This weekend, Bamford and I spent the weekend at PayPal’s #battlehack.
The venue was Level 39 in 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf – arguably the most impressive hackathon venue they could have chosen.
1 Canada Square
The theme of the hack was to build an app to help London.
We came up with LuvLDN – an app for Londoners to discover hidden gems around the city (such as markets, popup stores, community charities and local merchants) and for local store owners to increase their customer base and grow their business.
And what a view to inspire the hacking!
View from Level39
We set up our battlestation facing the window – aside from a bit of mid-afternoon sunshine, I think I could get used to a desk like this…
Following an intense 24 hours working away on our project, LuvLDN was in production and ready for demo. We showed off the JustGiving integration, PayPal payment flow (using colours to authorise requests rather than PIN codes or QR codes) and Twilio integration (Yay SMS!).
Of course, import·io was also heavily involved – we used a crawler to grab over 700 local markets in London to populate our ElasticSearch index with, along with over 300 charities. Once we had all of that, we used ElasticSearch’s native geo lookups to provide markers for Nokia Here Maps rendering.
Our tech stack in the end came to:
- Import.io (of course!) – crawlers and client libraries
- Hosted ElasticSearch (provider not mentioned because one of their instances fell over an hour before the demo and we had to re-build and re-index the whole lot on another account)
- Github Pages for static page hosting
- PayPal and the PHP SDK
- Twilio with the PHP SDK
- Nokia Here Maps
- Font Awesome
- Google Web Fonts
- Bootstrap 3
- AWS for hosting dynamic assets
And future integrations (given more time) with Lob and SendGrid.
by Chris Alexander, Developer