10 projects from third annual Apps for Philly Transit hackathon - Technical.ly Philly

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Oct. 2, 2013 10:30 am

10 projects from third annual Apps for Philly Transit hackathon

A wide variety of apps were on display at Sunday’s demo and award portion of the event. The hacks ranged from apps that displayed bike parking and Penndot traffic cameras to climate trackers and Septa trip planners.

Using all the resources they could, participants mapped out their ideas for new SEPTA mobile applications inside 3rd Ward, the Kensington makerspace.

Ten teams and more then 40 participants took to the 3rd Ward makerspace in Kensington last weekend to compete in the third annual Apps for Philly Transit hackathon.

It was the first time the hackathon, led by Northern Liberties web firm Jarvus, took a wider transit look than just SEPTA. Find results from last year here and the 2011 Apps for SEPTA here.

A wide variety of apps were on display at Sunday’s demo and award portion of the event. The hacks ranged from apps that displayed bike parking and Penndot traffic cameras to climate trackers and Septa trip planners.

Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer Mark Headd, Septa Chief of Police Thomas Nestel III, and Drexel University’s ExCITe Center administrator Kara Lindstrom judged the event and awarded prizes to the top three finishers.

  1. The hackathon’s first place winner came in the form of “PHL Works.” An app that using census data, it displays the location of both where people live and work in the city and its surrounding suburbs. The app can also show information such as the mode of transportation in which people can commute, the industry of employment and various demographics pertaining to employment.
  2. Second place was awarded to “Kiqstand.” The app allows you to enter an address and view all registered bike-parking locations within a .1-mile radius of your location. It also enables users to click on the map and add parking locations they have found themselves. In addition to showing parking users can click on spots to see the ease and safeness of a particular parking location as reviewed by other users.
  3. Philly Transit’s third place finisher was “Septa Climate Tracker.” The app functions as a climate tracker, which the developers are hoping to mass produce, that would be attached to Septa buses as they made their rounds of the city. The trackers would collect and show on the app climate and temperature change as well as pollutant levels all in real time.

The rest of the apps in no particular order are as follows.

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  • Cycle Philly: Allows users to track their cycling trips as well as locate nearby bike routes and parking.
  • Enter Return: Developed as a means of assisting prisoners reentering society, the app maps out locations, organizations, opportunities, and resources for former prisoners. It also displays the closet public transportation stops to these various places and gives an estimated time of travel to each of them from an entered location.
  • Open Philly Globe: A 3D visualization of Philadelphia that displays multiple fields on information including real time bus routes, pedestrian foot traffic data or a given time and place and bike theft data.
  • Penndot Traffic Cameras: An app that allows users to access the various traffic cameras throughout the city from their phone.
  • Public School Accessibility: Shows the number of schools around a searched location as well as their current enrollment and whether or not they are currently opened. Searches can be filtered down by time of travel on foot, bike, bike or public transportation from searched location.
  • Septa.Mobi: A very clean user-friendly schedule and trip planner app for Septa that shows bus routes in real time and can alert users of detours and issues throughout Septa. This first surfaced at the 2011 Apps for SEPTA.
  • Unlock Philadelphia: Aimed as a tool to help the disabled and elderly, the app highlights and categorizes accessibility to public transits and business in Philadelphia. Allows users to search stations for wheelchair accessibility, escalators and stairs. Will also alert users if any stations accessibility access is out of service.
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Chris McAndrew is a senior journalism major at Temple University. Graduating in January, Chris hopes to find a job producing videos and writing for an entertainment media outlet. With a thirst for knowledge, he also plans to attend law school and pursue a career as a sports and entertainment attorney. Chris currently lives in Center City and enjoys learning new things about the city of Philadelphia.

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