Discover SF Hackathon Recap

The original version of this post appeared on the ESRI blog.

Last weekend Esri joined forces with Airbnb, the City of San Francisco’s Mayor’s Office of Innovation, and GAFFTA to put on the Discover SF Hackathon.  This event brought together designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to hack the urban experience by promoting discovery and exploration for residents and tourists alike.


A sneak peak at GeoTriggers

This was also the first public preview of Esri’s new ArcGIS Geotrigger Service!  The API and service connects you with your surroundings so app developers can provide physical context to users.

To help people get up and running, some of lead GeoTrigger developers were on site to hand out special AppIDs, documentation and samples that the teams could use to build a their own trigger-enabled apps.

The Winners

At the end of the event, 12 projects were submitted to the Discover SF Hacker League site.  The projects included some of the most creative and innovative ideas you could imagine.  We even saw an app that coders could use to find other coders based on the location of their commits on GitHub – all in real-time!  How cool is that?

Grand Prize + Most Innovative Use of Esri Technology Award

SFPOPOS – This creative team took the overall win which included co-office space for further development of their ideas, $1000 in AWS (Amazon Web Service) credits, plus the Esri award for $2000 plus $250 in ArcGIS Online credits.  Designers and web developers on the team created a simple but elegant website to explain what POPOS were and to showcase the application.  The developers on the team actually implemented the ArcGIS GeoTriggers API with a real working iOS mobile application.  The application automatically detected when you were within a certain proximity of a POPOS and the trigger would automatically send you a text message notification.  You can learn more about the app here.

The Airbnb Innovation Award

Fraudio Tours – This team took home the Airbnb Award for $500.  Their mobile web application used your geolocation to provide an audio walking tour of the area (like one you would expect in a museum).  The difference was that the information is written and narrated by a comedian.  What an interesting and entertaining way to discover what’s around you!

Esri and Twilio Service Credit Award

Rainbowsomewhere – This team won the Service Credit Award which included $250 of ArcGIS Online credits and $250 Twilio credits.  The web application worked with local weather services to predict the location of rainbows.  The application used your geolocation and an algorithm to calculate the potential locations in 10 minute intervals and displayed the information on a map.

Where did the data come from?

A huge collection of data made available for this event and the majority of teams took advantage of the extensive collection from the City of San Francisco’s DataSF Portal – and the ArcGIS Online organization.  Most of their data was published as either ArcGIS Online maps or feature services, so developers could easily load these into their apps.

 You can find a list of all of the data resources on the Hacker League site.

What about custom datasets and services?

In order to provide a way for participants to publish and access their own data, we also spun up an ArcGIS Online Hackathon Maps and Services organization.  This included a ton of credits that participants could use to upload, host and even analyze their own data.  And it didn’t take long for a number of teams to jump on board and spin up a few of their own custom geo services.  Here is an interesting one that was created to show the location of Art and Cultural Facilities.

In the end…

Overall the hackathon was a huge success.  Not only did it provide an opportunity for the community to demonstrate what apps and tools they thought would be most beneficial to discover the city, but it also gave the City of San Francisco and the participating organizations some great ideas of what they can do to help solve the problem too.  Not to mention, there were some awesome prizes and awards given away!

From all of the Esri folks that were there, we really enjoyed working with all of the teams and organizations involved, and we look forward to seeing you again at the next one!