Updated 6 days 19 hours ago
Often individuals discover valuable and useful information in their daily lives about areas they have ventured and visited. However, this information they attain remains unshared and therefore highly unused, which unfortunately means that others must discover that information for themselves. If there was a convenient way for someone who discovered something about a particular location (i.e., unsafe area, where a rare foodstuff can be found) to tag that location on a mobile application with that new information, a wealth of knowledge could be gathered and kept in one place that is accessible to everyone with that application. This would ultimately lead to a better-informed public who can access easy discovery through a growing and actively running database. Therefore, an app to inform people of valuable information, ranging from food and deals to safety and crime when they arrive close to that specific location, would greatly increase the convenience of information that could be useful to anyone anywhere. The way this application would work is described below. Steps: 1. “Check-in” using GPS to the location 2. Comment on the location 3. Publish the comment as a warning or recommendation 4. When someone walks close to the location of the published comment, the application will automatically display the comment as a warning or recommendation. As a Peace Corps Volunteer I often feel out of the loop when I visit new towns, and am usually unsure of where to avoid or where to go to find unique things that could greatly improve the quality of my life. This would also save villagers’ time and effort looking for unique things in unfamiliar towns, therefore making their arduous and expensive journeys into town more worthwhile. Additionally, small business could use this app as a free and cheap way to advertise to anyone who visits the area. It is a convenient and quick way to advertise to the people who really concern small business. I hope the following YouTube video will explain how this solution will work, and the impact of the application. http://youtu.be/CxW7h5flN-O
Updated 6 days 21 hours ago
Mujeres: Cambia, a micro-enterprise based in rural Ecuador seeks a solution to support our growing social venture. Mujeres: Cambia provides opportunities for low-income women through the sale of products made from recycled materials. Our products are eco-friendly and help to support specific goals that each member has articulated for herself.
Please visit: http://www.mujerescambia.com for more details and watch our video about this challenge at:
We would like to interact with 2 Google Doc worksheets: one accounting ledger and one inventory list using SMS cellphones. Most people who live in our area do not use smart phones or have regular access to the internet. However, most do have access to and are comfortable using SMS texts to communicate.
Our goal is to have group leaders maintain the documents in cyber cafés as needed but also to have our members interact more regularly with the databases via SMS.
Updated 6 days 22 hours ago
Whatsapp (www.whatsapp.com) has become an enormous success in developing nations, especially where data usage is cheaper than making phone calls or sending an SMS. Access to communication is one of the largest challenges to development that people around the world encounter as they try to mobilize and schedule meetings. If a meeting is scheduled but later changed or canceled, the original participants don't know because the organizers lacked funds to notify everyone. When this happens everyone loses precious time and becomes frustrated.
A feature-lite calendaring software that could operate on a similar basis to Whatsapp could go a long way for assisting groups seeking to organize and meet. This software could contain just a few meeting-oriented functions such as: create a meeting with time and place, send invites, change meeting info and notify participants of the change. This software additionally would also allow participants to update their personal attendance.
Updated 1 week 20 hours ago
Many within developing countries are perfectly capable of running a successful microenterprise, but lack the insight or the experience needed to identify an opportunity and take the necessary steps to start a business. This tool would allow a user to select from a number of business templates appropriate for his/her area and skill set. The system would then send them instructions for each step that needs to be taken to acquire funding, licenses, tools and necessary knowledge, and continue to send them regular alerts to help them manage their growing business. The user can enter purchase and sale details and the system can manage their budget and inventory, sending them an alert to notify them when they need to resupply. The user can be connected with other businesses within the system that supply the materials they need or consume the goods they produce. The system could also use location-aware load-balancing to geographically disperse those who are selling the same product. This would work best as a smartphone/web app to allow for fast entry of progress and sales data, but it would be quite feasible for the end user to receive alerts and basic instructions over text messaging. This system would allow many to lift themselves out of poverty through microenterprise, and it would help NGOs to easily deploy microenterprise franchises and actively monitor those franchises.
Updated 1 week 1 day ago
Until recently, all RHoK participating cities have been encouraged to use the RHoK.org global website, rather than build their own local websites. However, each city is now being encouraged to build a local website that promotes local RHoK initiatives, events etc.
We have started work on an interim website, (www.rhokmelbourne.org) but we would like to build something really fantastic and engaging that integrates well with the global site, while still showcasing all the fantastic work that's being done by the local RHoK Melbourne hackers. Here are our thoughts so far on what could be incorporated into the RHoK Melbourne Website.
- What RHoK? (Global and local context)
- Problems we 're working on (ongoing problems and new problems for upcoming events)
- Get involved. This section should included information for hackers, subject matter experts, and non-techie "hackers"
- Upcoming RHoK and RHoK n Roll Events (maybe it can be linked to Meetup so we just update one and the other does it automatically?). There would need to be info about date and location (ideally with a map)
- Contact us
- rhok global
- Link problems to RHoK.org, with automatic updates if there are any changes on the global RHoK website.
- Solutions that have been posted on the RHoK Melbourne website (also linked to RHoK.org). Is there are really good way of showcasing the solutions on the RHoK Melbourne site?
- Volunteer for RHoK Melbourne - information on how the community can get involved (including RHoK interns)
- More detail in the "Get Involved" section (i.e., specific info for people from a legal background/community development/climate change etc)
- Donate or sponsor RHoK Melbourne
- Other Cities Participating - linked to RHoK.org and maybe on a map
Past events - What has the RHoK Melbourne community been working on thus far? THis could include a summary, some photos, and could perhaps tie in with the problems and solutions pages.
Hacker and problem owner profiles - It would be optional whether people wanted to create their own profiles, but the idea would be to share skills and interests ahead of the event. Meetup is capable of doing this, so it could just be a content page on the website encouraging people to share that kind of stuff on Meetup.
RHoK blog - perhaps this could be tied to the Melbourne page on the RHoK global website.
Resources - this wouldn't even need to be a public page, but just a simple content page to point people at during the event. It could include things like tips and suggestions for certain tools that people can use (things like Git, Basecamp, Pivotal Tracker, Redmine etc).
Updated 1 week 1 day ago
In any emergency response, such as firefighting, there is a need to manage resources and optimise their utilisation. Responders, vehicles, aircraft all play a part, and it is important for team leaders and managers to know where everyting is located and the task it is currently assigned to do. Often, in a fire fighting scenario, teams are spread out over many kilometres, and also be obscured by smoke. Operational managers in the response management headquarters also require a "big picture" view to properly use the resources at their disposal.
Updated 1 week 1 day ago
After a bush fire, flood, or cyclone, emergency response management personnel need to know what issues need to be resolved, get accurate and timely descriptions of their severity and location, to be able to prioritise them, to determine which types of resources are needed for their resolution, and to track their resolution. Currently, issues are handled by verbal description, relayed in the first instance over the phone from a member of the public, to a centralised response call centre, and then to the local emergency response crews. At each step, and with each relay of information, the precise location and an accurate description may be diluted or lost. Indeed, an accurate location and description may not have been captured in the first place. For example, a tree is across the road, a road section is washed away, a fence is breached and stock is wandering.
This problem calls for a system that:
- Leverages the ubiquity of smartphones in the community. These devices are location-aware, can efficiently capture text, and can take photos.
- Allows for the mobile phone network to be inoperable. Information about issues can be stored offline until the user is within coverage.
- Provides a map- and list-based view of the issues reported for a particular disaster area. Issues can prioritised according to their severity. Crews can be assigned according to their skills and proximity.
- Uses smartphones to let mobile response crews to find the issue and record its resolution.
- Complements the existing radio-based communications used by emegency response crews.
- Members of the public can get a view of the current situation, so they may avoid dangerous areas.
Updated 1 week 1 day ago
An online application that allows residents in high bushfire risk areas to easily prepare a bushfire survival plan by answering a set of questions relevant to their area. The application will then allow residents to print out their plan, alert them to take the action that they have already pre-determined based on Fire Danger Ratings and automatically notify others when they evacuate.
Updated 2 weeks 1 day ago
Every year, tens of thousands of women, men and children are ill-treated, abducted or raped as they travel through Mexico without legal permission as irregular migrants. The vast majority are headed for the US border in the hope of new life far from the crippling poverty they are fleeing. Their journey is one of the most dangerous in the world. Arbitrary detention and extortion by public officials are common. Many simply disappear without trace, kidnapped and killed, or robbed, assaulted and thrown off speeding trains. For those who survive the extreme insecurity and dangers of the journey through Mexico, reaching the US border brings its own hazards. Increased US immigration enforcement in certain border areas has pushed undocumented immigrants to use particularly dangerous routes through the US desert; hundreds of people die each year as a result.
The devastating abuses that take place against migrants is a cross border issue, involving both the United States and Mexican societies. But currently, their deaths, like their lives, remain largely hidden from view. For the families back home, there is little hope of ever finding out what happened.
How could technology, applications and digital services make the invisible visible with regard to abuses committed against migrants, and be used to support both migrants and their networks in a safe way, helping mitigate the risks and reduce the number of people who die each year?
1. Aggregate and visualize data for advocacy: How can we make invisible crimes visible without putting migrants at risk?
- Could we create a simple, accessible digital system to provide a means for the networks of civil society organizations and shelters on the ground who could/can/are collecting and capturing data to aggregate and share this information?
- Could we facilitate a form of ‘check in’, which migrants can do from specific safe points on their journey?
- How could we collect this information in a manner that is safe and secure and does not put migrants at further risk?
- How could we capture more migrant stories/voices anonymously at these safe points, for use as testimony and to use for informing others who consider making the journey of the risks involved?
- How could we create anonymous visualizations based on these routes and stories for use in advocacy?
- Numbers and routes
- Abuses by smugglers
- Sexual violence
- Police and state abuse
- Being thrown back over the border (when not allowed even though they’re at risk)
- Documenting deaths
- Water points and shelters
- Could we develop a lo-fi, social web based missing and unidentified person system to provide more reliable information to families whose loved ones disappear?
- Could we create a platform that supports knowledge transfer, allowing for posting missing members, sightings, news and locations?
- Increase awareness of risks - how to get more accurate information available, in a secure and anonymous way
- Increase awareness of rights - what are local laws, places to report abuse and how, knowing what they should be able to claim/demand of local authorities
- Increase awareness of help they can get along the way - where are safe routes, houses, telephone numbers, alert systems, rescue and distress. Using maps, satellites, crowd-sourcing etc, alternative emergency service number?
Updated 2 weeks 2 days ago
In Ghana we used a lot of shared transportation. The lowest cost form of shared transport is the tro-tro which is a privately owned van that sells tickets to the public. Using the tro-tro system is a frustrating experience for Ghanaians, but remains the only option for lower income individuals. Usually this meant that you would show up to a station buy a ticket and then wait an unknown amount of time until all the other tickets for the car were sold. In many cases this meant waiting around in the car and wasting a lot of time. For some folks traveling to remote location this would mean waiting for hours with no guarantee that the car would fill up. If it didn't the driver may stay in town and the passenger could be stranded.
Typically the system works in two ways. The “station model” is when passengers would show up to a station and buy tickets from a central ticketing station. This person usually is selling tickets for 2 or more cars. Passengers buy a ticket and wait, usually in the car. The car will leave once all the tickets are sold. The “line car model” is used along main roads where there is no station. For these tro-tro’s routes, a car will travel between two stations, picking up passengers along the roadside if they have room. This is another frustrating experience as passengers must stand on the road for an unknown amount of time asking each car where it is going until they find their desired car.
We are looking for a simple app that would facilitate real time communication between passengers and tro-tro operators. This could be a simple app that the ticket salesman could update every time a ticket was sold and would make that information available to waiting passengers. This would give passengers the freedom to leave the station and take care of other things while they wait. It could be similar to how hostesses at some restaurants let you know when your table is available by sending you a text message. Or it could be the driver sends SMS to short code number with phone number of each passenger as they pay. When the driver has only one seat left to be sold, he sends a certain message (e.g. "Full") to the short code number, and it automatically sends an SMS to all paid passengers saying the taxi is about to leave. Or a short code that would allow them to advertise their want of a ride to “line car” tro-tro’s so that they can let them know when to expect a car to come by.