I've got a one year old phone that goes from 20% battery to nothing in a minute if I use data/GPS. But being a traveler, I do need directions! So what do I do? Get back to basics.
What it does
wayfarer uses your phone's SMS service to send a query for getting directions. You can receive directions through SMS, call, or even a full blown map through MMS!
How we built it
We used Twilio to get a phone number to which the user can send a query with his current location and required destination. We then query Esri to get directions to reach the destination from the given source. We can also get a map of that location. We used Linode to host our Python flask server. We also used mongodb to cache some results on our server itself so as to avoid unnecessary API calls. Finally, we used Twilio again to send the directions to the user through SMS, or voice call, or a map through MMS!
Challenges we ran into
Broadcasting and receiving SMS, MMS on Android; Generating a XML file dynamically on our Python Flask server for Twilio to access it for the voice call; Extracting the map image from the MMS; Figuring out how to retrieve maps around a particular location using Esri
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Completing the application and having a working prototype ready!
What we learned
Integrating multiple APIs
What's next for wayfarer
UI Revamp Nearby locations to visit and directions for those Routes on the map More robust search queries that can handle typos Locally stored location suggestions