Here's the project from JHU students that took home a top prize at PennApps - Baltimore


Sep. 9, 2015 9:25 am

Here’s the project from JHU students that took home a top prize at PennApps

StrollSafe identifies crime hotspots for people walking home.

PennApps XII participants line the corridors of Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

(Photo by Sam Riggs/PennApps)

A team of Johns Hopkins students took home an award at a giant hackathon in Philadelphia over the weekend with an app that’s designed to track crime hotspots in big cities.

The twelfth edition of PennApps, which was held at the main sports arena in Philly, was “crazy big” this year, reports our sister publication Philly:

Over 1,500 hackers, including 618 high school students, spent the weekend hunched over laptops and tinkering with hardware, surrounded by the memorabilia of the city’s usual heroes of choice — beloved sports teams with very few title wins.

Among the scores of young devs was a team of Johns Hopkins students including Ron Boger, Eric Bridgeford, Bailey Parker and Kush Gupta. The team sought to use the data made available by the hackathon in the EveryBlock API, which focuses on getting neighborhood information out. EveryBlock isn’t available in Baltimore, but the team played to the home crowd by hacking neighborhood data for Philadelphia.


A screenshot from StrollSafe.

Here’s the problem they tackled, from the team’s page:

Many of us live in “checkerboard” cities – cities where safe and unsafe areas alternate seamlessly. Regrettably, the existence of a few high crime areas instills fear in a city’s citizens, and keeps many citizens only in the regions they know. This limits a city economically, socially, and demographically, as many regions choose to keep to themselves. As a city scales, so does the potential for crime, and we believe that in a beautiful city like Philadelphia, no one should feel unsafe.

They came up with StrollSafe, an Android app that releases location-based crime reports for people out walking. Using OpenDataPhilly and EveryBlock info, the app overlays crime data onto a standard map. This tells users where crime hotspots are. The app also features a button labelled “I Feel Unsafe,” which automatically dials 911, or an Uber for the user who entered their data.

The app took home first prize for Best Use of the EveryBlock API. (PennApps sponsor Comcast runs EveryBlock, which explains the category.)

StrollSafe somewhat calls to mind the app SketchFactor, which drew heated criticism last year. Critics called it racist.

Boger, Gupta and other Johns Hopkins students will be hacking back in town next month at MedHacks. Boger is an organizer of the Oct. 2-4 event.


Organizations: Johns Hopkins University
Projects: PennApps


Baltimore high school students devised health solutions at a JHU hackathon

Meet Johns Hopkins’ student entrepreneurs at Hatch 2018

This incubator is helping Johns Hopkins undergrads become entrepreneurs



How Think|Stack and Year Up are cultivating local tech talent

Baltimore, MD


Business Development Content Specialist

Apply Now
Severna Park, MD


Software Engineer

Apply Now
Severna Park, MD


Customer Support Engineer

Apply Now

Code in the Schools students will help bring new tech to city government

The Park School is having a tech fest, organized by sophomore Bella Palumbi

At T. Rowe Price, hackathons help with AWS migration



Let these free workshops help your business really take off

Timonium, MD

Sage Dining Services

Web Developer-Software Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD

14 West

Senior PHP / JavaScript Developer

Apply Now
NY, PA, DC, Virtual


Senior Account Executive, SAP SuccessFactors

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!