Harrisburg team wins Pennsylvania’s first ‘hackathon’


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The winners of the first-ever commonwealth data hackathon have created a website that uses crash data to help the motorists avoid potential accidents in the future., according to the Pennsylvania Office of Administration.

A press release says that nearly 200 people participated in the Code4PA hackathon, which kicked-off on September 29 in Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

The site, www.knowPA.com, can advise users of potentially unsafe driving conditions near their homes for up to 7 days based on historical crash data, inclement weather and other information. The site also includes location-based data on water quality, air quality, contagious diseases, and jobs and training. Public safety agencies can also use the site to proactively deploy resources and address issues that may contribute to crashes.

The winning team is made up of Harrisburg-area employees of TE Connectivity: Muthu Sabarethinam, Arun Thirunavukkarasu, Kathir Ramalingam, Reshma Keerthi, Vijay Kumar Ravi, Vivek Lakhani and Yao Yu.

The Code4PA hackathon challenged technology professionals, designers, entrepreneurs, students and other “civic hackers” to develop prototypes and apps to enhance citizens services, increase transparency and drive innovation.

The teams leveraged datasets from the open data portal, https://data.pa.gov/, including vehicle crashes, radon, restaurant inspections, historic locations and public health, for use in their projects. Today, they pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, who evaluated them based on criteria such as impact and utility, quality and innovative nature, use of datasets and use of technology, as well as the team pitch.

The winning team will receive special recognition, including a meet and greet with Governor Wolf, networking with commonwealth executives and publicity through press and social media.

In addition to the grand prize winner, special prizes were awarded for innovation, best team, best use of dataset/API, best use case, best use of geospatial technology and best prototype or app design.

The next Code4PA hackathon, planned for the fall of 2018, will concentrate on the opioid crisis and how data can help be used to help save lives from addiction.

Code4PA is hosted in partnership with Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Code for Philly, Technology Council of Central PA and industry sponsors.Get breaking news, weather, and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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