You can ask any commuter student, lack of parking has been a major issue at UB. We wanted to investigate a parksharing application where commuters can notify that their spot is now vacant. This will help students navigate through parking lots to find a vacant spot.
What it does
Allows for users to post their parking spots for others to claim in an effort to streamline searching for parking spots at UB.
How it was built
React front end Flask back end SQLite database
Challenges I ran into
Difficulty in using React for the frontend. React's method of rendering is very difficult for new users to get used to. Even generating lists of parking spots using React took a while to understand.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We had no prior experience using Flask as a back end, and were able to tie it to a database and front end with usable functionality within 16 hours.
What I learned
Flask makes setting up and running a backend API very easy. SQLite is a simple database solution for smaller scale projects. Of course we intend to use a proper SQL server in the future.
What's next for YouBeParking
- Adding a credit system to incentivize giving up a parking space. Giving up a space provides the user a credit for reserving a spot in the future.
- Detect if a parking spot is owned by the user who created the vacancy. This would require collaboration with UB's transportation/parking department, but it could be a very powerful feature
- Generate a "heatmap" of vacancies, allowing a student in need of parking to quickly see which lots have the most open spaces
- Decaying vacancies. Once a vacancy is created, but is never reserved by another commuter student, the vacancy stays within the database. It may be powerful to either remove vacancies after they "expire" (after a certain time period) or to allow users to view vacancies created in the past hours.
- Add a more robust handshake system in order to confirm successful transactions.