What we made
Road Reporter, an insight into the standard of living in the City of Bath.
Why we made it
People searching for houses to buy or rent often search based on criteria of the house; number of bedrooms, garden size, and so on. We think it’s just as important to take into account a property’s surroundings, the facilities near by, crime rates, and so on. So we built Road Reporter.
How we made it
The application actually exists as two entirely separate apps. We have the API side, which exposes endpoints to get data about metrics (for example, /crime?address=BA2+3HH) and returns data in JSON. This was built as a Ruby app, using the Sinatra framework and is entirely memory based, there’s no database. Our frontend app is an AngularJS application that consumes the data and renders the frontend to the user and provides the searching, filtering and comparing functionality. Building it this way allowed us to work on different bits without stepping on each other’s toes. For each metric we calculate a value and give it back to the user as a grading from A-F, which allows them to get a good sense of the surrounding area quickly.
How we’d improve the data
A lot of the data we’d have liked to have used was either incomplete, or in a format that would have taken far too long to process. It would be fantastic to have the format data is provided in standardised. If it were, it wouldn’t even matter what format was chosen. So much of the data was provided in entirely different, disconnected formats that lead to a lot of time being spent simply parsing the data so we could then work with it.
How we’d develop it further
With some more time we’d like to really dive into the gradings we are giving back for each metric, and analyse them more effectively to give back more accurate readings. We’d also like to extend our metrics to include a lot more data and finally look at extending our application.
Currently it works best for Bath due to us having data only for this area, but with a little bit of work it wouldn’t be too difficult to extend our datasets to be able to provide support for more, or ideally all of, the country.
See Road Reporter live at: roadreporterapp.herokuapp.com