URBAN-X hackathon winners #makeyourcity

In the last few years, many US cities have begun putting their open city data online for citizens, companies and scientists to examine, use and learn from. Data from arrests, parking, noise and countless other sources have become available for normal people to look and download for their own analysis. This mountain of data serves as the information needed to improve and understand the complex mechanisms of the modern wired smart city.

URBAN-X hosted a Techcrunch Disrupt New York Hackathon on May 7th and 8th at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Redhook. Although we love hardware and maker spaces, we chose a software only hackathon that would have hackers accessing New York City’s open data as part of the requirements. We wanted people to see what cleaver ways that hackers can use the data they find. The rules were simple, no required SDK, no required API and the hackers can even choose whatever framework or platform they want to demonstrate their hack. In fact, they were not limited to NYC Open data but could use any open public data from anywhere in the world as long as it was not proprietary.

After a grueling 24 hours, we had our winners and here they are!


First Place

Helping Hand club


Urban-X has inspired us to think about our community. We’re often asked for money by New York’s neediest while we stumble across those too exhausted to beg who we’d like to reach out and help. With TheHelpingHand.Club we want to leverage technology and information to create a tool that enables New Yorkers to give those in need something more valuable than cash, access to life changing, maybe life saving resources. We aim to build an ever growing Club of people making their home a stronger, healthier place for all of its citizens

What it does:

TheHelpingHand.Club is a platform that empowers people to make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers at their nadir. When a “Club Member” comes across someone requesting money or a person she’d like to help, the app provides a list of nearby resources she can direct the person to (e.g. soup kitchen, shelter, hospital). If it appears the person is in no condition to make it there on his own, she can even gift him an Uber ride to the destination with a simple click.


Second Place



33,000 Americans die in motor vehicle accidents every year. These accidents are the leading cause of death for people under 25.

What it does:

Bumperz aims to make cutting edge accident and prevention and collision avoidance technology available to all drivers starting with those who spend the most time on the road. It warns drivers when they’re approaching an area with a historically higher than average accident rate. It also warns fatigued drivers when changing lanes and will employ proximity detection in a future version to warn drivers when they’re too close to a vehicle or obstacle in front of them.


Third Place



There are 10 million visually-impaired citizens in the United States, or 1 out of 30 every American suffers from certain degree of visual impairment: glaucoma infection, macular degeneration, cataract, photophobia, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa or even fully blindness. In New York City itself, there are 800, 000 New Yorkers who suffer from visual impairment. The situation is worse for citizens of a busy, bustling urban city because of the busy roads, frequent construction sites, damaged roads, urban pedestrian flow and this group is often forgotten in urban planning.

What it does:

EchoLoco helps the visually impaired to move around better in a urban city. Nearly a million of them faces difficulties moving in a hustling city like New York. EchoLoco wants to help them move around better. A city is only sustainable and livable if we leave no-one behind. EchoLoco creates connected audio maps with real time cues for the visually impaired to live smarter, safer and stronger in urban cities. Using _ Esri _ map routing services, _ Urban-X_ government data feed, _ IBM Watson Speech-to-Text_, IBM Bluemix and Harmen’s ambience awareness technology headphones, we can achieve that.


Honorable Mention



Inform people about their public spaces in NYC. We looked at many different datasets in NYC OpenData and realized there was a potential for so many different correlations. Instead of trying to make sense of everything, we decided to approach the data in different perspectives. We chose to get inside of a rat’s mind.

What it does:

TrashyRatClub helps single rats in NYC find a mate. Rats can find the filthiest social events according to food waste, promise of dirty water and potential rat rendezvous. They start by choosing which borough they would like to mingle in. Then, they are presented with a map showing events along with a score, which they can then drill down to get details on the specific matrix TrashyRatClub uses. Additionally, they can also see how many other filthiest friends are going.


Congratulations to our winners and to all those who discovered that the net is vast and infinite with new open city data coming online every minute. #makeyourcity