RHOK ATL Dec 2011

The hackathon this weekend was another great Random Hacks of Kindess event. This is my second RHOK event and I’d like to start by saying that the event is different than events like StartAtlanta and StartupCamper partly due to the different crowd that it attracts (significantly more developers than “business” people.)


Poliotracker was the project that I “worked” on. By I, I mean mostly Jeff setting up a Ushahidi instance that would help us report cases of polio and map them out in a nice report.

The idea came from Cyrus Shahpar of the CDC as they currently experience issues with reporting and field agents with WHO who find cases and then sending medical teams and supplies to deal with outbreaks.

You can view it at http://poliotracker.crowdmap.com – if you have an Iphone, Ipad, or Android device, there is a Ushahidi app that gives a nice interface to report and see cases.

Because there won’t always be data available as agents travel the length of the world. Ushahidi also allows SMS (text messages) that describe a location to be sent to the service and processed through Frontline SMS (somebody the CDC / WHO can use as a supplier)


Street Safe is an app that helps alerts (urban) explorers know when the area that they are in may not be safe. Jeff made sure to extend the resourcefulness by making it time sensitive as well – so if there is only crime in Home Park when it’s night, then it won’t warn you at 10am as you are walking to class. It’s a web smart phone client that sends a json encoded location string to a PHP server. The PHP server responds with crime reports relavent to that area.

The demo works, so that’s pretty awesome. They’re not actually using real data.

They have sort of addressed my qualms with reenforcing biases by proposing an alogorithm to actually determine if an area is safe. It also has a “hot/cold” functionality.

Clinical ER

The idea is to help deliver ER response in situations where medical services may not be necessarily nearby. There is no working prototype, but the process list / design is covered. The goal is to crowdsource medical emergency response while keeping it easy and free. The difficulties are protecting medical providers from liability issues.

The idea goes towards what many people would like to see WebMD become; where Doctors and Nurse practitioners are on call to diagnose and solve a problem remotely and then later provide some sort of medical solution.



MARTA in Atlanta just began offering real time bus information by sharing gps information from their busses – so this is a highly relavent topic. In Inidia and other countries commercial and municipal bus systems are apparently even less reliable than they are in the U.S. Rather  than leaving the onus on the bus companies themselves, this crowdsources the idea to cell phone users via both HTML5 and SMS (through Twilio) – the server seems php based.

The working demo is a webapp (mobile compatible – jquery ombile) where you can get status or set status of routes. When you get status, it tells you the last seen location of the bus route that you are looking for so that you can predict the time at the next stop.

My comments: It would be neat if bus riders could install this in the background so that their phones are always updating their status. Given many people (6+) moving in the same location on the bus route, you can track the bus. This would also be good using Open Cell location tracking – track just pure cell phone movement along the route and identifying clusters.


Trying to solve the problem of food recovery – good food getting thrown out, while Georgians go to be hungry. They have an objective document to (by 2013 to decrease the amount of waste food by 5%.

The app uses Django on the server end and uses Twilio for SMS. The team plans to work on this afterwards. And would like to solve the stated objectives by working with restaurants and groceries.

The beta launch in 6 months would involce SMS, an incentive program, email and voice, QA – and more.

The slogan is “Where a good meal goes a long way”


I’d like to send a big thanks to the sponsors that include GTRI, ATDC, MailChimp, NerdWerx, and others as the food, drinks, and qwerky door prizes / schwag help encourage people to come.


Stephen Reid