Viewing entries in
Summer 2014

Crisis Mapping

Who: Crisis Mapping Project

When: December 2014 and June 2015

Where: Brisbane

Website: http://netengine.com.au/projects/crisis-mapping/

Vast swathes of the planet’s land-masses aren’t mapped, mainly because the majority of mapping applications are powered by commercial sponsorships and advertising - which just aren’t present in most areas of the developing world. At the Brisbane Summer Hackathon in 2014 and Winter Hackathon in 2015, RHoKers contributed directly to the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Missing Maps Project. The main goal of this project is to map the most vulnerable places in the world, to enable international and local NGOs as well as individuals to use maps and data to better respond to crisis affecting the areas. 

In the Summer 2014 Hack, we focused on mapping remote communities in West Africa, until, in response to an urgent request from the Red Cross for assistance, we diverted our focus to mapping the coastal communities in the Philippines in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit making landfall. Our Brisbane hackers contributed to the fact that less than 50 lives were lost in this Typhoon. At the Winter 2015 Hack, the  team went one further and worked on improving the open source software behind the mapping itself. Their efforts were approved and to be incorporated in the software in the U.S.  

Tech Girls are Superheroes

Who: Tech Girls are Superheroes

When: December 2014

Where: Brisbane

Website: www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.org/

Female participation in IT stands at a mere 25 per cent, against 45 percent for other careers. The Tech Girls Movement is an intervention program for girls in computing and women in the information technology industry to overcome this problem. Led by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, the campaign aims to inspire school girls to take up technology careers. The campaign is based on an animated story book containing stories of 26 talented technology and engineering Tech Girls.

At the 2014 Brisbane Summer Hackathon a team came together to help define user stories and map out some strategic aims for the campaign. 

BenJam

Who: Benjam

When: December 2014 & June 2015

Where: Sydney

Code (iPad): https://www.flinto.com/p/3003913d

Code (Demo): benjam.herokuapp.com

Project Benjam has the goal of helping kids with autistic spectrum disorder live more independently and with more confidence. They're focusing on helping non-verbal kids to communicate with anyone: to both understand and to be understood. Their first prototype app is aimed at helping kids and their carers communicate with the aid of a tablet-optimised web app. For autistic kids who are still non-verbal, Benjam is an assistive communications app that allows kids to ask for things in their terms. Unlike incumbents, their product will allow kids and their carers to create new content easily.

Project Benjam has worked with RHoK from the very beginning. Over the course of two hackathons and a number of RHoLLs (smaller events where we continue working on projects) they've come a long way. 

First Robotics

Who: FIRST Robotics

When: December 2014

Where: Sydney

Website: https://firstaustralia.org/

FIRST‘s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders through exciting mentor-based programs in a competition setting. Led by Change Makers Luan and Michael Heimlich, this is an Australian offshoot of the US First STEM Project, to interest children in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

First Robotics provide activities for Australian school children using robots (including Lego robot kits). During the RHoK Sydney summer hackathon the team concentrated on how to market the activities to parents and teachers. The team produced style guides, wire-frames and surveys for the website.

First Stop

Who: First Stop

When: June 2014 & December 2014

Where: Sydney

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/DisasterRegistration

Website: http://www.fieldinnovationteam.org/first-stop-first-go/

In 2013, during the exceptionally dry fire season in the rural towns scattered across the iconic rolling hills that sit outside of Sydney, 200 hundred homes were lost to a bush fire that tore through their community. Stories of the heroism and hard work of the emergency responders and volunteers were broadcast all over the news. These efforts were multiplied by a wide spread of organisations donating and sending volunteers. But it was clear to many that these efforts to help could be made more affective and less painful next time with a little brainstorming and work.

First Stop is an ongoing project that helps address some of these pain points. At its inception at the Sydney Winter Hackathon 2014 the team developed a registration system using a barcode printing application. At the Sydney Summer Hackathon 2014 the team added the capability of adding extra data fields to suit different agencies. 

Ocius

Who: Ocius

When: December 2014

Where: Sydney

Website: http://ocius.com.au/

Ocius.jpeg

Ocius is a multi-award winning Australian marine research and technology company, working in conjunction with University of Wollongong and NSW's Steber International to deploy a fully autonomous unmanned surface vessel (USV) drone - called a BlueBottle. This drone lives at sea in all conditions using the energy on the ocean i.e. the wind, sun and waves to power itself and its sensors.

During the Sydney Summer 2014 Hackathon, the team led by Robert Dane (check out a profile we did of him) and Ninan Mathew, focused on making use of the sensor data that is collected by satellite communications. They developed a proof of concept website, UX flow and data management system so that different user groups could easily download or interact with the data being produced by the vessel. The work done by RHoK will be used to visualise data generated for the drone's maiden voyage around Lord Howe island.

Alannah and Madeline Foundation

Who: The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Website: www.digitallicence.com.au

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The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation (AMF) is a national charity with the belief that all children should have a safe and happy childhood without being subjected to any form of violence. RHoK helped the AMF at the Melbourne Summer 2014 Hackathon with the design and launch of the eSmart Digital Licence, an online challenge which uses quizzes, videos and games to prepare Australian children (aged ten and over) to be smart, safe and responsible digital citizens.

At the Melbourne 2014 Summer Hackathon RHoK volunteers assisted with the design and user flow to ensure that the product reached its full potential. The Digital Licence was made available to every grade 6 student in Australia in 2015 - almost 300,000 children. The free licences can be accessed by grade 6 teachers from the Digital Licence website.

Good Cycles

Who: Good Cycles

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Website: www.goodcycles.org/

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Good Cycles is a social enterprise. Their mission is to use bicycles to create meaningful & lasting opportunities for people & communities in need. They run a business that caters to the needs of Melbourne’s commuter cyclists, providing them with super convenient bicycle services right across Melbourne. The profits from this help to fund important community work as a registered charity, such as training disadvantaged groups of people to become bike mechanics, and train refugees to cycle in the city.

They worked with RHoK at the Melbourne 2014 Summer Hackathon to develop a 'frequent flyers' style app to encourage more people to come into their workshops. They managed to develop a working prototype. Unfortunately the app hasn't moved out of the development stage yet. 

LifeAssist

Who: Life Assist

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/melb-lifeassist

LifeAssist.jpeg

Life Assist is a disability services charity helping over 4000 people annually through government-funded programs and countless more through either referral or self-funded services. They operate as part of the wider UnitingCare Australia network which provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1,600 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia.

At the Melbourne Summer 2014 Hackathon a team formed to develop a client feedback application for them. The idea was to allow their clients (who get far too many surveys) to be able to tell them how they're doing easily yet effectivey. The project has since been adopted by some other people working in the disability sector who are keen to try and roll it out to a wide range of organisations. Here's a blog post by the changemaker, Eddie, about his experience. 

Thin Green Line

Who: The Thin Green Line

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Website: http://www.thingreenline.org.au

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The Thin Green Line Foundation is the world’s only charity solely dedicated to protecting endangered species and threatened ecosystems by supporting park rangers. They provide park rangers with essential anti-poaching equipment and training to assist them in patrolling on the front-line of conservation. They also provide financial support to the widows and orphans of park rangers killed in the line of duty. Their support is focused on rangers in developing regions, conflict zones and indigenous rangers in Australia and abroad.

They initially approached RHoK to develop a geolocation app to help monitor hotspots and trouble areas for rangers. However, as a result of exploring their key challenges in greater detail, at the 2014 Summer Hackathon we ended up helping them creating a training resource for rangers instead. 

Voice For Indi

Who: Voice 4 Indi

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Website: www.voiceforindi.com/

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/theindiapp

Voice 4 Indi is a community group which bridges the gap between community and politics. They aim to create opportunities for conversation for not just your voice to be heard but for you to hear others. More than just a demonstration of community development driven politics, Voices for Indi is a community leadership exercise which hopes to have a lasting impact. The organisation is a response to the need for re-energized but respectful political debate and provides a process to connect the community’s voice to our elected representatives.

At the 2014 Summer Hackathon in Melbourne a team came down from Wodonga to work with RHoK on the development of a new app to showcase citizen voices to elected politicians. The goal was to try and create a digital platform that would allow local voters to show off the issues that mattered to them, in a way that was compelling without creating further political divisions. 

WATDA

Who: Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Drivers' Association

When: December 2014

Where: Melbourne

Code: https://github.com/RHoKAustralia/melb-watda-maxicab-booking

The Wheelchair Accessible Taxi Drivers' Association (WATDA) works with the disability services sector through the operation of wheelchair accessible taxis. Many of their drivers come from the Horn of Africa, and are struggling with the lack of regular jobs, long working hours, and lack of basic amenities like insurance work cover and superannuation. WATDA wants to connect taxi drivers with disability services to ensure better and faster service. This has the twin benefit of improving working conditions for drivers at the same time as reduce the waiting times for disabled people needing taxis. 
 
They worked with RHoK at the Melbourne Summer 2014 Hackathon to build a standalone app that could help coordinate drivers. However that proved to be too ambitious, so we switched to trying to improve their website so that potential customers can easily get hold of drivers. They're now looking to build an automated booking service that will tell drivers where their next client is.