As students, we want to travel to experience other cultures and to see the world outside of our own bubbles. However, the abundance of information available can make it challenging to decide on a specific destination or experience.

What it does

Xplore is an all-in-one mobile application designed for indecisive students who want to travel, but struggle to decide where to go and how to get there. As a team of university students ourselves, we know the feeling of wanting to get away from the endless pile of assignments and midterms, but also the feeling of uncertainty and paralysis when actually faced with the thought of planning a trip. "I want to go backpacking in Europe, but where should I start? How should I get there?" The goal of Xplore is to reduce the information overload experienced by students and to leverage a custom recommendation engine trained on travel data to present end-to-end trip itineraries for users based on their personal preferences/interests.

How we built it

For our frontend, we implemented Java classes to host the UI layouts in XML in Android Studio. For our backend, we implemented REST APIs using Express.js in VS Code and wrote our database models and controllers in Node.js. All user profile information was stored in our MySQL database. We tested our REST API endpoints using Postman to ensure that we can store the JSON objects from our frontend in our database.

Challenges we ran into

Integration between the frontend and backend. We faced challenges being able to send JSON objects from our frontend to our REST API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Under a time constraint, we are proud of developing a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) that integrated frontend and backend functionalities that tackled an important problem.

What we learned

We learned how to develop a full stack mobile application using Android Studio, XML, Java, Express.js, Node.js, with a complete MySQL database tested using Postman. We also learned how to keep our scope minimal when designing for users and their needs.

What's next for Xplore

Continue training our machine learning model and integrate the recommendation engine with our backend. Refine frontend and backend integration.

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