The first phase of this project involved a collaboration with the Homeland Security Advisory Council at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. Making use of their existing crisis resource map, deployed for Covid-19, some of the LAUSD data was verified, reformatted and made available to the public within two weeks. To prevent cluttering their data layers, only the most relevant and congruous data was passed to Pepperdine. Most of the data excluded consisted of LAUSD resources that are non-location specific (online only), which made them incompatible with a purely map based solution. To overcome these limitations, a stand-alone, LAUSD hosted solution would be necessary.
With the LAUSD data publicly accessible in some capacity, development could begin on an in-house solution. The LAUSD hosted web application would combine a dynamic resource map and a data explorer window for online only resources into one interface. It would have to be well documented, easily deployable low-maintenance. Based on these requirements, wireframe mockups were generated and shared with the LAUSD team for feedback. These mockups are a great way to rapidly prototype UX/UI elements and enable effective communication between a development team and clients. Following approval of the concept, the TNL team could begin building a functional prototype.
Using the approved UX/UI mockups for reference, a functional web application took shape. Using the Shiny package from Rstudio significantly simplified the development and deployment process. Rather than try to go through the potentially administratively intensive process of integrating into the LAUSD ecosystem, Rstudio provided a free, flexible, all-inclusive solution. After some iteration, based on guidance from the LAUSD team, the application was finalized. All necessary documentation for deployment, future development and maintenance was provided and the project was wrapped.