UC Berkeley students create app that can map your safest route home
Introduced by Bilal Halabi, Seung Woo Son, Ki Hyun Won and Avery Yip
At times, living in Berkeley can feel unsafe. Shootings, violent demonstrations and robberies are just a few among many incidents that have threatened Berkeley students living on campus this year.
To address this problem, a team of four UC Berkeley students who have experienced these threats first-hand set out create an app to help make residents in the area safer. The result is the web-app platform, Stayfe, which allows users to visualize and track in real-time where crime is occurring in their neighborhood and beyond.
Currently, a medium of this type does not exist in Berkeley. Alerts from Berkeley Police Department or the University of California Police Department can sometimes come hours or days late. But Stayfe uses a customized crawler, parser and crime type classifier to search through news articles in the Bay Area to get the most up to date information on local crime.
Additionally, the students created an algorithm for the app that can use this crime data to suggest the safest path for you take to your destination if you’re walking. This feature gives users an alternative to Google Maps, which may lead pedestrians on a quicker, but more dangerous path.
Though the creation of the app was challenging, the students say that their passion and belief in their mission helped them to create a successful product and led them to be selected as finalists at the 2017 SCET Collider Cup.
Moving forward, the team plans to deploy their web app as a mobile app, so people can use Stayfe’s safety path suggestion feature on the go.