Gainesville, Florida Innovation Academy Team Host Inaugural Hoggetowne Hack
Gainesville’s Innovation Academy Team hosted the city’s first Hoggetowne Hack at the Hippodrome State Theatre on Saturday to promote open government and transparency through the use of its recently launched Open Data Portal. Over 40 local computer science professionals competed in a six-hour app-development challenge, with 14 different ideas pitched to a panel of judges at the end of the day. Hoggetowne Hack also was attended by local citizens interested in the open data movement who offered ideas of how the portal could be expanded to include more datasets of public interest.
All participants got software from Google valued at $2,000 and cash prizes were awarded to the top apps totaling $2,750. The first place prize went to ParkGNV, an app that will help people find free parking in downtown Gainesville. Members of the first place team included, Nick Antonelli, Otis Stamp, Carlos Miguel Perez and Brett Lindenberg. Second place was awarded to SafeCity, an app that promotes safety by helping identify crime-prone areas of the City by sending alerts when users were entering crime “hot-spots” and integrating with social media. The third place prize winner was Cross Platform Xpress, an app that helps identify the correct Gainesville Regional Transit System bus routes by using one’s current GPS location, address or selecting a location on a map.
The talent, creativity and enthusiasm of participants was impressive and embraced by city staff. The inaugural civic hackathon was a positive collision of the technology realm and local government working to transform raw data on the City’s Open Data Portal into useful apps for the benefit of the greater Gainesville community.