Pick My House
The aim of Pick My House is to make it easy for people to find details about the areas in which they're considering getting accommodation in. At present, all it's easy to do is to look at the house/flat and then look around the area, however this doesn't really tell you a lot about what it's actually like to live there.
Developed in 2.5 days by Michael Mokrysz, Pick My House displays crime, education & soon even more data for the area around different accommodation you easily mark on a map, so allowing you to get an idea of which area you'd most enjoy living in.
The tech behind the site is CodeIgniter, with several custom libraries for interacting with different APIs and a MySQL database used for storage. An original procedural approach was abandoned after the code was too messy to be maintainable even just a day or two after it was written.
Ideas for taking this project forward
Addition of the ideas that didn't get implemented in time for it to be presented will make it much better. This includes local Hospitals & Clinics, for Manchester local bus services, etc, as well as a major revamp in order to improve the UX.
Estimated costs for taking this project forward
$10 for the domain has already been spent, but no other costs are anticipated.
About the data used for this project
The Police API (http://policeapi.rkh.co.uk/) is used to pull data for the local areas around marked accomodation. The one improvement immediately apparent here would be the addition of a JSON feed option, simply because that makes APIs unbelievably simple to use and understand.
Google Maps was used for reverse geocoding (getting a rough address back from longitude and latitude), and there were no particular problems with this service.
The education data is fetched from Schoolometer using one of the JSON feeds that it uses for it's frontend. This works wonders since you don't need to scrape it out of markup and there's little issue with increased load since this method is likely used several times in mere seconds by normal users of that site.
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