Inspiration

I am always passionate about the cities. I believe that is where we grow and thrive. Wandering around the city brings me joy. Both chaotic and organized districts have their own stories, those stories then reflect the characteristics of the people who are raised in these places, isn't it fascinating? A cup of coffee to go, walking along streets downtown, smiling at the person who is walking towards you, isn't it just pleasant? I want to have others, the urban dwellers to enjoy the rich culture and simple joy the city offers to us. Therefore, I wanted to show them the beauty of the city, of Helsinki. Meanwhile, there are many people in urban region are having sedentary lifestyles, I hope by showing interesting regions I can encourage people to be more active. Last but not least, although I like the urban area much, urbanization has created so many problems to the environment and jeopardized human's well-being. Time like this, we need to take responsibility of improving the urban environment, by promoting walking, I hope people can reduce use of motorized vehicles, which can potentially help the city be greener and safer. I hope through my effort, citizens can be motivated to learn more about Helsinki, the city we all live in and attracted to. Ultimately, everyone can actively involve in making Helsinki a better place, and create the HEL we deserve :)

What it does

Currently, walkable-hel offers different features (nightlife, school, restaurants, shopping center, tourist attraction and nature) in Helsinki downtown. User can choose the features she/he is interested in, and creates a personalized walkability map of Helsinki downtown.

How I built it

walkable-hel is a simple visualization. So building the web application was not very difficult. We used leaflet as the main library to support web map application. The tricky part is getting the right data and processing it so the data is ready use for visualization. I got most of the data through OpenStreetMap, some through HSL. The former has many entries, makes it difficult to process. The latter one is not well-defined, makes it equally difficult. But those problems were conquered eventually, which was such nice thing to happen.

What I learned

All-nighters are not suitable for me anymore :(

What's next for Walkable HEL

  • More data available
  • validate the walkability with users
  • provide the routing service for people who want to take certain amount of walk(by distance or time)
  • allow users to rate on roads
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