Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) will be in 34 cities around the world on December 3 – 4, 2011. RHoK is a great way for software developers, knowledge workers and subject matter experts to converge, brainstorm, hack and prototype on real world problems.
What types of hacks? Here’s an example from Dave Leng of Samoa
Dave’s “Make Ushahidi Dynamic: Ushahidi tweak from static to dynamic display of incident reports” proposed hack is something he has been pondering since the summer. He would love for this hack to be ready for his team in Samoa and our friends in the Standby Task Force to use for the UN Spider Samoa Simulation (occurring at the same time as RHoK). If you can hack on this keep us posted, I’d recommend a design jam as it will be a large project to prototype over one weekend.
Connecting others doing Ushahidi RHoK Hacks
We’d love the wider Ushahidi community join a local city and help out on some of these hacks either in person or virtually. I’ll physically be in Montreal, Canada for RHoK, but online. Global collaboration can be hard via Google docs, Skype and email, but fret not. We have a plan:
- Join the RHoK community and sign up for a problem definition and connect with the problem owner. (See the list below for specific hacks citing Ushahidi.)
- Participate in a local event or connect with a problem definition group online. Keep in mind that the group hacking may be in a different timezone.
- Next: If you are a member of the Ushahidi Community Developer Chat, please ping us there to be connected to a separate RHoK event Skype chat. If you would like to join, add Heatherleson with the note (RHoK-Ushahidi connect).
- RHoK contacting: It might be best to not send an email. Rhok is so hectic and real-time. I’ll try to keep up with your requests, but best to ping us on Skype or via twitter @ushahidi. We may be setting up Google Hangouts as the hackathon proceeds.
- Check out this Google Doc to track and connect: RHok with Ushahidi!
The Solutions to Discover:
I’ve scoured the daunting list of over 269 RHoK Problem Definitions to determine which hacks both pertain to Ushahidi and appear to be active. This list may change over the course of the weekend, but this is a running handbook. These hacks range from very specific map projects to technical kludges for offline/online, mobile or usability design. And, it is a truly global adventure.
Often we are asked what the work-around to store offline data and send it to Ushahidi when services are connected and/or restored. The winning team from last June’s RhoK Toronto created Message Carrier. The team will not be continuing this hack for the December 2011 event. But, Francesco Ciriaci will be leading a hack in Trento, Italy for an Ushahidi offline/online app. Also, see their blog post on Reflab.
I’d like to suggest that the code from Message Carrier be reviewed. As well, there is another incomplete project for and the Data over Amateur radio (Ham Radio).
Hack for Your City, Your Community
Ushahidi Open311 GeoReport API Integration
City and community hackers: This problem coding has already started, but it would be good to see it continue. This is a co-hack for OpenPlans and Ushahidi. Fortunately, the Open Data Hackathon is happening simultaneously.
Or, Making your Cities: Street Safe (Rhok Atlanta)
Emergency, Preparedness and Simulation Hacks
The Security Alert App for Humanitarian Workers project owner, Angelique Mannella, will be leading this hack in RhoK Montreal. (I’ll be joining her team in person.)
Do you speak Spanish and want to help a Rhok Bogota (Colombia) simulation install? Contact Luis Luis Hernando Aguilar.
RHoK Zurich led by the wonderful Frank Werner-Krippendorf and Ivan Jovanovic will be brainstorming with the Caritas team about mapping hazards globally. This springs from conversations started at RhoK Berlin: Hack Caritas Germany mapping app using Ushahidi to test out the needs.
Pascal Schuback will be in Portland and tinkering with the original RHoK Seattle SAARAA: Situational Awareness and Rapid Assessment Application problem definition:
Melanie Gorka (RhoK Toronto), Steve Sauder (RhoK Montreal) and the RhoK Toronto team will continue to iterate on waterhacks.ca.
Also, see Map the Crap (This hack hasn’t started yet, but is similar to some of the other solutions).
Or you can mode the Check-ins capability in the ios/Andoid apps available from Ushahidi so that there is an option to send out a security check in that is then broadcast to a pre-set list of emergency contacts.
These hacks may be active as well:
Bushfire Connect was a hack first issued at Rhok 1.0 in Sydney. There is still work to be done. You can contact Keren and Maurits in Australia for more details.
Food distribution is a constant global concern, Moving Food was previously hacked on by Rhok Seattle and Silicon Valley.
Indonesia: one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. You can hack on this NGO tool for Situational Awareness and Sharing Information.
If you have any updates to add to this list, please let us know. Also, take pictures, videos etc. and send them our way. We’d be glad to feature you and your teams’ efforts.