Hack for LA – Recap!
Last weekend we traveled south to participate in the National Day of Civic Hacking. With our friends and co-organizers from the i.am.angel foundation and New Economy Campaigns we invited the LA community to come to Boyle Heights and join us at Hack for LA. The community responded and over 410 people decended on the Boyle Heights technology center to build apps to benefit their community and inspire the next generation of developers from students attending the adjacent maker fair. Attendees were rewarded with a special guest appearance from LA Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti who described his vision for a technologically advanced Los Angeles and challenged developers to be a part of it. By the end of the weekend the developers and students in attendance has risen to the challenge created 40 apps to improve their local community.
Thank you to all our sponsors, senseis and speakers that made this event such a great success. These events are only possible due to your valuable donations of time and resources. I’d also like to provide special recognition to ESRI, Scopely, and Factual who went above and beyond providing invaluable on site support.
With so many awesome apps created it is difficult for individual teams to make their mark on the event, but two apps really stood out for me:
The first was Urbanfruit.ly whom built an app focused on microfarming by allowing local gardeners to share and exchange their goods with the community. The hope is that this will help support a healthy lifestyle and reduce the carbon footprint of the LA community.
The second was Vector Health, which created pollution modeling using public data to track major points of pollution sources and their vicinity to vulnerable populations such as schools, hospitals, and parks. They also hope to integrate wind data that will provide further accuracy at predicting the air quality resulting from pollution sources. This app could be extremely valuable to the LA community by assisting in city planning, allowing homebuyers to understand their air quality, and providing the community more visibility into their local environment.
Without further ado I present to you the apps created at Hack For LA:
HackForJobs – 1st Place Overall & 1st Place AT&T Challenge – HackForJobs challenges the typical process of “searching” for a job and brings jobs to you. After submitting your resume to our mobile app, our unique algorithm will scan the resume for key words and weigh them against available job postings in your proximity. When you are near a job opening that matches your skill set, a push notification will be sent to you alerting you of the opportunity. This has the potential to revolutionize the way people get jobs; from now on, jobs will discover you and present themselves when available… simplifying the excruciatingly frustrating time Los Angeles and Boyle Heights residents are having while searching for jobs.
Urbanfruit.Ly – 2nd Place Overall & 1st Place Chase Bank Challenge – The website and app will allow users the ability to connect with neighbors and exchange fruits through a peer-to-peer network. Our goal is to link urban gardeners with local products, reduce carbon footprints, and support healthy food choices. The playful and easy to use interface will give users the opportunity to earn sustainable point in the game of real life.
Boyle Heights Connect – 3rd Place Overall – Boyle Heights Connect helps people communicate with the hospitals, schools and Gov. Organizations in Boyle Heights.
Watup: Boyle Heights – i.am.angel Award – Enables High School/ College Students to Build Profiles and curate locations with pictures and information in a manner similiar to AirBNB curating their location – GPS identifies location based various types of content about Boyle Heights – GPS notifies users of near-by locations that are relevant to their interests, check ins will generate revenue through location and event partners for funding the Boyle Heights community scholarships – Map API builds Bike Routes, Car Routes and Walking Routes on based on the curated content that is shown through an Augmented View – Calendar API aggregates data of events and news based on profile’s interests – Profiles’ Data and Mapped routes can be shared via bluetooth, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Path
Beautify LA – 1st Place CGI Challenge and 1st Place ESRI Map Challenge – Think Farmville + Kickstarter gamified into reality. The goal is to beautify LA through empowering players into starting and funding landscaping projects in a social context.
LA Street – 1st Place memBRAIN Challenge – An app that allows for the exploration, discovery & preservation of Street Art with Boyle Heights as the central focus.
Healthy Lifestyle – 2nd Place Google Challenge – Healthy Lifestyle app will educate and promote healthy lifestyle and prevent deadly diseases before it occurs all urban neighborhoods throughout the united states. Prevention is better than cure.
City Surf – 1st Place Scopely Challenge – WebGL game that models current traffic conditions using a flying spaceship.
Mehavior – 2nd Place Scopely Challenge & 1st Place Amazon Challenge – A mobile platform that leverages existing rewards programs (points, miles, etc.) to guide consumer behavior. Rewards can be earned for doing “good” in education, civic engagements, and community involvement.
Stem.ly – 2nd Place Amazon Challenge – Education platform that connects STEM companies with students to foster the next generation of innovators.
ArTiFact – 2nd Place Amazon Challenge – LA Centric Street Art App for recognizing local talent, community-driven and crowd sourced
Model City – 3rd Place Amazon Challenge – We redefine the idea of Community Service to enable local businesses to reach out to the community members who need a helping hand with one or more projects. Model City enables residents and small businesses to post a need that can be met by volunteers with goods and services provided by the businesses that are located inside the community. Beginning with Boyle Heights, our community based app expands to all of Los Angeles then scales across the US and global.
gGuide – 3rd Place Amazon Challenge – gGuide is a mobile Android application that allows users to engage with other residents of a neighborhood, city, or a general area. Users can pinpoint local spots of interests in realtime between two devices. Now users can show visiting people the culture and interests of a neighborhood that they otherwise would not be able to find from online sources.
After School Sensei – After School Sensei is a non-profit mobile app aiming to help low income students receive mentorship from members of the community. Our app fully utilizes ESRI’s API for the data on school districts, average income level and public facilities. Using the After School Sensei app, the Boyle Heights community can view what classes and workshops the BHTCYC is currently offering, and students can provide reviews and feedback based on their personal experience with each mentor.
Find LA – An app to assist you with finding what you need in LA. Enviromental, Heath issues and even tourism.
Moving on Up – We are developing a gamified location based app for Boyle Heights teens to get jobs in their neighborhood.
Urbanograf – Urbanograf is an application that empowers residents and visitors of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles to showcase the intrigue and beauty within the heart of the city. It has been said that Boyle Heights is the “Ellis Island of the West Coast” and thus the starting point for cultural discovery. Urbanograf wants to be your guide.
City Tunes – City Tunes is location-based music recommendation engine. Users vote on the best music for the place. A user submit his favorite song played at a location, when the next visitor launches the app, will have access to that information and play and “like” the same tunes if desired, it also has the ability to search other artists or songs. At launch City Tunes will launch with Spotify support but could potentially support other streaming services.
Edutunity – Edutunity connects citizens with mentors. Citizens can post the classes they need and vote on it. Application can be used by schools, teachers and service organizations.Citizens compete by gaining rewards and these rewards can be redeemed.
Opportunity Slams – Using data from the US Census we have built a side-scrolling Flash game where the user controls an avatar that must pick-up random drops and avoid obstacles for as long as they can. The goals of this project are to give users a way to interact with statistical data provided by the Census in a fun way, as well as illustrate the social and economic stratification of Los Angeles. The frequency of drops and obstacles reflects economic conditions and trends in education and job attainment in LA neighborhoods. At the end, the user is presented with some relevant statistics used to build the level for their neighborhood, and encouraged to play again or explore another neighborhood.
EvacuateLA – This app will help LA county inform its citizens in the case of disasters and extreme dangers that would endanger lives or require evacuation.
Boyle Heights Community Portal – Boyle Heights Community Portal provides an easy mobile & web friendly way to search for:
- Truly Local Job Opportunities
- Truly Local Events
- Truly Local Volunteering
- Truly Local Healthcare
- Truly Local businesses and services
This concept can be readily adapted to other Local communities in Los Angeles, California, and beyond…
TranslateLA – More than 50% of Angelenos speak a language other than English at home. TranslateLA helps connect yours to the other 400 active languages in this city. Immigrants, tourists, small business owners, and even students can hear LA differently with the help of a multi-lingual neighbor.
Rock’N Roll Spanish Hangman – This is an exciting educational game for teaching Spanish via a Hangman game. Learning becomes fun as people are entertained in the process. They can learn anytime anywhere not just in a classroom. We intend to teach many subjects through games not just language because we learn faster when we have fun doing so.
DropIn – High School DropOut Intervention App
FourSquared – Every year, nearly 2000 people “age out” of the foster care system. They are left with little support and few resources. Under 2% of them graduate from college, but 40% of the residents of homeless shelters are former foster kids and up to 70% of the prison population are former foster kids.
FosterSquared seeks to shift those statistics by providing a support network of mentors from around Los Angeles to former foster kids. The goal is to help them complete their educational goals and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
LA+ – Raise fund from the community for the community.
LA 311 – Creating a better community through crowd sourcing.
BusLocation – Looking for a bus stop – or the Bus? BusLocation maps the Los Angeles MTA routes, and locates the Bus stops, Routes, Times and finds the Buses in transit near you. BusLocation uses, Augmented Reality, Maps, and Sonar. BusLocation will also, identify Merchants and Vendors along your route and in your area.
Muralangeles – We are at a civic hackathon taking place in East LA, the mural capital of the world. Murals add cultural value to East LA, but are in constant danger of being destroyed. Muralangeles, developed by youth of East LA, uses public and user-created data sources to track murals and help address the problem identified above.
WeFX – WeFx easily allows people to report issues in their cities, helps identify the most pressing problems, and helps find the best solutions to those problems.
JobKnob – JobKnob is a job search mobile application that helps users find and browse relevant job opportunities close to their location. Users can search for jobs that are most in demand and based on their interests and/or skill set. What sets our job search application apart is that it cross references multiple sources, including corporate datasets from companies like Zip Recruiter. We believe that this application is especially relevant and needed in low-income areas like Boyle Heights, as it will enable people that do not own cars and require staying close to home to easily find opportunities to earn income.
DisasterLA – An interactive, real-time disaster mapping web application. Allows users to add and identify problem areas, as well as add and find emergency shelters and resources.
Voice LA – Crowd source real-time solutions to solve civic problems for Boyle Heights and City of LA.
Street Safety – The app was developed for anonymous civilian neighborhood reporting. Reporters can report activities and areas of possible threats. The user can utilize the app and decide which activities/areas are actual threats and plan their activities accordingly. Users can also vote up and down the reported threats. Alternative routs can be calculated to minimize risks based on user threat selection. A crime cannot be reported before it happens, but possible warnings could help public safety. Law enforcement surveillance of possible target areas would put too high burden on the government and available resources. This app allows citizens to help warn other citizens.
Boyle Heights Community Calendar – At the Hack for LA event as part of National Day of Civic hacking I had a chance to speak with some staff from the Boyle Heights Beat, a newspaper and website based in the Boyle Heights community of Los Angeles. I asked them if they could use any tools or features for their work and their website, and they mentioned maybe having a way for their audience to submit events going on around town. So I made a little something. This application uses a Google Form to accept event submissions. Those submissions are added to a Google Spreadsheet. I use tabletop.js and handlebars.js to pull data from the spreadsheet and display it on the page, which is optimized for display on phones and computers. When a submission is entered, a script automatically combines the venue, address and city, and then geocodes it for a latitude and longitude, meaning staff doesn’t have to track down locations — only spot check to make sure they are correct.
BikeLApp – Why not have an app that will get information about transit,rideshare options from different places and then only thing you would have to do is click on the map where you wanna go and it would use all this sources to tell you best ways to get there, mainly using your bike but not necessary, the options are limiteless how everybody would use it and that’s the goal here, to let people use it in their own way and get feedback from it and make it better even for more people. You could bike a mile or two (or somebody could drop you off on the car) and you could take the bus/metro/etc (knowing when exactly bus is coming using http://nextbus.com gps techology) and get there nicer and faster than waiting for a bus to take another bus and then metro sometimes waiting for 20+ minutes in the stop. Why not show then on the map hey here is a organic juice bar or organic vegan restaraunt/shop just near the stop that you can visit, isn’t that much nicer than driving car and just going to first unhealthy joint that you see the sign of? We make bad decisions every day because we just don’t have time.
Boyle Heights Metro Gold Line Train Tracker – High level animated graphic UI of the Metro Gold line to show location of trains in real time. Would make it easier for people to find public transportation times on a route rather then using small print schedules and maps.