I had the pleasure of attending the Boston Hack Day challenge in 2011. I came without any ideas of my own. Instead, I was looking to help a team that was working on something cool and genuinely good for society. I was not disappointed.
AccessiblePlaces.in is a crowd sourced website that helps people with disabilities discover places that are accessible to them and anonymously share their experiences with other people. It is optimized to be quick and easy to use on both a mobile phone and on a computer.
AccessiblePlaces.in was conceived and launched during a 48-hour hack-day in Boston sponsored by the Boston Globe and Boston.com. The team consisted of Anthony Deaver, Sam Bisbee, and myself. In total, 32 teams competed. At the end of the weekend the project was fully working and it was awarded “Best Geo-Location Hack.” It only came extremely close to being the audience choice award (only a couple votes off).
The site was built using jQuery Mobile for the interface. On the back-end, PHP and CouchDB were used. It was built from the ground up to have an easy to use RESTful API and stores data that is compatible with the Open Civic Data standard.
The project later went on to be a finalist for a 2011 MITX Innovation Award in the “Doing Good” category. Although my direct involvement with the project was limited to the Hack Day, I am happy to have helped with such a worthy project.