NASA Ames Co-hosts "Random Hacks of Kindness" Developer Community

Press Release From: Ames Research Center
Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2009

image MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - News media and the public are invited to witness the first step in building a global community dedicated to solving disaster relief challenges through technology Thursday, Nov. 12 through Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at the Hacker Dojo, 140 South Whisman Road, Mountain View, Calif.

Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is an initiative to bring together experts and software engineers to identify key challenges and develop solutions. At this RHoK coding competition, or hackathon, programmers will partner with disaster relief experts to tackle critical issues in a limited amount of time. Participants will develop technology to mitigate disaster and crisis challenges. Some of these technologies include customizable aerial imagery tools, using mobile devices to locate missing, displaced or injured people and location-based time-stamped incident reports.

The software created during the competition will be shared, so that it may continue to be developed at subsequent RHoK events and evolve in response to the needs of the disaster relief community.

The first-ever Crisis Camp, an open, user-generated conference with participatory workshop events, was held in Washington June 12-14, 2009, where an industry panel with representatives from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! recognized that crisis management supersedes competitive concerns. Collectively, they agreed to mobilize their developer communities to create interoperable solutions that will have an impact. The partnership grew to include NASA and The World Bank. NASA provides support from the Innovative Partnership Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington and NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., in order to enhance and enable development and reconstruction efforts to share information, access timely data, and collaborate to solve social and environmental challenges.

WHAT: An opportunity to witness the first step in building a global community dedicated to solving disaster relief challenges through technology.

WHEN: 6 p.m. PST, Thursday, Nov. 12 to 5 p.m. PST, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009. An abridged schedule is below (all times PST):

Thursday, Nov. 12
- 6 p.m.: Meet and Greet

Friday, Nov. 13
- 8 a.m.: Doors open
- 9:30 a.m.: Opening announcements
- 9:45 a.m.: Keynote address, Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
- 10:30 a.m.: Break
- 10:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Software discussions

Saturday, Nov. 14
- 2 p.m.: Software team presentations
- 3:30 p.m.: Judges select top solutions
- 4 p.m.: Awards ceremony

WHERE: Hacker Dojo, 140 South Whisman Road, Mountain View, Calif.

WHO: Open source programmers, disaster response experts, judges from NASA, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google and The World Bank.

For information about the Random Hacks of Kindness event and to register, visit:

For more information about NASA and its programs, visit:

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