Common interest in activism in the wake of recent natural disasters. We asked how would someone get involved? As aid efforts and needs on the ground are constantly changing, how do you know that your involvement is making the biggest impact? We wanted to see if we could make a resource where you could look up volunteer opportunities in your locale while simultaneously plugging into news sources and social media trends to stay up-to-date and informed.
What it does
User inputs their personal information as well as zip code and volunteer interest. We use these two parameters to retrieve data from the New York Times API and Eventbrite API. The user will see news articles that relate to the volunteer interest as well as events they can participate in, within a 10mi radius of their zip code, that relate directly to their search input. We use firebase to store user input and print the 10 most recent searches to the DOM so that users can see what others are interested in and hopefully use this information to influence their own searches.
How I built it
Group project - I executed the Bootstrap, CSS, and Eventbrite API from beginning to end; I polished the display of the New York Times API and QC'd the code for clean readability. Another team member sorted through the NYT documentation and wrote the API call, and additionally created a Google+ verification pop up. Another team member fleshed out the mission and final function of the app, and executed firebase from beginning to end.
Challenges I ran into
Running into accessibility issues re: APIs. We wanted to use APIs that were simply a dead-end; other APIs wanted extensive verification of our identity and purpose in granting us keys; other APIs had pricing structures we were not yet ready to explore.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I greatly improved my comfort with and precision in crafting a well-designed page. I am much more efficient at sorting through APIs and getting what I need out of them.
What I learned
This was an incredible learning experience in how to organize a project with multiple moving parts. I learned a lot re: Bootstrap CSS and the user experience - where would components have the most value on the page? did it make sense visually and functionally? I did all the API research before giving other teammembers the go-ahead - I learned a lot about organizing documentation and sifting through APIs in determining the time-value payoff before committing.
What's next for Volunteer Pulse
Bigger, better APIs to expand the user experience and the information we are providing. There needs to be a greater breadth in the information we are providing. We have not yet been able to access meaningful social media data - this would round it out nicely.