Good hackathons usually start with good ideas. The early team formation process often makes or breaks a crush of programming fun, so we’ve gotten in the habit of bringing together some ideas before hand.
In two weeks, looking at the judges, the prizes, the fact that we’ll feed you and surround you with smart people, you really ought to RSVP. (Hackathon details here.)
The theme of this hackathon, which happens conterminously with the country’s largest news innovation unconference, is naturally around informing communities. We want people to be smarter about where they live, and in lower-income communities of Philadelphia, that often means a mobile-focus, as proliferation of such devices often outpaces broadband adoption.
And we have some ideas that fit that focus.
As is always the case, we’ll do some idea generation the morning of, but to start the effort, here are some ideas that earlier brainstorming sessions have brought up. It’s worth noting that the Center for Public Interest Journalism will be offering some sizable prizes for the top projects that have a mobile focus.
- Mapping of LBGT rights — Wrongful termination assurances, civil union access and privacy precedents vary by the state and, in some cases, even by the county, with a variety of data sources existing.
- Murders mashup — With recently released Inquirer data on 23 years of murders in Philadelphia, there are an endless array of lessons that can be shared and mashed up and then accessed through geo-locaton, like comparing trends in housing prices or school test scores or poverty with murder.
- Mapping per-pupil spending and charter school funding by district — To show trends in charter school development.
- 311 data visualizations — Learning lessons from tools like this, and leveraging data dumps from Philly 311.
- Mobile text group management tool — A tool to better organize and communicate between civic group members.
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