IDEO Fortnight

fortnight

I didn’t end up applying but I do wish there were more things like IDEO Fortnight. I feel like a lot of designers would be into short, intensive design residencies to stretch and grow their skills. I’ll be keeping an eye out for next year’s incarnation and any similar programs in the mean time.

Fishackathon

When I heard about the opportunity to spend the night in the National Aquarium working to solve sustainable fisheries challenges I jumped at the chance.

fishackathon2

The inaugural Fishackathon was held across the country at 5 different venues with all teams working problems posed by fish sustainability experts from around the world.

Our team decided to work on a problem posed by USAID and ECOFISH for sustainable fisheries in the Philippines:

Our field enumerators need to be able to collect more accurate data more quickly and more efficiently to be able to monitor more gear landings and cover more ground.

Currently the enumerators (data collectors) travel between landing sites recording catch data on paper, asking fishermen to estimate where various catches were made.

Since we were told the US State Department is planning on providing mobile devices to data collectors in the region we created an Android app to enable them to more easily record data in the field.

fishackathon

Built with PhoneGap and deployed as a native app, the collector can be used with or without an internet connection. Recording data in a digital form means it can be relayed to a central service more easily. The form itself is designed to speed up the data entry process and enhance data with more accurate location data and optional photos of the catch (to identify fish and fear type).

We had a lot of fun creating the app and although we didn't move on to the final stages of the competition we were glad to have contributed something to managing sustainable fisheries. Learn more about what we made on Github.

2014 National Civic Day of Hacking

Over the weekend I participated in Hack for Change Baltimore as a part of this year’s National Civic Day of Hacking.

I went in with a few ideas including tackling Code for America’s Digital Front Door Challenge but ended up working with the talented Anand Thakker on something completely different.

ndoch

Building off of Anand’s initial prototype, we created a free-form exploration tool for BNIA’s neighborhood data. The small multiples allow users to browse the neighborhood indicators by geography.

Since the event, Anand and I have continued to enhance the tool with histograms showing the distribution of values across the map and scatter plots comparing any two data sets. You can also select individual neighborhoods and track them across visualizations.

We're still in the process of building the tool, adding and taking away features, so if you have any ideas for it don't hesitate to get in touch or fork the project on Github.


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