Hackathon - Hacking Somerville Happiness (Initiating the Beta)

  • November 16, 2013 · 10:00 AM
  • IDcubed

How do you improve subjective human well-being?

It's difficult to improve what you can't measure, and difficult to measure something that everyone defines differently.  Join The H(app)athon ProjectIDcubed, and the City of Somerville as we tackle both challenges in a pilot to quantify, visualize, and improve subjective citizen well-being in Somerville.  We're leveraging mobile phone sensor data and IDcubed's Open Mustard Seed platform to create open source applications that empower citizens to:

• Measure, understand, and act to improve their communities' well-being

• Optionally share data with their communities and city governments for greater impact

• Fully control when, how, and with whom their data and identity are shared


What will we be doing?

There are two parallel foci for this event.  Developers in the group will prototype the initial HTML5/JavaScript application with a light Android wrapper to gather sensor data.  At the same time, data visualizers will focus on evaluating our existing data and determining what visualizations would be most interesting to include in the initial prototype.  Efforts from this hackathon will continue during weekly development sessions at Code for Boston and remotely via our github repository.

Our efforts this weekend will form the core of the application we'll start testing with city staff, residents, and interested beta-testers in the following couple weeks.  


Key takeaways from this hackathon:

• A prototype well-being measurement application we can start using to gather and visualize Somerville well-being data.

• The app is open source, so we'll be able to continue using and tweaking it to understand our own well-being, as well as aggregate well-being for our community.

• Technology use: Android, Open Mustard Seed, HTML5, JavaScript, Backbone, CSS, D3.js, Personal Clouds, virtual machines, and more.


Agenda:

Saturday & Sunday 10am - 6pm

The agenda is informal and depends highly on the interests and skills we each bring with us.  We'll self-organize once we all arrive.


Directions:

ID3 (idcubed) map
210 South St., #5-1
Boston, MA 02111

By Car: Though there is parking below the building, it is around $40/hr.  We recommend parking near one of the other red line stops and taking the T to South Station.  One option, MIT's Hayward Lot, is free without a permit during all the Hackathon's hours.

Train (T): Take the red line to South Station.  Walk South on Atlantic Ave to Kneeland St. Turn right (West) and walk one block to South Street.  Turn right, and it's your first door on the right. (map)


Getting in the Building:

Dial 501# on the keypad outside.  Take the elevator to the 5th floor.  Look for the door marked 5-1 (It will also have an ID3 sign).


FAQ:

What should I bring?

Your laptop and yourself.

Is there data to hack on?

We have some example data to design the initial visualizations for beta-testing.We should have "big" data Q1 of 2014.

Do I have to attend Saturday and Sunday?

Nope!  You're welcome to attend any day individually, or even part of a day!

Join or login to comment.

  • Captain Lyre C.

    Hi! I think we're outside the door, but not sure if it's the right one. No one's responding to knocking.

    November 16, 2013

    • Adam L.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      November 17, 2013

  • Tom M.

    Is it really a 30 hour continuous event? It's great that it's Red Line accessible, but didn't think S. Station was actually in Somerville. I'll be at Bocoup Sunday AM and could potentially stop by before or after before crossing the river back to Somerville.

    November 16, 2013

    • Tom M.

      I know the rock gym hosted a hackathon recently. For small-ish groups there are probably some other options as well.

      November 17, 2013

    • Adam L.

      Fantastic idea! A hackathon at a rock gym could make for great coding breaks.

      November 17, 2013

  • whitney erin b.

    Hi there! I'm very interested in this project, but I'm not a programmer at all. Is there a space or role for me at this event? (Thank you!)

    2 · November 14, 2013

    • Adam L.

      Howdy Whitney. Yes! I just read your post from the QS conference. (http://thesocietypage...­) The same questions about the nature of self came to mind both during the conference and while designing some initial app layouts. Your perspective would be amazing for our data visualization efforts. If you're comfortable sorting through data and designing some initial visualizations together on Saturday, the programmers in the group can work on turning them into code on Sunday.

      1 · November 14, 2013

    • whitney erin b.

      hi adam - thank you for your response! unfortunately, i'm just now seeing it…how late will you all be working today? i could come by in a few hours if there'll still be work happening.

      November 16, 2013

  • Adam L.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to call my mobile at[masked]

    November 16, 2013

  • Adam L.

    Getting data vis juices flowing! https://github.com/mbostock/d3/wiki/Gallery

    November 16, 2013

  • Alexander P.

    This is a great project. I am an entrepreneur working on a similar project and am eager to learn and contribute my point of view. -AP

    1 · November 14, 2013

    • Adam L.

      Howdy Alexander. Welcome! I look forward to meeting you.

      November 14, 2013

  • Nicky

    Same question as Whitney...

    1 · November 14, 2013

    • Adam L.

      Hi Nicky. Thanks for writing. That depends on your background. If you're comfortable working with data and visualizations at all, absolutely. If not, the best option would be to beta test the application once it's available and help us see what's working and what isn't. We also have a Wednesday night session where we'll be talking through strategy and motivation via Google Hangout.

      November 14, 2013

    • Nicky

      Great Adam, thank you. Look forward to participating in the beta testing.

      1 · November 14, 2013

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