Created by Nathan Gitter, Matthew Spear and Dalimil Hajek as part of StudentHack IV.
Hackathon Winner of ‘Best use of the Yelp API’.
We decided to take the challenge presented by one of the sponsors, Yelp, to use their API to benefit the local community. We wanted to create an app that allows users to interact with parks in their area in a new way.
What it does
Users can see parks in their local area, and add virtual content when they are visiting a park. They can choose to create a drawing or a photo, and their media is saved to that park. Users can only see the content when they are physically in the park, encouraging users to engage in their community and explore new places! Users also earn badges as they visit more parks, achieving ranks such as Nature Novice, Picnic Packer, and Geology God!
How we built it
The app is built with Swift in Xcode. We pulled park data from the Yelp API, and integrated with our own custom backend which stores all the data. This allows the interface between the app and the backend to be clean and maintainable.
Challenges we ran into
Collaborating on an Xcode project with git was a learning experience. We ran into gitignore issues, merge conflicts, and Xcode oddities, but we managed to get a solid workflow established by the end of the event.
Accomplishments that we’re proud of
We’re glad that we were able to create a fully-functional iOS app in such a short period of time. It was great working with new people we met at the event, and we were able to create a vision for a project and see it through to the end.
What we learned
We learned a lot about integrating third-party Swift frameworks into our app. While some appeared to save a lot of time, they often became cumbersome and it was easier to implement the feature ourselves.
What’s next for Park Painter
We would like to continue to get user feedback and improve the experience of the app. After that, we could easily release it on the App Store or create an accompanying Android app.