As part of the SCIRA (Smart Cities Interoperability Reference Architecture) initiative, OGC and T-REX are pleased to present Hacks and the City: a Smarter Safer Cities Hackathon.

The Hackathon will take place on November 2-4 at the T-Rex innovation center in St. Louis, MO. The goal of Hacks and the City will be to design and implement new application ideas that use a variety of city datasets and data sources to improve public safety, responder awareness, and community resilience.

Those interested in participating are invited to form teams of 3-5 people and put together their ideas for applications that address one of four Smarter Safer City themes, and leverage data provided for St. Louis, MO and Virginia Beach, VA.

The themes are:

  1. Intelligent buildings and first responder awareness:
    • a. Indoor navigation and evacuation
    • b. Building systems and sensors for indoor awareness
    • c. Mobile / wearable sensors and connectivity for first responders
  2. Urban canyons and street sensors
    • a. Coverage of sensors based on smart lampposts
    • b. Analysis and visualization of 3D city models
    • c. Mobile / wearable connectivity and access to sensors
  3. Critical infrastructure resilience and flood response
    • a. Predicted vs. actual inundation, new and old infrastructure vulnerability
    • b. Evacuation planning and routing for storms and floods
    • c. Flood damage dependencies and cascading failures
  4. Neighborhood safety and open / common space engagement
    • a. Neighbor awareness of open / vacant / communal space
    • b. Open space condition, community policing and crime occurrence
    • c. Mobile / wearable sensors and connectivity for patrollers and responders

Participants may also register as individuals and be matched with teams based on their desired roles and theme interests. Suggested team roles include:

  • Backend Developer
  • Frontend Developer
  • Domain Specialist
  • Urban Mechanic
  • Data Wrangler
  • Hardware Hacker

Datasets relevant to one or more of these themes will be provided for participant use either as files or through API’s based on open standards. Many are already available from open data portals such as:

Registration is available on the Hacks and the City Eventbrite page. Information about available datasets, sample application ideas, and assistance with forming development teams will be announced on this page leading up to and upon arrival at T-Rex.

In keeping with the open data, open standards nature of this event, participant teams are expected to make their results openly available on Github with a license (e.g. Apache) that retains their copyright but allows others to join in evaluating and continuing their work.

Event schedule:

  • Friday afternoon: arrive at T-REX and settle in, meet teams
  • Friday evening: icebreakers, team-building activities, put together your team’s proposal
  • Saturday morning: present your proposal briefly for evaluation and feedback by a panel of experienced judges
  • Saturday all day and all night: build your app, with help from mentors and coordinators from OGC, T-Rex, and others.
  • Sunday 11am: submit your completed work.
  • Sunday noon: present and demonstrate your applications to the judges and to the other participants

Meeting space, food and drink, as well as connectivity and other support will be provided by T-Rex. Access to sensors and other dynamic data resources may also be provided.

Cash and other prizes will be awarded to teams in several categories, including

  • Best overall hack
  • Best use of data
  • Best collaboration
  • Best beginner hack

Criteria for prize selection

  • Ambition
  • Innovation
  • Impact
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation

Information on SmartHub wearable sensors for first responders:

Example Projects

Examples of open source projects hosted by DHS to support first responders can be found at Any code from these projects can be used as a starting point for your project. If you want to use any hardware in you project, such as mobile phones, sensors, Raspberry Pi devices, etc., your team will need to bring those along yourselves. We'll be adding sample application ideas to these pages in the coming days, so be sure to check back here periodically as you put together your team and decide what to work on.