Limpag: Hacking for social good-A A +A
Monday, October 1, 2012
KEY players of Cebu’s start-up community emerged as winners of last Saturday’s #SmartActs Cebu: A Hackathon for Social Good held at the Smart regional office in Cebu City. (Disclosure: I was one of the hackathon’s judges.)
Albert Padin, Ian Bert Tusil and Luis Patrick Villaruz came up with the hackathon’s best education app with AskBuildShare, a web application that allows people to post problems needing tech solutions. Computer science students can then pick among the submissions a problem to tackle as thesis.
Padin, of SpellDial fame, said he noticed that students do not know nor self-study key technologies of today like HTML 5. AskBuildShare, he said, will offer a venue for students to take on “real world” problems as thesis “rather than make a boring, energy-depriving, sucking accounting or payroll system.”
Vince Loremia, Lester Cabalon and Raffy Englis won the Best Disaster Response App with
Tudlo: Teachers, Guides, Points.
The app guides people in preparing for disasters like earthquakes and floods. During disasters, it will help alert people and point them to the nearest evacuation sites or away from disaster areas.
The team said they will get their disaster alerts from a mash-up of feeds from the official Twitter accounts of government agencies and non-government organizations dealing with disasters. The system will also accept alerts, pending verification, from users.
Anthony Yanto and Dandeljane Maraat won two awards for their Plot & Rescue Assistant, a system that helps in plotting map locations for disaster response. It won for best use of Smart API for the text messaging alert component of the system. It also got the special award for best use of technology from Marco Van Den Berg of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The two will be brought to the IRRI for an upcoming hackathon.
Esci Morales, Jaymee Franz Garcia and Millicent Anne Mansubre won for Best Student App for their Election Awareness Campaign web application. The system allowed people to express approval or disapproval of politicians and post comments. The system then generates an approval rating for the politician with a map overlay of the location of people who voted. The system also allows people to enroll and get text message updates from the politician.
Smart senior manager Jim Ayson and developer evangelist Paul Pajo said the hackathon was a success. Pajo said the applications were “very polished” and the hackathon had a good turnout from a “very good set of hackers and developers.”
Ayson said Smart is holding hackathons as a way of crowd-sourcing innovation.
“Rather than have all the innovation coming from inside the company using your own developers, we realized that we don’t have all the ideas. We want to put our tools out there. We crowd-source the innovation process,” he said.
Pajo said they wanted to highlight local apps by developers.
“We want to highlight the fact that developers are the ones who actually do the work in these applications. Normally, once the product is launched, no one remembers who the developers are. In hackathons the spotlight is on the developer,” Pajo said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2012.