RHoK Milwaukee is off to a brilliant start with about 40 developers meeting at Bucketworks collaborative space in downtown. The event kicked off with an evening reception at the Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) open lab in the Grand Avenue Mall. Seven teams of designers, developers and entrepreneurs are now busy hacking on seven diverse projects related mainly to global water and disaster relief problems, described below. The final presentations will be livestreamed Sunday at 2:00pm CST here: http://bucketworks.org/blog/2011/12/03/hack-a-thon-live-stream
Virtual Aquaponics System
Development of a digital component for the AQUAPONS training program, such as an interactive virtual simulation of an aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as fish in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. The fish water is passed through the plants, in order to both filter the water so it's clean enough for the fish, and to provide fertilizer for the plants. The Sweet Water Aquapons program administered by the Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) (http://www.sweetwaterfoundation.com), aims to educate people in aquaponics.
Bicycle Commute Mapping
Development of a mobile application by team AwesomeFat (http://www.awesomefat.com) that any bike commuter can carry with them at all times which tracks where they have been and helps them determine their route. The app aggregates GPS location data every 10 meters and feeds this information into the cloud where all versions of the app can mesh the cloud data together into a single map view. This will benefit the commuting bike rider by allowing them to travel safer and more optimal routes. The app will also increase awareness of where popular bike routes are which can allow local municipalities to create official bike routes.
Emergency Response System (ERS) Web API Project
Development of a mobile web application that will leverage crowd sourcing to report crisis events to a humanitarian organizations on the Internet. The app, based on the Ushahidi platform will allow anonymous users to provide incident reporting, mapping, scoring and approval and engage a crowd-sourced community verification system, to reduce unnecessary work for local, state and federal emergency management teams governments. The crisis reports will be able to support a short messages, a photo or video. The members of the humanitarian organizations can use this information to map where resources are needed
Dashboard visualizing water data from Watertech of America
Development of a dashboard visualizing water data from the complex water sensor equipment used by Watertech of America (http://www.watertechusa.com), in order to compelling plant managers to be more water efficient. This is important because industrial users withdraw approximately 18 billion gallons of water per day from rivers, lakes, and aquifers in the United States. This water requires substantial amounts of energy to pump, clean, and discharge. Inefficiencies in manufacturing systems can also lead to the overuse of chemicals and other toxins which have environmentally detrimental side effects. The app will help companies achieve better efficiency by visualizing data to help operations staff reduce understand their water usage to encourage efficiency and conservation.
Assessing (and aggregating) beehive health
Development of a mobile application that would allow users to do beehive inspections and keep tabs on the health of their hives. The team is building an inspection tool that can be used when a bee-keeper is suited up that will be useful in collecting beehive health reports and aggregating the data. Bees are the primary pollinator for almost every crop and flower and are essential for life on the way it is. Bees are an indicator species, and research shows that the all insect pollinator populations are on similar decline. Without them, life on Earth would be very different. The aggegrated data will be analyzed for trends and patterns and aid in the develop of future solutions.
Water usage data (per address) from the H2OScore.com API
Development of a visualization around the H2OScore water usage data. The visualization will empower businesses and individuals to understand and monitor their own water usage consumption so that they can make more informed decisions. H20Score is providing the granular data from the utility company and encouraging developers to mashup with other environmental or economic open data about water use in the USA.
Water Quality Visualization
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMS-D) has published a lot of useful information on their website (http://v3.mmsd.com/) centered around water resources. Of particular interest is the rain gauge meter and water quality data. Improving the water quality data by taking the xml and translating into a fusion table to allow for better data visualization.
More photos later, but here's a great image of @gesa from #RHoK Milwaukee sporting a vintage #NASA space helmet!