This post was originally published in the engine room
Desarrollando America Latina [es], a kind of World Cup for hackers in Latin America, took place this weekend in 8 countries in South and Central America. When technologists get in the room with open data and a mandate to address social problems, a lot can happen. Here are some of the winning ideas.
1. Codeando Mexico [es]: Why should hackathons be time bound? Codeando Mexico would be an online space for a hackathon that is always happening. The platform would provide an opportunity for people working on social issues to post ideas for things they would like to do with open data, and create entry points to get technologists involved. This idea is really only 10% about code and 90% about community building, but Mexico would be a great place to pilot the concept. (Mexico)
2. AlertaCiudad [es]: Allows people to find information about where they are in their city taken such as the closest hospital, the owner of a car (based on license plate), the cheapest medical services, the closest fire and police stations. It's 100% made for SMS, and the code (the hacker used Python on a Linux server to create an SMS Gateway) is available now for anyone interested. (Peru)
3. Ciclas Rutas [es]: An application for cyclists to share their favorite routes so that the municipality can then react accordingly by replicating the characteristics that people like so much when it is designing other bicycle routes. (Chile)
4. FondoxDiabetes [es]: Aims to spotlight the problem of sugary beverages and diabetes in Mexico by creating a geo-referenced voting mechanism for people to express their opinion the prospect of a 20% tax [es] on such beverages. (Mexico)
5. Mapa de Asistencia a la Víctima [es] (Victim Assistance Map): Makes it easier for Argentinians to find community centers providing legal aid and other kinds of support for victims of politically motivated false accusations. (Argentina)
6. LimaiO [es]: This is a piece of hardware which collects information about its surrounding environment like air quality and temperature and uses its own internet connection to send this information out to citizens. It might sound simple (which it is) but the creators decided that someone needed to start collecting information about changes in the environment after growing sick of seeing the same traffic light display the words “without data” instead of the information is was put there to display. (Peru)
7. Grandes Problemas, Pequeñas Acciones [es] (Big Problems, Small Actions): Because statistics about pressing, global problems often overwhelm people, this team opted to create a toolkit for people to get together and start small, community initiatives and then see how these community-driven initiatives that are related to pressing global problems like climate change. (Argentina)
8. Seu Lixo [pt]: Visualizes the amount of trash produced daily in Brazil, to show the impact of major cities on the country's garbage production. (Brazil)
9. Friendly Food [es]: A smartphone tool allowing people to do a rapid evaluation of food when they are in the aisles of their local super market so that they can choose what is healthiest. (Chile)
10. InfoAgua [es]: An application for people to learn more about the relationship between population growth and water quality by district. (Mexico)
There were 14 other winners – 3 for each country – and a few runners up, including:
- Seg3 [es] from the Chileans, which makes it easier for people to track their health as they get older and supports activities to avoid physical and mental deterioration.
- Escuadrón Salud [es] from the Costa Rican team, which raises awareness and provides information on public health epidemics and provides advice on how to avoid contracting prevalent diseases.
- EducaYa! [es], an online learning platform for students in Peru which takes existing resources [es] from the Ministry of Education and makes them more user friendly. The only reason we didn’t include the latter in the top ten was because the low internet connectivity in most of Peru makes an online learning platform seem like a stretch.
The winning teams will now have one week to continue developing their ideas before they head to the regionals. Three teams will win this contest, and they will get personalized mentorship from Movistar’s innovation lab [es].