This weekend, June 4-5, Random Hacks of Kindness will bring together hackers, developers, coders and designers to build at Drexel University, as we told you last month. RSVP here.
This Friday night, at Indy Hall, we want you all to come grab a (free) beer and talk about what we can accomplish — whether you have any development background or not. Free reservation here.
The international weekend hackathon is targeted for practical open source solutions to disaster risk management and climate change adaptation challenges and here in Philadelphia we’re using the recently unveiled resource OpenDataPhilly.org as inspiration. [Full Disclosure: Technically Philly is co-organizing Random Hacks with Drexel PhD student Michael Brennan.]
To get your juices flowing, we looked back at another, bigger event Technically Philly held in February with Code for America and Young Involved Philadelphia to bring out new perspectives on data, trolled through other suggestions we’ve started getting and spoke to the good folks at Azavea, who are behind the development of OpenDataPhilly.org. During the Friday reception, we’ll have some prompts to get down to the real process of making some of this happen.
To use the Random Hacks phrase, here are some Problem Definitions and directions we’ve heard bubble up:
- How could various disasters affect Philadelphia? OpenDataPhilly.org features flood hazard lines and 10-foot and two-foot contour lines that could show flood impact, and there are maps of active nuclear reactors in the region. Relatedly, there are regional evacuation routes and an interactive map of the same.
- Is there a more complete tool for disaster management and resource coordination in the City of Philadelphia? We’re looking at the city’s Managing Director’s Office of Emergency Management and wondering if something could tie it all together.
- How is Philadelphia reacting to climate change concerns? Find aerial photography from 2004 and perhaps compare to 2008. Compare to the city’s Walk Score or its Walkshed and use CommonSpace with bicycle commuter routes and an overall Bike Network.
- How do we build toward the ‘Carfax for Philly properties’ that was a hot topic at the February data event? At the BarCamp NewsInnovation, the ‘OPA Data Liberator’ made property owner searches more flexible and there is a city resource tracking real estate taxes — sorta — so perhaps work could be done to continue to liberate and connect this related data across competing city departments.
- How can city, volunteer and other social service employees be more aware of available resources for marginalized Philadelphians? Code for America fellow Mjumbe Poe started scraping homeless facility information andthere’s an annual ‘Philadelphia Street Sheet’ here [PDF] (and other lessons), so perhaps there is an application or scrape of complete resources. Something like this could be shared in other cities.
In the comments below, let us know what else you want to see accomplished, and be sure to come out Friday to push the conversation forward.