Inspiration

Our project is based off of the NSIN challenge, concerning weather information and getting it to a certain group of people in the most efficient way possible. We turned that into getting basic weather information for anywhere in the US out to the general public in a smooth and simple way.

What it does

Simply put, our project gives a bit of basic information (temperature, conditions, wind) to the user for any zip code in the country. The user simply inputs their zip code, and all of their weather information is present for them there. No steps necessary to sort through past or future forecasts, no irrelevant or extraneous information. It is meant for someone who is waking up for the day and wants to see what the weather is like.

How we built it

We used the OpenWeather Map API to retrieve real-time weather data. We took the data from this API, which was in the form of JSON files, and parsed them into Java classes. In those java classes, we used JavaFX libraries to make a visually appealing interface for the user upon retrieval of the data. There is also an alternative interface for the user on the web, with javascript. This implementation is not complete, but if we had more time, we would have focused on getting a web app completely running as well.

Challenges we ran into

Parsing the information from the JSON file into the Java class was a particular area of concern and difficulty for us, as we had to add an external library into our project to do this. Eventually we got it to work, thanks to adding an external jar to the classpath of the eclipse project we used. Furthermore, none of us is really experienced in web development, so it was an exciting adventure to learn a bit about javascript, versus back-end development which we are more well-versed in.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of branching out, challenging ourselves, and taking time to explore new areas of software development that we were not well-versed in. This was the first time any of us used APIs with JSON, which was quite the challenge concerning implementation. At the end of the day, however, we believe that our end product well reflects how much we've learned over the past two days.

What we learned

As has been mentioned before, we learned a lot about APIs and API implementation. In addition to this, since that has been the bulk of the information on this page, we also ventured into web development with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. While this implementation was not completed, our work there gave us invaluable knowledge and we hope to build off of this in future projects.

What's next for our project

Something we wanted to implement had we more time is a feature where the forecast of the current location being viewed was compared with other locations around the world. For instance, if Pittsburgh had a very similar forecast to some town in Europe, we would highlight that as a fun fact in a small area of the page in case the user was interested. While this does go against our value of making the information relevant to the user, we wanted to add something creative or fun as well so that maybe the user would have more incentive or be more excited about using our software.

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