In order to reflect the 'Zen' theme of KnightHacks 2021, our team wanted to help ease the minds of students commuting between classes. When it comes to scheduling, most apps on the market don't account for precipitation.
Avoid moist socks by using Whether to decide when to go!
We decided to make this app because of these frustrations with arriving to class soaking wet. Coordinating weather information and commute details can be complicated. Instead of having to cross-reference weather data and your schedule, you can set your classes up in Whether, and easily visualize the day's weather overlaid on your schedule.
What it does
Especially in Florida, weather is a scheduling factor that can make or break your day. No one likes showing up to appointments wet, and even the best umbrella can only do so much.
By merging the functionality of a scheduler and live weather, students should be able to better plan their commutes, ensuring a dry arrival.
Over the last few weeks, all of us have gotten stressed out because of the sporadic rain patterns. Especially since one of our members uses a wheelchair, being caught in the rain between classes without plan ahead can make for an unhappy start to class, and more stress overall. This is where the app comes in: it helps you find a time to go that you aren't as likely to hit bad weather.
How we built it
We created a mockup through Figma, detailing the scope of our app as well as the overall structure of the various menus. We used React.js with Expo to create a streamlined developer environment to let us emulate the app on our phones in real time. We wrote entirely in Typescript, using SQLite as our back-end to store user schedules. We also interacted with the OpenWeather API to get information about the rain chance to display to users. We worked together remotely throught VSCode's LiveShare features as well as over Discord.
Challenges we ran into
Our original idea was to store commute time data that we would get using Google's API, but as that turned out to be against the TOS, we had to figure out a way to represent our travel distances using a reasonable scale. With limited team experience in the technologies used as well as a short deadline, we had to remain flexible in terms of milestone management.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We all put a huge amount of time into the app. At points, we had team members coding for 19+ hours straight (with some necessary breaks.)
What we learned
We learned that even a seemingly-limited scope can still be delayed by massive hangups on seemingly simple things. We also learned that everything changes when you use a language you are unfamiliar with. Simple things we could do in an instant in Java became downright impossible when we had to do them in React.
What's next for Whether App
Because of the infeasibility/legal questions of generating the walk/transit time in between buildings, we chose to estimate the walk time between any two buildings as 10min. Although this probably serves our purpose, there is room for improved granularity.
Currently, although we have the functionality for users to add their own classes to a schedule, we lack the UI to do so. So in the future, we would need to add that. Ideally, we would have another day or so to add the functionality of telling you when the ideal commute time is (beyond just showing it visually.) We hope to make this app more adaptable to other locations (such as UCF Downtown) and possibly extend to college campuses.
- Amelia Castilla - github.com/AccraZed
- Layne Hoelscher - github.com/layyne
- Kate Fort - github.com/katefort
- Justice Smith - github.com/jcode94
This project is licensed under the MIT License - see the LICENSE.md file for details
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