Maps APIs in JavaScript to display the map, plot markers at the points, and map the route. We used HTML5 and CSS to format the page, and used PHP to receive the input from the user.

Challenges we ran into

We had challenges in retrieving GPS coordinate values from the marker location. Another major challenge is the size of the data -- because there is so much data, it takes a long time to search the database and return fare and time values.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of our front-end UI and of working through problems.

What we learned

We learned Google Maps API and developed in some languages unfamiliar to some of us.

What's next for Taxi Calculator

Finishing the project and getting it to work through the last bug of returning null values for fare. Getting it to work through the data faster. Making fare and distance calculated from the data more accurate. Linking to functional taxi calls. Possibly adding in more visualization features.

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