Hackers do good

Random Hacks of Kindness competition develops open source community to aid humanity

Tags: BrazilColombiaGoogle IncorporatedMicrosoft CorporationNASAUSAWorld BankYahoo! Incorporated
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Hackers do good Thousands of hackers from around the globe recently participated in Random Hacks of Kindness, a open source community project to aid governments and NGO's.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  June 21, 2011

This month, thousands of hackers in 19 countries participated in the third edition of Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK); an open source community competition designed to develop open source technology for crisis response.

The community was created in 2009 by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Nasa and the World Bank, originally to only help with crisis response, but this year in the third edition of the event, it has increased in scope to include climate change and in the future will also address development challenges.

From Berlin to Nairobi, and Sydney to Sao Paulo, these hacking teams are now working with NGOs and government entities to finalise their applications, which will hopefully aid humanity.

For the 2011 RHoK global event more than 75 solutions were submitted for judging, according to Google, many are already on their way to making a difference around the world.

The Colombian government and the UN are looking at implementing a shelter management system developed at RHoK Bogota, the system could be used to aid three million victims of winter flooding in South America.

At RHoK Philadelphia, the winning application was developed in response to a problem proposed by the World Bank Water group. This application will be developed further at the WaterHackathon, RHoK's first community-sponsored event, later this year.

At RHoK Sao Paulo, of the nine hacks submitted to the judging panel, two are already in use and two may be further developed and incorporated into the restructuring of the National Weather Service.

At the RHoK Silicon Valley event at Google's Mountain View campus, three winners were selected.

The first was SMS Person Finder, which enables anyone with a phone to interact with a software application that Google built to help people find family and friends in disaster areas. The Person Finder team is working with the Google Crisis Response team to integrate the application into future Google Person Finder deployments.

The second winner was an application called Hey Cycle, designed to make it easier for people to reuse and recycle items by setting up email alerts when free items that they're looking for are entered on freecycle.org.

The third application, called FoodMovr is designed to connect people with excess food to others who need it through a simple live application.

2731 days ago
Vinod Mehra

RHoK - excellent job and useful display of applications for the mankind. Keep up the good work RHoK

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