Ian and Vikram bike to school in the morning and Jeffrey walks. All methods of eco friendly travel to get to the most exciting place of the day. These efficient methods of transport to school are occasionally hindered by the rainy days in the year or the excessively hot ones. When a student wakes up in the morning, his/her first instinct is not to check, climate readings on safari, or even forecasts for the following week. It's just assumed that everyday should be fine for the bike ride or the walk. However, when stepping out of the house, and rain is pouring outside, that student has immediate regrets for not checking the weather. What we realized was that all of these apps were too much of a hassle to handle in the morning, and that consolidating the weather app and information on safari into a simple chat bot on Facebook messenger would be a convenient tool for students to use.

What it does

The weatherbot takes in a user input of either a location (app provided location based on GPS coordinates), zip code and state, or city and state and it follows with weather information at that precise moment. Information provided includes: time, temperature, wind conditions, precipitation predictions, and humidity readings. This is the first immediate form of data provided and a prompt is then followed asking if the user would like the forecast for the following day. If yes then the data is provided and the prompt loops again asking for a new location.

How we built it

First, we retrieved data from a website in the form of a json. Then, we put certain pieces of the data together in a string and then returned it. We used several if and else statements to determine how to use the input and the output.

Challenges we ran into

None of our members had coded in javascript before, so the learning curve was immense. In addition, we weren't very coherent in where we wanted to go with the chatbot, so we ended up with several failed prototypes that we would build off of until we produced a desired product. Moreover, this was our first hackathon, so we had difficulty in planning our time schedule. Lastly, the performance of the bot varied from platform to platform.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to achieve our final goal of consolidating weather information on an easily accessed chat bot. We were able to gain a basic understanding on javascript. We were also able to use information from an api integrated program to get precise weather information.

What we learned

We learned that coding as a group is a useful skill because it allowed us to split up the work amongst members, so that we could more work done. Additionally we were able to evaluate each others strengths and weaknesses, so that each person could be assigned a job that was best suited for strengths. Lastly, we learned how to integrate chat bots into Facebook messenger.

What's next for WeatherBot

In the future we would like to include more features such as pictures included with the data in the chat. Additionally we would like the ui to be easier to understand with bigger text and shorter messages. Also, having a broader forecast, perhaps 5 days, would be useful in providing more information for the reader. We would like people to actually be using our chat bot when deciding on transportation to school, other venues like vacation spots, and for general immediate information on weather in different locations.

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