Hacker Dojo

The Hacker Dojo in Mountain View, Calif., is a community of hackers who have come together to work on projects, collaborate, and share expertise in technology and entrepreneurship.

The Dojo, which opened in July, offers classes and a place to share ideas. From Friday through Saturday, the Dojo hosted the Random Hacks of Kindness event, which brought together thinkers and coders, as well as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, NASA, and the World Bank to try to solve real-world problems related to disaster relief.

Photo by: James Martin/CNET


The Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response, or VIPER, is a project in conjunction with the state of Virginia.

VIPER, which was developed with information gathered from a variety of official and unofficial sources, displays mapped information and provides real-time context from services like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr.

Photo by: James Martin/CNET


The impetus for Random Hacks of Kindness came last spring at the first-ever Crisis Camp in Washington, D.C., which focused on the challenges that NGOs, governments, and first responders face during disasters.

Reaching out to founding partners Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, a hackathon for humanity, was born. Emma Phillips, of the World Bank, says there are plans to replicate the event.

Friday morning featured a keynote from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Photo by: James Martin/CNET
Getting together following a day of group brainstorming solutions, groups broke down into smaller units to code their ideas.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET

Julie Hsieh

Hacker Dojo member Julie Hsieh works on a project on Saturday afternoon.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET

There are numerous challenges related to the integration of information and resources from a wide range of sources, including NGOs, governments, and local people.

These coders hope that the first step to better disaster preparedness starts a better exchange of information using tech tools already available today.

Photo by: James Martin/CNET
After the speakers discussed some of their current work, the group broke down into smaller sessions to work on ideas and solutions.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
With the Random Hacks of Kindness events, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo hope to seed a community of developers that will create new technologies and use existing ones that can be used by disaster relief workers.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET

Matt Franz

Matt Franz of Google works before the start of the Friday afternoon sessions, which brought together attendees to potential tech-related solutions in emergencies like earthquakes and floods.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET
Developers from NASA Ames Research Center and other organizations, as well as independent coders, came together for the two-day Random Hacks of Kindness event at the Hacker Dojo space in Mountain View, Calif.
Photo by: James Martin/CNET


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