Develop a better world with Hadoop

Sr. Social Media Strategist, IBM

How would you save the world?

How would you save the world? That’s a question we posed to the development community several months ago when we launched our Hadoop4Good Campaign. We called on developers from around the world to use their development skills and Hadoop to create an application that would help solve a social problem. With a $20,000 at stake, we launched the campaign and watched the development community go to work.

The response we received was nothing short of amazing. Our 12 finalists have spent the past several months hammering our code to create some incredible applications. Thursday we brought six of the twelve finalists together for the first of two Google hangouts to talk more about their applications and share their experiences.


Ben Gawlsky introduced us to Oasis: Finding an Available Oasis in a Business Desert, an app that analyzes the City of Chicago’s database of business licenses to study other essential needs, the business types that fill them and to identify any deserts that exist for those businesses.

Nhat Bui’s team wanted to find a way to find food deserts in urban areas, so they created “Los Angeles: Where are the Food Deserts.” Bui told the group he hoped that public officials would use the app to identify areas that are at risk and in need of shopping centers, grocery stores and healthy food options.

Next up on the Hangout, Matt Gillam and Alec McGail introduced the panel to Watching the Flu Spread, an application that uses visualization of the flu displayed on a map of the US showing both historic and forecasted dispersion of flu incidents in the US to gain a better understanding of risk in their area.

Daid Woo from the Brady Bunch (no, not the TV Brady Bunch) joined us to discuss how his team created an app that uses data visualization to help MTA identify how bus bunching occurs, using MTA Bus Time historical data, with the ultimate goal of improving bus wait times in the Big Apple.

Tyler Brown from Food Sherpa gave the audience an overview of his team’s app which uses Boston’s open data portal to provide an overview of grades for all Boston restaurants. Using IBM Bluemix, the app presents the data in a report card format with an A through F scale.

To close out the Hangout, Amit Londhe talked about CitiBike, an app that presents incredible data about Chicago’s biking population including gender distribution of the bike riders, the impact of weather on the trips, busiest stations throughout the year and top destinations.

The big winner

On April 15 we’ll announce our Grand Prize Winner, but there's one final opportunity to chat with our development teams. Join us next Wednesday, April 8 at 12 noon ET for our second Google Hangout, and again on Wednesday, April 15 when we announce the winner of the $20,000 Grand Prize.

So, how would you save the world? What problem would you solve? Get started with IBM Analytics for Hadoop.

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