Web-based eco app wins top plum as PH stages longest hackathon

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A Web-based application that promotes awareness, tracks reforestation sites, and helps sustain local communities through eco-tourism bested 41 other entries at the first ?Hack the Climate: Manila? held from June 6 to 8.

The winning team is flanked by the judges and the organizers, including Princeton students Jacob Scheer, Michael Lachanski and SmartDevNet?s Paul Pajo and Marica Uchida
The winning team is flanked by the judges and the organizers, including Princeton students Jacob Scheer, Michael Lachanski and SmartDevNet?s Paul Pajo and Marica Uchida

The 56-hour hackathon, or coding marathon, was the longest hackathon ever mounted globally. It was organized by two Princeton University students, Jacob Scheer and Michael Lachanski with a grant from Davis Projects for Peace through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.

It was supported by Smart Communication, through the Smart Developer Network, and the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.

Team Instigators won the grand prize for its app, Tanaw, a Web-based application which has geo-locator features and heightens environmental awareness by tracking reforestation sites.

At the same time, it hopes to bolster economic activity in local communities via tourism by promoting various destinations in the country. The team is composed of young developers Dominic Tuazon, Mic Gutierrez and Louis Michael Concepcion.

Runner-up was Team Superuser with Agila, a cloud-based cross-platform solution that helps track the user?s energy usage and carbon footprint and how much one is contributing to climate change.

The app links up communities that have the same advocacies for the environment. Comprising the team are developers Ivan Dominic Baguio, Joniel Ibasco and Kix Panganiban.

?Many of the applications developed during the hackathon showed promise for commercial deployment. The output also showed the relatively high level of awareness of the young developers on climate change, and how they have creatively integrated this into the apps that they have developed. It is apptivism, or use of apps development for social good, at its best,? said Ramon R. Isberto, head of public affairs at Smart.

Through the hackathon, Web and mobile applications were developed to help address the pressing global problem on climate change. Majority of the participants are students from the College of Saint Benilde. Other universities also fielded their representatives.

There were also special awards, including the People?s Choice Award, which went to Team Sprout for ?Sprout? (a game application for kids that show how their simple daily acts can help save the planet), and runner-up Team Vito Crews for ?Way to Go? (a Web-based waste management application that allows the community to segregate trash better in exchange for profits).

The NGO?s Choice Award went to Team Public Energy No. 1 for ?Public Energy No. 1? (a platform that empowers ordinary people to monitor carbon footprint in exchange for cash, and promotes the use of alternative fuels).

Runners-up were Team 4 Leaf Clover for ?Agents of C.H.A.N.G.E.? and Team Be Aware for ?Awareness?. Both teams presented apps that promote awareness on the impact of climate change.

Microsoft Philippines also gave BizSpark development tools to teams Animus (Earth Savers), Climate Saver (Helios), and Sprout (Sprout), and Windows phones to teams Idea92 (Response), Animus (Earth Savers), and Superuser.

Meanwhile Team Maligaya was the only team that was able to successfully develop an application using Chikka?s short messaging application programming interface (SMS API), a platform that allows developers and third parties to avail of a suite of mobile carrier services using SMS technology.

The team?s Sagip Pilipinas provides real-time satellite-based information on the weather; encourage Filipinos to take part in the campaign to save the country?s natural resources; and use of interactive media to heighten environmental awareness.

Non-government organizations, venture capitalists, and other companies have engaged many of the teams for possible collaboration.

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