Last week I was with three colleges of Prodevelop and other 20 hackers at the 15th Anticorruption Conference in Brasilia. We participated in a four days hackathon working in groups to create web or mobile applications about transparency and corruption.
How we end up on that event? Well Alberto read the call at a mailing list and we signed up without too much confidence, but 6 days before the event we got an email, 2 days before the flight tickets were arranged and 1 day before we got the accommodation information. Yes that was crazy. In fact everyone said we were crazy but well, why not?
Anyway, we arrived and met some incredibly interesting people, many of them working on transparency and corruption fight. They presented their projects, ideas or needs and we set up 8 or 10 groups to collaborate. Most of people were developers but others were designers, lawyers and well, you know, a cartographer.
After four days of coding, some partying, an unknown number of beers and table football plays and not too much sleeping we presented our projects to a jury that decided a prize winner to further development of their idea. Yeah, there was a prize and most of us didn’t know about it after two days or so of working.
I worked with Alberto and Dani on the idea of see how a 3D globe visualization could work to visualize the brand new Open Bank Project API (more info at our project slides). This API is aimed to give information to any organization that wants to offer their bank activity. We thought that a 3D visualization could be powerful and well, we think we were quite successful according to the number of questions and comments. Simon, the API developer was there and he thought that expressing the bank activity as a concatenation of sounds could be also expressive and at the end we saw some bank accounts singing!! Thus at the end we had to pretty different “visualizations” of their new API.
Our fourth prodeveloper, Carlos, worked with Juan and Gustavo to produce a new layer that tracks the relation between deforestation and cattle ranching at Amazonas region. They designed a new layer for Infoamazonia portal using TileMill and Mapbox and with the help of a fellow, it was deployed and ready to be published.
We spend a week learning of amazing people, some of them working really hard to make our world better so for me it was a great experience and I was not so surprised to see how well geospatial technologies fit on this field and how we, the geospatial professionals, can help these people to develop interesting applications. I hope we will have more opportunities to work with them in the future.
And because being grateful is a good thing, I want to thank Transparency International for giving us the opportunity to be at Brasilia and do all this stuff, thanks!!
Update: Just for the records, I’ll add also a nice video created by Alberto with more photos of our week at Brasilia