Inspiration

Carbon Emission is the primary reason for global warming and climate change. While Carbon emission is commonly known to be the single largest reason for this we do not have a good set of data and visualization to track our carbon footprint. Hence we came up with a smart way of representing the data and AI bot which could respond to questions on the carbon emission.

What it does

To achieve this goal, we built a web based application using Angular with a landing page, an interactive visualization page and a chat bot page.

How we built it

Angular was the Web Framework of choice and its is served by an Nginx Web server all built and run inside of a docker container. We created docker images of our code so it is easy to deploy in any cloud platform. We used Heroku which is a PaaS Platform by Salesforce to host our application which was integrated to our Heroku pipeline which is based on the Continuous Integration/Continuous Development Principle. We made use of the Domain.come and hosted our application with https://www.carboncount.tech as our domain.

We gathered the data from various sources such a IMF and World bank and cleaned them up and created the dashboard. We used the APIs of tableau to visualize the data. Finally we used the Microsoft's chat-bot and trained it to respond to our questions by training it over a data set and literature.

Challenges we ran into

The very first challenge we ran into was the fact that there was no consistent data, we had together various data and use some preprocessing techniques to get out data usable. The second challenge we faced was to train the AI bot in a very small amount of time, we had to learn a lot about a bunch of APIs calls. Another challenge was that due to the limitation of our hardware we had to run our web application on GitPod which caused delay. Finally, we had a tough time integrating all our components into our project as a lot of software were not compatible with each other.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud of having a working application which will visualize and educate people about the carbon emission to bring awareness about the current environment state of the world. We are really happy we could integrate various systems into our application in such a small amount of time.

What we learned

Ordinary products/activities that are taken for granted such as charging a phone, ordering off of Grubhub can have enormous impacts when it comes to carbon emissions. By building an interactive website, we are able to show the user essential how carbon emissions are affected when it comes to day to day activities. Our chat bot helps create an interactive and meaningful conversations with the user to bring light to the consequences of seemingly mundane activities. We also learned a lot of new technologies, team work and problem solving.

What's next for our Carbon Count?

Although our bot is ready to be used, we haven't created a UI for it which will talk to the bot. We also hope to make use of Google Geo-location API, CockroachDB and an ExpressJS Server to bring up interesting facts about the city or state you are living in which can build User Engagement and bring about awareness in regards to what cause the most carbon emissions in their city.

Reference

  1. Heroku - https://devcenter.heroku.com
  2. Angular template - https://www.creative-tim.com/product
  3. Data - https://climatedata.imf.org/datasets
  4. Domain - https://www.domain.com
  5. Gitpod - https://gitpod.io/workspaces
  6. Docker - https://www.docker.com/
  7. Tableau - https://www.tableau.com/
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