Our idea was to implement an app that simplifies the task of navigating around UBC for all. it was a priority to incorporate features for those who need wheel-chair accessible routes. Additional feature that we have is to help students to stream the live update of certain study and food spots. We wanted to create a user-friendly, interactive, and all-in-one app that routes short-cut routes between the user’s starting location and chosen destination.
We had two major inspirations behind this project. First, we were frustrated with the current UBC Wayfinding site. The site makes it difficult to actually efficiently navigate around campus. Secondly, we were inspired by a friend who was on crutches and needed alternative paths to get around campus. We realized how limited the UBC Wayfinding application was. And so, we wanted to create a more interactive and user-friendly experience for those trying to get their way around campus!
What it does
The application presents the user with a customizable profile where they can select their preferences in food and study location as well as any physical disabilities. You are able to search within the app for locations around UBC and the app will give a route that accommodates for any disabilities that may inhibit movement. You can also search for nearby food locations and filter the results by cuisine and price. In addition, the app gives you live updates on the availability and crowdedness of your destination.
How I built it
We started off by building a framework for the android application using Android Studio. This framework includes the varying pages that the user can navigate to and from. These pages were tailored to the specific features we wanted to supply, namely, the map, and the search filtering page. To actually incorporate the more comprehensive routing feature to the app, we decided to integrate the Google Maps API and utilize it’s built-in features.
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge that we ran into was an unfamiliarity with the tools that we were working with. Understanding Android Studio and especially the Google Maps API was time consuming and detracted from time that we could have spent implementing our project. This meant that time was a big constraint and if given more time we are confident that we could have completed a fleshed out version of our application. Another challenge was how we brought our code together as we edited code individually on different project files and attempted to merge it all together. This could have been avoided with better planning in the beginning and a better use of git.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We were able to scrape from Google map to our code to make the app functionable. In addition, we created the prototype and user interfaces of our app
What I learned
We learned how to work together in a time constrained environment where you have to implement different sections of code, written by different people. We learned the value of having a concise plan and making sure your idea is reasonable before going out and coding it. We learned how to utilize the Google Maps API to plot markers and routes and began working on sending http requests to retrieve a route from the directions API. We also learned how to utilize wire framing in the design process and creating unique elements in android studio, like a search bar.
What's next for UBC Nav
To implement the actual routes to accommodate any disabilities, including warnings for narrow passages and stairs etc