The theme of the introductions to today’s hackfest is integration. Several people presented projects that they’ve been working on over the past several weeks, and during the QA session for each, the question has been how can this be integrated with other existing Sandy efforts? We’re hoping that the work today can build upon the projects started by other hackfests and tech groups to bring positive solutions for tech-based Sandy relief efforts, preparation for future disasters and coordination of linking resources to where they’re needed most.
There were several presentations made – here’s a brief overview. At the end of the day, we’ll show a recap of what’s been worked on.
Sean McIntyre gave a presentation on the Red Hook Mesh Network. The project is working to provide an independent mesh network by installing antennas on roofs. By providing the mesh and working with the Red Hook Initiative to teach community members to run their own network without dependance. Today they’re hoping that the hackfest will help build data acquisition tools from the mesh nodes and a mapping platform so that when a node goes down or has a problem – it can be detected and fixed immediately.
Luisa Covaria & Nick Johnson presented an idea for a mobile volunteer coordination platform. The project is closely related to Scott Kurttila’s Mobile Disaster Relief app which was recently launched in the itunes app store. The app allows users to upload location tagged images to designate where resources are needed, and allows volunteers to be alerted of those needs.
Drew H presented an outline of some of the Occupation Sandy tech efforts including the establishment of an sms-based wants / needs platform, noting inspiration from the efficiency of a physical bulletin board at the Rockaways where people posted needs on paper and and volunteers responded by answering the requests and taking the paper out of circulation.
Coordinating volunteers with the home work at the Rockaways, Matt Engel & Shanna Snider presented a project for streamlining scheduling and need for volunteers. Much of the data collected on availability and skills of volunteers is currently done on paper and in excel sheets- They’re hoping to develop a better way of scheduling, alerting and confirming volunteers as they’re needed on the ground – sometimes last minute.
Joel Natividad spoke about NYC open data and his work with Ontodia – who are working to clean up data sets and establish standards and dataset formats so that they are more readily usable in projects like these.
Fran Boon presented Sahana‘s work providing tech support internationally in disaster areas. In New York, they’ve been working on 1) providing a framework for displaying hospital operation status and crisis commons data. 2) volunteer & shelter management for Red Cross 3) request and volunteer management with Occupy Sandy.
Sasha made a remote presentation about the experience from the original Hurricane Hackers events in Boston, and the importance of looking at the database of projects being worked on currently and how to integrate everyone’s efforts.
Back in a few hours for progress update.