Inspiration

Whether it's an entirely different country or a town right next door, travelling according to well-known "popular"destinations isn't often indicitive of the culture and the rich history behind that location. I've been to Niagara Falls no less than 7 times so far; however, the only experience that I remember from those 7 is the time when I went with a mutual friend who is a native of Niagara Falls. He offered me different vantage points that truly made this 7th trip to Niagara Falls the most memorable. Why not make your first trip just as memorable?

What it does

TourUs is a crowdsourcing platform that matches the interests and potential locations of tourists to various tourguides who are knowledgeable about a particular location. We have a custom matching algorithm that creates a "score" based on the number of mutual interests between a tourist and tourguide and returns these results back to the tourist. The tourist can then view the profile of a tourguide to judge whether or not he/she would be a good fit for them. Even if the tourist doesn't wish to contact the tourguide, they can even view the list of reccommended events, places, or experiences to adventure at a certain location. They can then decide when/where they want to meet up, if they decide to do so, and the tourguide can be tipped by the tourist.

How We built it

Our entire tech stack revolves around meteor.js which combines client and server side code into a single easy to deploy system. Meteor uses MongoDB for the database, and a templating language of HTML5 for the frontend. Much of the dynamic client interfacing and backend interfacing is written in javascript.

Challenges We ran into

Before this hackathon 36 hours ago, none of us had ever touched Meteor.js or had extensive experience with javascript. As a result, writing much of the client and server side turned out to be a larger learning curve than we had imagined. In addition, MongoDB which was very different from the SQL databases we were accustomed to using was hard to understand due to its dynamic schema. We also had to understand the concept of reactivity with respect to Meteor.js. We were also about 6 hours late to the hackathon, which was a bit crippling in terms of time management; we found ourselves a bit rushed at the end, but managed to pull it together!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're really proud that we were able to put our idea to fruition in whatever capacity. In addition, we're proud that the matching algorithm worked as we had imagined, and that the entire website was much more polished than we originally envisioned.

What We learned

We learned a lot of Meteor.js this weekend.

What's next for TourUs

TechDisrupt 2016

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