An application developed by students from São João da Madeira to indicate the capacity of 580 Portuguese beaches during the pandemic was one of the winners of the international competition “Apps for Good”. Find out how the idea was born and how the app works.
During the confinement and with the summer on the prowl, four students from the Serafim Leite Secondary School, in S. João da Madeira, created a smartphone application, in just four days, which allows bathers to see how the beaches are doing even before leave home and thus avoid unnecessary travel. Now available for Android.
“We were talking in the chat and thinking about what summer holidays would be like. We saw the rules for using the beaches in the news and started to think about an idea”, says Nuno Castro, who got to work with Diogo Resende, Jorge Correia and Bruno Dylan, all students of the 12th year of the Technical-Professional Programming Course. They worked remotely, from home, about 14 hours a day, and teacher Fátima Pais helped. They had already experienced the world of applications in the course, but they had never created one “seriously” to be used.
They wanted to encompass all the country’s maritime and river beaches, on the continent and islands, and identifying them was the most difficult task. “Because there is no database that has information on all beaches,” says the professor. In the survey, 580 beaches counted. “For each one, we saw the georeferencing system, the longitude, the latitude”, explains Diogo. THE
app is called SandSpace and you can search for beaches by name, or by county and district, and you can even see the temperature and wind speed in each one.
The application is in English with tourists in mind and now depends on everyone’s help. “The people on the beach will tell you in the app if there are a lot of people or little“, says Nuno. Based on information from swimmers, each beach appears on the map with a colorful traffic light style sign. Green means that there are few people, yellow indicates that there is little space to extend the towel and red warns that the beach it’s crowded.
The colored signs only use data provided by users in the last two hours, so that the information is as up-to-date as possible, and the app shows how many contributed to the information. SandSpace is free and is now available on Google Play, on the Android operating system. “It was our contribution to this phase that we are going through. Meanwhile, the Portuguese Environment Agency, which manages the Info Praia app, got in touch with us. And also a Spanish multinational that is making an app for the whole world”, concludes the teacher.