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.
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.
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.
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.