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Random Hacks of Kindness

rhokWe are started, and Craig Fugate, the Administrator of FEMA, just gave his keynote. Sitting 3 miles away from NASA Ames Research Center at the Hacker Dojo, we are creating a community of developers for the emergency response community. This meeting is bringing technologists and developers together with subject matter experts to understand each other – learn what technology already exists, and which ones need to get created. After Administrator Fugate, we have a dozen 5-minute lightening talks, both from technologists and subject matter experts. On organizing the event, asked people to come up with problem statements – or featured hacks – and have seven of them defined on the wall (including one submitted by the Department of State). After lightening talks, we will open up into a hack-a-thon as well as have rooms available for barcamp-style discussions. We’re going all night, and teams submit their programs by 1pm tomorrow, present them to the community, and a panel of judges will give out awards to the best hacks created at the event.

In June 2009, the first ever Crisis Camp barcamp was held in Washington, DC. During one of the opening sessions an industry panel including representatives from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! agreed that some matters supersede competitive concerns. As a result Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! agreed to cooperate in order to mobilize developer communities to create interoperable solutions/code that will have real impact in the field. It took the World Bank to make this partnership happen and it quickly grew to include NASA.


Since its inception, NASA has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to tackle massively complex and ambitious goals to forward the human endeavor. As a result of its decades long development of technology in robotics, intelligent systems, satellites, human spaceflight and data analysis, visualization and modeling, NASA has a powerful and intelligent network of scientists and engineers.

NASA has 15 spacecraft currently orbiting the Earth monitoring the dynamic Earth environment. With approximately ~4TB of new Earth Science data available each day, NASA’s scientists and engineers are at the forefront of understanding our global system. This data, together with 40 years of archived data, is a global resource for the development and reconstruction community. NASA is supporting Random Hacks (RHoK) to create a developer community to enhance and enable development and reconstruction efforts to share information, have access to timely data, and to collaborate publicly to solve some of the toughest social and environmental challenges today.

Hacking for Humanity

This is the first of a series of Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) events. The aim is to build a global community of developers and subject matter experts to work on distater relief, and potentially grow to development and reconstruction issues.

This post is cross-posted with OpenNASA.

Posted in openNASA.

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