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Random Hacks 5: What’s Going On! afterschool program finder wins

Hackers demoed five projects at Drexel University's ExCITe Center for the fifth Philly version of the global hackathon. In honor of the first ever National Day of Civic Hacking, this Random Hacks had a focus on city collaboration, specifically between Baltimore and Philly.

The Philly team that worked on Sheltr at Random Hacks of Kindness. Photo by Mark Headd via Twitter.
Full Disclosure: Technically Philly organized Random Hacks of Kindness, in partnership with the National Day of Civic Hacking, Drexel University and the City of Philadelphia.
Technically Philly reporter Juliana Reyes contributed to this report.

What’s Going On!, a tool that aggregates data about afterschool and summer programs, won last weekend’s Random Hacks of Kindness.

The team, which included Innovations cofounder Chris Alfano and public policy and social media consultant Faye Anderson, won $750. The project was initially started at TechCamp Philadelphia in February.

Prize money came in thanks to the Knight Foundation, food for the weekend was sponsored by Drexel University’s Department of Computer Science and GIS firm Azavea sponsored the Friday reception with the City of Philadelphia.

Hackers demoed five projects at Drexel‘s ExCITe Center for the fifth Philly version of the global hackathon. In honor of the first ever National Day of Civic Hacking, this Random Hacks had a focus on city collaboration, specifically with a similar event in Baltimore, led by local tech group (Our sister site Technically Baltimore held a reception and was a media sponsor of that event.)

One team worked closely via Google Hangout with Baltimore hackers on, a web app that allows users to find basic needs like food and shelter. Philadelphia team members included Donald Letts, Adam Hollock, Andy Viren, Matthew Grande, John Schaeffer and Patrick Hammons. Sheltr, which also has SMS capability, was originally built at the December 2011 Random Hacks of Kindness and hackers continued to work on it at last year’s BarCamp News Innovation News Hackathon.

At last weekend’s hackathon, the team added a way for the tool to pull data from current sources. It previously had static data that had to be updated manually. The Baltimore portion of the team helped add a way for service providers to add and update information to the tool. The team won the $250 prize for Best Baltimore Hack.

Other projects included:

  • Watersafe (Christopher Nies, Joe Kumar, Trevor Geise, Javon Harper, Jeff Majek and Keala Tyler): This tool allows users to check the quality of their water through EPA water violations. This team won the $500 second place prize.
  • Leopold (Aaron Ogle, Andrew Thompson, Sarah Cordivano, Kathryn Killebrew): a tool to connect users to place-based data. Leopold can answer questions like “Where can I play outside?” or “Where can I get fresh food?” in the form of a list and a map. Try it here.
  • Councilmatic (Adam Freedman, Cory Dissinger, Chris Brown, TK Rodgers, Mjumbe Poe): Originally built at a hackathon in March 2011, the City Council legislation-tracking tool got a new front-end design and can now scrape up-to-date data. Hackers in Chicago used the Councilmatic API to build a Chicago version, the team said.
  • Philly Schools (Kevin Clough, did not demo): This app uses Mark Headd’s Philly schools API and provides a directory to search through open, as well as recently closed, schools.

If your name is missing from here, let us know and we’ll add it.

Hackathon judges included:

  • Philadelphia’s Chief Data Officer Mark Headd
  • Knight Foundation Philadelphia program director Donna Frisby-Greenwood
  • ExCITe Center director Youngmoo Kim

For more, check out the Google Doc used during the hackathon.

Read more on Flying Kite and CBS.

Companies: Azavea / City of Philadelphia / Drexel University / ExCITe Center / Random Hacks of Kindness /

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