If you’re a hacker and have some free time this weekend, you need to get over to the GTRI Conference Center for Atlanta’s version of the global Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) movement. The two-day event pulls together legions of volunteer software developers and matches them up with disaster management professionals to create software solutions to problems around the world. For example, last June’s RHoK 1.0 event in Washington DC produced Chasm, a software-based algorithm that predicts landslides by better interpreting existing data. One of the event’s main sponsors, The World Bank, is already piloting the solution in the Caribbean to better inform local building strategies.
And speaking of sponsors, the list of companies behind RHoK is impressive. Going back to 2009, a team of employees from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA and The World Bank joined together to ‘hack for humanity’. During the next year, the event has become global, and will happen concurrently in more than 20 cities from Bangalore to Tel Aviv to Chicago to Juarez, Mexico. As the starting point for the hacking, the disaster management pros have delivered a set of problem statements designed to guide the development.
Atlanta’s RHoK event will be held Dec 4 and 5 beginning at 9a at the GTRI Conference Center. You can sign up at the RHoK website, and can even stay overnight to crank with your team if the mojo strikes you. And there are some pretty cool prizes in-play for the winners, including roundtrip airfare for two to anywhere in the US and a Sony PlayStation 3. So why not save the world, and have a crack at great prizes?