Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Hackers try to solve LA's data problems in a weekend

by Alex Cohen and Jacob Margolis | Take Two®

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An audience awaits Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti to kick of the Hack for L.A. event at City Hall. Courtesy of Hack for L.A.

This weekend, hackers got together for 48 hours to try and build apps to help Los Angeles and its residents. Programmers and designers met up for what's known as a hackathon. This particular one was designed to digest raw data put out by the city of L.A.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a big proponent of greater transparency within the city. He announced an open data initiative back in December of 2013 with the idea that different departments could post raw data about their goings-on, online. The hope has been that, armed with raw data on things like parking tickets and city spending, citizens would feel empowered to build apps that utilize that data and ultimately help them feel more connected.

The hackathons have been used to promote the digestion of raw data into useful things.

This weekend, a group of high schoolers won by designing an app called Shelter Connect, which is supposed to connect homeless shelters with restaurants and volunteers that want to work with them.

Check out a full list of the projects here.

The event was put on by Hack for LA, which was co-founded by Catherine Geanuracos, who joins Alex Cohen to talk about the competition.

Oh, and if this sounds familiar, we covered the last hackathon a few months ago. 

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