Continuing the recap of the June 2012 RHoK events, we are highlighting two more incredible events; Toronto, Canada and Southampton, UK.
Over the past few years Toronto has emerged as one of the largest and most active RHoK communities. The team of local leads, developers and sponsors have consistently hosted successful hackathons that have produced an impressive catalog of innovative and noteworthy hacks. This past RHoK event was not an exception. Over the three day event 200 people worked on a total of 10 projects.
After a difficult deliberation, the judges awarded the top prize to Using mHealth to Reduce Pregnancy Related Deaths in Developing Countries as the top hacks. Leanne Tran, who conducts research at Toronto SickKids and University Health Network guided the development team in a 48 hour sprint to develop the capability to relay ultrasound images taken in remote areas to a hospital in real time for assessment by a doctor.
In an interview for the RHoK Toronto blog Tran said, "The timing of Random Hacks of Kindness, in early June, couldn’t have been more perfect, she said. Demonstrating the project’s technical feasibility to SickKids is a critical component to her proposal’s success. She said she realized she needed a team of technology experts to design a working demonstration to help her secure the funding. Fittingly, she heard about Random Hacks of Kindness through a friend. Now, she says, she’s made even more friends and is delighted with the support she has received in a short time. In early May, several volunteers helped her put together the problem description for her idea. At the beginning of the June RHoKTO hackathon, she says, volunteer Yasser Alyounes helped identify team member skill sets and recruit volunteers with the right expertise."
Other winning hacks created in Toronto were One Plant: Greening the World One Class at a Time and Water Voices. A big thanks goes to everyone who worked to make RHoK Toronto a success.
Anyone who visited the RHoK UStream channel during the weekend could not help buy notice that something special was happening at the first RHoK event in Southampton, UK. Planned in just over two weeks, the organizers led by Dirk Gorissen, managed to build the event from scratch and produce amazing hacks.
Attendees worked through the night to make sure all the bugs were worked out of their applications. According to Gorissen, "We had a number of very interesting problem proposals, with some even pitched via Skype from South Africa. We had Taarifa there of course as well as a local problem from the University of Southampton Geography department: Development of an operational water stress product from satellite imagery.
After the pitches it took about an hour for people to congregate and settle around their chosen problems. In the end we had 5 teams and soon everybody was hacking away furiously or busy drawing architecture diagrams on large sheets of paper."
Judging in Southampton was done by consensus of the attendees rather than a formal panel. The winning hack was CharityViz, a jQuery plugin for easily displaying and integrating IATI data. The second place was captured by WaterMe and the third place by Taarfia.
You can read more about RHoK Southampton at www.dirkgorissen.com.