After a monthlong effort to turn Pennsylvania’s public data sets into user-friendly digital tools, technologists at the Code4PA hackathon whipped together 20 working projects.
On Nov. 4, the event’s final judging session happened simultaneously, via video conference — at Harrisburg University’s Philly and Harrisburg campuses. The winning site, KnowPA, uses public data sets on traffic accidents and weather forecasts to produce seven-day predictions of fatality risks in the state’s roads. It also mapped out data on water quality, air quality, contagious diseases and job training. The goal, per the site’s description, is to give citizens insight into risky intersections while helping state agencies inform their actions.
The project was developed by Harrisburg-based employees of TE Connectivity, at Internet-of-Things company headquartered in New Jersey. Muthu Sabarethinam, Arun Thirunavukkarasu, Kathir Ramalingam, Reshma Keerthi, Vijay Kumar Ravi, Vivek Lakhani and Yao Yu worked with data sets born of the state’s open data push.
Philly was also repped in the winning circle: a team with three employees from Center City–based Benefits Data Trust received the specialty award for best use of data sets/API for their DataDetective tool, which aims to “integrate all the economic, education, and health related data sets available” on the state’s open data portal.
“So proud of us for all our hard work and winning something on our first hackathon together,” tweeted Benefits Data Trust data scientist Geoffrey Kip. “To many more.”
— Benefits Data Trust (@BeneDataTrust) November 6, 2017
“With Code4PA, we want to create a more collaborative and empowering form of citizen participation in government,” Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich said in a press release. “It provides a forum for people to collaborate and be directly involved in addressing challenges that are important to them.”