RHoKing out in Toronto. Hackers come together for a common goal!
It’s midafternoon in Toronto and the energy in the room is buzzing. Toronto is working on 7 projects.?? Highlights so far? Open Data Hack Day Teams have members of the City working with community and open data folks and are trying to solve problem definitions in Toronto for the people of Toronto.
We have a team working on “Where Not To Rent” , they’ve got a prototype and a couple of U of T Students, a graphic designer, someone from the City of Toronto and are trying to create a space for people to solve problem areas in rental properties!
Then there’s the Stolen Bike Application, still in need of a “sexy” name! . But these guys are on it, they’ve pulled together people who care because they are cyclists who feel powerless. They know that a system is in place to register and find stolen bikes but how can they help people so how can they make it easy to use and harness the power of crowd-sourcing! I’m pretty sure they’ll find the answer!
I visited a couple of times with the City Budget visualization team, and they’re answer? They need a budget to access the budget! Working hard and gaining inspiration from the city of London and other cities across Canada at Global Open Data Hackathon Day, these open data wizards will come up with something I’m sure.
Onto Global Collaboration: Population Centre is collaborating with Humanity road and so far the team has a good idea of the project and just included some collaboration from Chad (of CrisisCommons) in L.A and some input from Seattle. They’re gathering data and working on aggregating that data and are confident about the scope of this project for the weekend!
The Tweek the Tweat team is made up human language specialists, and are testing out the system, going through the documentation and as Stian Haklev put it, they’re onto the dawn of a new beginning with this project. There has been some talk about whether they could integrate with Person Finder, definitely some thoughts to go with. Work is flowing and since lunch, they’ve been hard at work testing and tweaking!
Person Finder are working on getting the code set up and implementing an API to subscribe to a person so that you can real time updates of that person in a disaster. I see a lot of coding and collaboration coming from this team. They’re on the right path and agree that picking the right part of the project to focus on has been a challenge.
I sat down and chatted with Ian and Daniel who are working on Payout to Mobile, an innovative insurance pool idea where technology could potentially help by giving real time access to money via mobile. They’ve been working on mapping out the project idea to find out where technology could come in and help the project.
I’m constantly impressed by the team building and efficiency of the work happening in this space. The idea of a hackathon for humanity is something that just makes sense. We have an innovative crowd of people with technological skills in a room or connecting globally with subject matter experts in the Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief field. I can’t wait to see what teams come up with tomorrow, so far Toronto has a lot to offer to the global community and we’re happy and humbled to be a part of it!