National Day of Civic Hacking Updates

We had an awesome weekend of civic hacking! From 9am to 6pm on Saturday, we saw over 70 people between our TulsaWiki Editathon, our Code for Tulsa Brigade Meetup, and our Guthrie Green Hackathon. While we wait for the national org to compile all the surveys and project submissions, here’s a quick report on our Tulsa activities.

Oklahoma Urban Search & Rescue

On my way to Guthrie Green, I got a call from Scott telling me to go to Fire Station #5 so we could meet with Oklahoma Urban Search & Rescue Tulsa task force Captain Terry Sivadon about starting a mobile app to help disaster recovery activities. Terry had some great and recent input for two apps that could really help them:

  • Call/Text/Email deployment – A single app to blast an organizing message to task force members across email, phone calls, and text messages and allow them to respond for deployment.
  • Search & Rescue operations – A mobile app to let task force responders report and survey field operations in real time and real location.

In the afternoon we put some very rough code onto github and made a quick website for the idea.

Just today, I’ve been speaking to Jessica and Anoop from the Rockaway Beach event about apps they also started for ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery up in New York. Anoop also made a Call/Text/Email prototype so we’ll probably join forces to deploy it in both communities. Jessica showed me the mockups for a “Pin your Problem” app designed by high school students up there, and I showed her John’s excellent “Proto Tour” HTML5 app for geo-tagging data in real-time. Between that and his equally impressive Tulsa Fire Dispatch mapping app, I think we’re starting something really awesome across our communities.

Follow us on twitter and we’ll keep you posted on how Open Search & Rescue progresses.

Tulsa Wiki Editathon

At the TulsaWiki Editathon at Central Library, we added 85 pages, 33 maps, and 23 users to the TulsaWiki in one day! Our collaboration and promotion around National Day of Civic Hacking resulted in the addition of about 265 pages in the last three months—an increase of 530%! Our Central Children’s Department also created a great Kids Wiki (a low-tech, high visibility banner), to include our youngest hackers.

Guthrie Green LocalTour App

After our meeting with OK US&R, we headed over to Guthrie Green to start some work on LocalTour. As mentioned, John had already built a Proto Tour app. As we sat down to start, surprise – 4 college students showed up! They were all interns from ConocoPhillips who heard about our event from Matt.

With them we continued to work on LocalTour. The code is on GitHub and the app itself is already online – though it’s still hard-coded to TulsaWiki. So we still have some work to do, but we’ve filed issues on GitHub and are getting to them as we can. We hope to make this a national app that can be used by any city running a LocalWiki.

Code for Tulsa Brigade Meetup

At lunch time we went back to the library for our Code for Tulsa Brigade Meetup. Gary Shaffer started us out with a great summary of the digital resources that Tulsa Library offers – which includes TulsaWiki of course! Tulsa Library is striving to become a place where citizens can convene, collaborate, and create. After that, I gave a brief overview of the Code for Tulsa story – how we started and the projects we’ve worked on over the last couple years.

Then we let developers show demos of the apps so everyone could talk about how to improve them or what kinds of new apps we should start. I got to talk with Wendy Martin – Records Manager for City of Tulsa – about opening and publishing more city data so developers can build more and better things for Tulsa.

Kathy Taylor also came by! She checked out each of our demos and encouraged us all to keep up the good work.

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2 comments on “National Day of Civic Hacking Updates
  1. […] the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., Tulsa civic hackers decided to build an app that could help notify and mobilize emergency responders after a disaster, and to electronically map search areas to avoid redundant […]

  2. […] year’s National Day of Civic Hacking was a huge event: we collaborated on a project with FEMA, we held a hack day at the Tulsa Library […]

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