The Anchorage Economic and Development Corporation and the Municipality of Anchorage’s first citywide hackathon proved a success with more than a dozen coders participating in the weekend-long event and producing two apps that will be developed. The goal was to bring programmers from across the city together to create applications from government data and web tools that offer solutions to improve the community.
Four projects were presented to the judges with two of them generating interest from government entities to further develop the applications. The winning project was a mobile public transportation application that uses the Municipality’s bus data combined with Google maps to provide residents with real time mapping of bus routes and stops. Developed by a team that included Nigel Kibodeaux, Brendan Babb, Dan Feltey, Wesley Stevens and Noel Klein, the bus route map caught the attention of the Municipal Department of Transportation, which is considering developing it further for its People Mover.
The runner up created an application titled Job Thingy, a career ladder tool that uses Alaska Department of Labor employment data and research to help people make decisions about potential careers. The application compares statistics for a variety of careers including median wage and employment numbers and allows users to see job openings in those fields. Users can also browse through related jobs by showing other careers people have advanced to after working in a particular field.
“It’s exciting to see so much enthusiasm generated from Alaska’s first hackathon,” said AEDC’s Business and Economic Development Director Jon Bittner. “Anchorage has a lot of talent and opportunity and I believe future events will (result in) similar results.”
AEDC is a private, non-profit organization developed in 1987 to encourage growth and to diversify the Anchorage economy. The organization has more than 200 investors, which represent all industries in Anchorage and Alaska.