Happy Housing

"Easing the stress in verifying apartments in Munich for ALL students"

What it is about

TUM's student population as of the 2022/2023 winter semester enrollment was about 50,000 where 20,500 were international students [1]. This project intends to provide reliable information about housing and accessibility to new international students at TUM, through an interactive map based on an intuitive cartographic display with emojis to enhance user-friendliness. An important feature is enhancing accessibility for students with accessibility difficulties, as it can be more difficult for the impaired who cannot physically verify the suitability of an apartment to their condition.

How we built it

As real data was needed, a google form for collecting addresses was designed. Accessibility criteria and prices from our classmates were collected. In parallel, a set of “dummy data” was created for testing ideas. Subsequently, we developed a spatial database using PostgreSQL/PostGIS. This was necessary for the development of a backend using PHP, and HTML, CSS, JavaScript for the frontend. Leaflet JS library is the main engine for the map display. Finally, the result was tested and presented to our classmates for feedback.

Challenges we ran into

Our data collection needed to adhere to data protection regulations in Germany. Also, we received little data from all intakes and data that was not included in the study area. Therefore, we had to build a form integrated into the web application for continuous and onward live data collection.

What we're proud of

Aesthetically, we are content with the simplicity of overview, look, feel and design of our application. Comparing our initial ideas with the final result makes us feel just like our happiest emoji. We are confident that other users would find it user very user-friendly.

What we learned

We learned the use of programming for implementing an interactive web map, the workflow to get a successful geocoding, and all other aspects a cartographer may consider for achieving inclusiveness.

What's next

We would appreciate getting more data from the TUM community and we are open to joining hands with any innovation-oriented initiative or organization that would like to help push our idea for further development.


[1] TUM in figures (2022) . Technical University of Munich. Retrieved 19.01.2023 from https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/facts-and-figures/tum-in-figures
[2] Accommodation in Munich (2022). Retrieved 19.01.2023 from https://www.expat.com/en/guide/europe/germany/munich/11561-accommodation-in-munich.html
[3] House hunting: How to find apartments or houses in Munich (2021) . Retrieved 19.01.2023 from https://www.muenchen.de/en/living/house-hunting
Gisela Romero Candanedo
Isaac Newton Kissiedu

12th intake
Juliane Cron, M.Sc.
Emojis, handicap, housing, interactive map
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