Non-developer trying to build an app that uses locations/times/schedules, similar to a "next bus" utili-tool. What should I know before wasting too much time and energy on something that really ought to be left to the professionals?
School is out and I am bored, so I want to build a mobile application that will help solve my own navigational woes.
The app in question will help people in my city find events (AA meetings in Vancouver, to be exact) near them, based on their current location and the time. I'm trying to make it on the cheap with the BuildAnApp
site, and it would be free for downloading. I envision it working like the Translink app, where you can find what transit options are closest to you, and when they run. (Example: you are at the corner of Pender and Burrard at 4pm and need to get to the airport... the closest stops that will take you there are X, Y, and Z, and the next scheduled departure times are etc., etc.)
The meeting finder app will be much simpler, but uses similar information. The two main components will be the schedule (which I have in Excel format) and some kind of map tool to sync up to your location. I don't have a map set up with the locations with their times, since I couldn't seem to get Gmaps to show that extra, non-mappy information. The fields in the schedule Excel file are not great for importing into GeoRSS, but it could with a few hours of hand copy-pasting into new fields for city, postal code and province.
There is one app that does this in the US iTunes store, called FOB Finder.
I've contacted the developer about how the app was built, but I also want to ask yee learn'd folk, who are so helpful! (Based on previous cold-emails, I doubt I'll hear from said dev.)
tl;dr: can a n00b build an app like this? If so, then how best to proceed? Tips, hacks, etc. sought. Moral support also appreciated.
Many thanks in advance!