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article imageLos Angeles hosts a two-day hackathon inside City Hall Special

By Matt Terndrup     Jun 2, 2014 in Technology
Los Angeles - Mayor Eric Garcetti has just released a treasure trove of online city data. Programmers of all ages are now able to access all the information helping them create whatever type of application they want.
It was approximately 72.0 °F on a Saturday morning when over 2,000 people showed up to City Hall for Hack for LA. Vendors, programmers, designers, journalists, and volunteers all made their way into the 453ft tall building finding themselves on the 3rd floor. Tables were already lined up against the walls as local companies waited to showcase their work.
Among the businesses that were there included the talented group of entertainment engineers at Two Bit Circus. Across from them was Luz Rivas with DIY Girls. Down the hall, and through the rotunda, was where the LA Cleantech Incubator booth was.
Hundreds of people packed into City Hall listening to conversations of technology  politics  and fut...
Hundreds of people packed into City Hall listening to conversations of technology, politics, and future innovations. Photo taken in one of the many rooms inside (@ 'Hack for La')
Every hour or so, lightning keynote speeches and panelists presentations were given. Topics ranged from “The Los Angeles Autonomous Vehicle Future” to “Alternate Realities, Narratives, and Games in the City.”
As the morning of the first day rolled on, entrepreneurs of many types floated around exchanging contact info and gathering phone numbers. Google Glass developers, including Ops Associate Arthur Shtern, allowed people to try on their new headsets. William Correa and Aaron Duran gave out unique pop-up business cards displaying their upcoming mobile music development workshop. A recent highschool grad by the name of Zach Latta, who founded HackEDU, recruited other students organizing a team of young programmers.
Many members of press were at the hackathon. Here an interview in Spanish takes place by Univision 3...
Many members of press were at the hackathon. Here an interview in Spanish takes place by Univision 34.
Photographers and journalists were present as well. Emily Reyes, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, interviewed a few people. Univision 34 KMEX showed up with cameras ready to capture the activity at the event. Brandon Scott Barney and Brittney Gallagher, with Digital Culture, also talked to vendors and developers taking notes whenever possible. A blogger for HackerTrips was there and even the The Daily News had a guy going around taking pictures. Not to mention, all the individuals who were posting on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #HackforLA & #TechLa, caused streams of tweets and pics to flood the various social networks during the weekend.
Coding and exercise went hand-in-hand during the hackathon. Photo is of Dion Jackson (shown on the r...
Coding and exercise went hand-in-hand during the hackathon. Photo is of Dion Jackson (shown on the right) who was getting students ready for a day of coding.
In between the crowd was a group of volunteers that helped run the event. Digital strategist Catherine Geanuracos and Director of STEM Lilly Kam were two of the most active. Mike Manalo, an Information Architect, ran around the whole building making sure everyone was doing well while Sunny Z made announcements here and there.
On the 10th floor, coders of all ages gathered. One room held middle-schoolers who warmed up by doing exercises led by Dion Jackson, a fitness instructor and Let's Move representative.
The next door over was the Esri room where college students developed innovative applications and websites. Will Crick, Justin Colville, and Kurt Daradics assisted with API integration throughout the day.
Mentors provided hands-on training to developers when needed. Here WIll Crick collaborates with Mich...
Mentors provided hands-on training to developers when needed. Here WIll Crick collaborates with Michael DeHart for a water waste notification app that uses the Esri platform
The hackathon teams coded for 24 hours before uploading their projects onto the Suprmasv website. Ideas ranged from a water waste reporting app to a pollution tracking device to a free and open-source platform that connects homeless shelters with restaurants and volunteer organizations.
After submitting their code to Github, the teams then moved to another city building where presentations were made. Judges included LA's Chief Information Officer Peter Marx, Code for America's Director of Community Organizing Catherine Bracy, and many more.
Each group had 3 minutes to talk and then 1 minute for questions from the judges. A few hours later, deliberations were made and the top teams were chosen. Prizes and awards were given out at Pitfire Pizza around free beer, salad, and pizza.
The winners were as follows:
Top Prizes
1st - Shelter Connect - Zach Latta, Ankur Jain, Julian Poyourow & Mateo Abascal
2nd - LA Water Waste - Michael DeHart
3rd - Call a Coach
ESRI prizes
1st - LA Water Waste
2nd - Muralfi
3rd - LA Linguistic
Cornerstone OnDemand Jobs and Economy prize
VA Assist
SAS Public Safety Prize
Secure LA
SAS Public Opinion Prize
Listen2LA
i.am.angel Trans4m prize
Help the Homeless
Mashery prizes
Know Thy Law
Go View
1st prize winners hold up the Hack for LA sign. People shown (from left to right) are Julian Poyouro...
1st prize winners hold up the Hack for LA sign. People shown (from left to right) are Julian Poyourow, Zach Latta, Ankur Jain & Mateo Abascal
For additional information about 'Hack for LA', be sure to visit their website here. Also, check out i.am.angel foundation to learn more about their impact on the local Los Angeles tech community.
More about Los angeles, city of los angeles, open data, hack for la, Hackathon
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