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Hurricane Hackers: Projects
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This page ( is for brainstorming new project i  deas. 

Please keep in mind: Many projects listed on this site are in various stages of development and not ready for general use.

Additional project lists and spreadsheets


Just click

Project Brainstorming:

Ways to directly help people IRL


Sandy Impacts / Maps ideas

More project ideas

Projects in Progress:


Memorial Service

Sandy Coworking


#SandyAid Followup






Sandy power outage tracker

Shirts for Sandy


Project Brainstorming:

What might we make? Add your own idea, or +1 those you like.

Need a simple public landing page for the “sandyservices” that are in progress:

Ways to directly help people IRL


Sandy Impacts / Maps ideas

More project ideas


Projects in Progress:

Please be sure the active projects get listed at 


Code: @miztiq

Design: @peteyMIT @mstem

What is it: A project to help make excess hotel capacity available and affordable to Sandy survivors who need medium term shelter.

More info:

Memorial Service

Code: @b1naryth1ef

What is it: A tool that allows the creation of a crowdsourced memorial to those who lost their lives to Sandy (and in the future, to other events).

What needs to be done: 

Please see more info: 

Spread the word (tweet): Please help #hurricanehackers build a memorial to victims of #Sandy. Contribute names, photos, info about those who've died:

Sandy Coworking

What is it: A list of NYC area offices and coworking locations that are opening their doors to telecommuters.

Team: @noneck

Status: live at 

Needs: people to add/update locations.


Under Review now: + test

Built by: B1naryTh1ef, Wavesound, atdiehm, RobSpectre. Major thanks to Heroku who set us up with hosting/etc!

What is it: A tool to connect people that need things (food, water, a place to stay, help clearing trees, etc.) with people that can help, have things, or time to spare. Its combined with the effort in #SandyAid hashtag to push efforts towards better follow-through in interactions between victims and volunteers

How does it work: The app allows people who are need something, to easily input all the normal information about what they need, and a contact number (which is not displayed publically). On the flip side, people that want to help can search through posted “requests” and find what is near them, and what they can help with. They can then choose to respond to requests, with their own contact information. Moderators sift through requests, and respond to request and can verify both. Once a request and its response is verified, the responding user will get the reqbfbffuesting users contact information, allowing them to meet up.

#SandyAid Followup

What: This project would try to systematize tracking and follow up to aid requests using the #SandyAid hashtag.

People are currently using the hashtag #SandyAid to request non-emergency community assistance. We take these tweets, curate them (finding the actual requests among the RTs and expressions of support),and add them to a DB. Then, we try to be sure there’s followup.

Here is an IRC log dataset of the #sandyaid channel for the last few days:

How: At the most basic: cut and paste the concrete requests from the #SandyAid feed into a spreadsheet. Open it to people taking them on. Constantly sort by urgency, mark when complete.

Subtasks include:

1. monitor #SandyAid tweets (via RSS, link to describe how to pull RSS from tag)

2. filter them to find the real requests (currently manually, with volunteers, in freenode #SandyAid)

3. get them into a tracking system (cut and paste? into a web UI, from the irc channel?)

4. get people to take them on (via the web UI? ‘I’ll work on this one!)

5. mark them when complete (via the web UI)

Potential categories (in potential descending order of urgency):

Note: I don’t think we should encourage people to use in this way. Keep repeating to folks that #SandyAid is for non-urgent/non-emergency requests. Route these kind of urgent requests to other responders w/on the ground capacity. - @schock (We did definitely see tweets on these subjects though so we’ll have to decide how we want to handle them. -- RW) yeah, for sure.

1. Personal danger

2. Missing persons

3. Rescue ← (This would classify as urgent then.)

4. Food/water

5. Shelter

6. Cleanup

7. Donations


Currently all tweets with the tag are being filtered by a bot through the freenode IRC chat #sandyaid. Stop in and help filter relevant tweets by typing “sandybot: {tweetid}” to have the bot retweet it to our Twitter account

Dev status (GH Repository): Mostly done; some bugs still remain and some stuff could be better, but I’m pretty tired. Leaving this to anyone else that can help, submit PR’s on the Github repo if you change code. -@B1n

B1naryTh1ef is taking lead on development (Python, MongoDB), wavesounds is helping, and doing the design. Discussion also of integrating Twilio text messaging into system.

Existing Apps

For issue reporting, there’s a list of apps that support the Open311 GeoReport v2 API standard to enable integration with official CRMs like 311 systems at and a more generic list at - though SeeClickFix (described below) and some other systems can also interconnect with Open311 systems and related CRMs.

I’ve started listed some existing needs matching apps and efforts (ala SandysList) at:


We would like to update this system so that these monitored tweets are filtered for actual requests for help which are then stored in a database or spreadsheet according to time, location, category, and contact info. This data is then accessible by anyone looking to help, who can search this database to find local need and can sign up to assist with a particular request and provide their own contact info.

User story 1: I would like to request assistance with a hurricane-related problem; I will tweet the hashtag #SandyAid with my information.

User story 2: I have {food, an extra room, first-aid knowledge, money, etc.} and would like to share it with hurricane victims. I will search the database to find issues in my area.x2

User story 3: I’m far away but have internet and want to help. I’ll review requests in the DB, pick one to work on, and try to help solve it in whatever way I can. When it’s solved, I’ll mark it complete in the DB.


What is it: A crowdsourced, rich-media timeline of the key events related to hurricane Sandy

Status: live at 

Immediate Needs: help populate the spreadsheet that dynamically updates the timeline with key events, images, videos, audio clips, tweets, maps, and so on. Note, this is not for breaking news, but for confirmed major moments in the evolution of the event. Here’s the spreadsheet:

How it works:

We used This tool, by @knightnews, automatically pulls from a google spreadsheet to populate a beautiful timeline. You can add events, images, videos, maps, and more to this spreadsheet:


What is it: A map that can be used to browse all the storm livestreams.

Status: working demo at

Immediate Needs: add more links to Sandy livestreams, to this spreadsheet:

How it works: We built this reusing @cdetar's code from occupystreamsmap. For background description: | More info+ How to guide:



To add:

Icons for stream types (Ustream,, LiveStream, EarthCam, Generic):

Let me know if more are needed: @physicsRobot

@cdetar: cool, thanks.I added the ustream one; for jtv and livestream we’re currently using live thumbnails of the video streams. (Also for ustreams when we can find the thumbnail -- ustream doesn’t make it as easy).


Streams to be added to the spreadsheet (then delete them, if they’ve been added) 


(See SandysList above for the outcome of this idea)


Feel free to fork; front-end files there right now. We’re discussing implementation.

B1naryTh1ef -- will work on implementation in Python

What: Matching people who have spare rooms, with people who need to crash b/c of flood/storm damage/ect.

How: Build on CouchSurfer / talk to them about that? Build on MeetUp? Pull from Craigslist? VRBO?

User Stories

UI Considerations

Best approach would be simplest, like ‘Need a Room / Have a Room.’ Enter how many people you can host.

Maybe, with a series of ticket boxes like ‘post this to... [ ] couchsurfer [ ] craigslist [ ] VRBO [ ] etc.’ Default is all of them.

Default search (Find a place) would be ‘all sites’

Needs a good mobile interface for sure (especially for people whose net is down)

Questions to think about: how will people find out about it? (If their ‘net is down...)

Who (add your name here if you’re working on this)

@danonseletkovic ( (Zagreb, Croatia) - ideator -- working on UI setup

@schock - helping scope project / user stories / etc

@thatericsmith - built a working version here: - working to make it easier, etc. please let me know if you have any questions, ideas

B1naryTh1ef -- will work on implementation in Python

Preliminary UI screenshots:


Brain Dump (whiteboard)


<collaborators add your name here pgp: 0x54828CAA / twitter: @samthetechie


Based on /

Client Side {JS, HTML, CSS, Leaflet.js}

Server Side {Python,}



People before borders. Tech beyond borders. We need to help.


Note these are both really early repositories on github. I need to get a good few hours hacking on to make them usable. Need to travel home first from the hackspace and then get down to it.



SeeClickFix is a web and mobile platform that allows citizens to report non-emergency issues to their neighbors, and to their local government. It is a crowd-sourced community issue platform.  For the purposed of leveraging SeeClickFix content for a storm-related hack/project, here are the options:


1) Widgets

SeeClickFix has a self-serve widget generator at, which allows anyone to take advantage of SeeClickFix content on their own website.  

There are three types of widgets to choose from:

To create a “storm widget”, you can use the filter by keyword to only include issues reported with the following words: hurricane,storm,sandy,flood,flooding,power,electricity,damage. [Feel free to suggest others].

You can see these storm widgets in action at the following media outlets:

2) RSS

There are a few different RSS feeds, each based off the public “place” url on the  For example, for New York City, the web URL is, so the RSS feeds are as follows:

So always start by searching for your town, city, county, or state in question on the main website.

3) API

Obviously, for maximum flexibility for a custom mashup project, the off-the-shelf widgets and RSS feeds won’t cut it.  Here is the documentation for our full API:

For example, for a list of the most recently reported issues in New York, NY, the call would be one of the following:

To retrieve details of a specific issue (e.g. #244411), the call would be one of the following:


Got ideas for a SeeClickFix hack project?  Overlaying crowd-sourced SeeClickFix reports with ______?


For assistance from SeeClickFix, please contact @zbeat or zack [at] seeclickfix [dot] com. All Sandy-related SeeClickFix widgets can have the ads removed free of charge, if you reach out.

Sandy power outage tracker

This is a spreadsheet to track power outage, state by state:

Shirts for Sandy


Selling T-shirts with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the disaster relief fund

Tech: a static page with a PayPal link collecting orders. Money will be sent out to charity once a sizable sum has been accumulated

^Might want to use Stripe for this, I don’t trust Paypal anymore, especially for charities.

MeshManhattan (note we just came up with the name mesh manhattan because it had a ring to it, it can be deployed anywhere ^_^)










Over  100,000 people in Lower Manhattan are without power, and will likely  not have it back up for a few days. In order to stay informed as the  situation changes, and to keep in touch with loved ones, they will need a  way to communicate with their laptops.




Simple 2 button interface? #feature1

1)[offered] I have power (button name):

Similar Projects- for code stealage :)


Small Linux Servers Needed for Services to run (if threre is no internet backhaul)


Link Dump

uses this mesh routing algo:

IRC Log Excerpt

2:16 AM dantekgeek> do any of you have experience with mesh networks/

2:16 AM <atdiehm> I thought we were hooking #sandyaid tweet logic into it

2:16 AM <samthetechie> yes

2:17 AM <samthetechie> what level of l337 are we talking about with the mesh network convo?

2:17 AM <mbalho> @sandyaid has 18 followers :D

2:17 AM <•schock> dantekgeek: the oti folks do

2:17 AM <•schock> commotion

2:17 AM <•schock> and other mesh tools

2:17 AM <dantekgeek> samthetechie: there has some been some talk about trying to set up some sort of minimal network in lower manhattan

2:17 AM <dantekgeek> even if its just a string going down broadway

2:17 AM <dantekgeek> run by generators

2:17 AM <samthetechie> niiice

2:17 AM <samthetechie> epic

2:17 AM <samthetechie> well

2:18 AM <dantekgeek> very difficult

2:18 AM <samthetechie> IMHO a string of openWRTs would be a good start

2:18 AM <dantekgeek> questionalbly possible

2:18 AM <samthetechie> if we are talking homebrew hacking

2:18 AM <dantekgeek> yeah, thats what we were thinking

2:18 AM <samthetechie> they can run off 12v too

2:18 AM <samthetechie> car batts

2:18 AM <samthetechie> will go for quite a while

2:18 AM <samthetechie> I propose the  group working on that comes up with a candidate firmware, model, system diagram and saved config settings

2:19 AM <samthetechie> then setup a drop centre for people to bring routers to for flashing

2:19 AM <samthetechie> maybe over on atlantic av at the NYCResistor hackspace

2:19 AM <samthetechie> (just off the top of my head)

2:19 AM <samthetechie> :)

2:19 AM <samthetechie> you need to also crowdsource batteries and get some folk to make up cables with croc clips on

2:20 AM <samthetechie> again, more of a hackspace project

2:20 AM <dantekgeek> right

2:20 AM <samthetechie> what about the backhaul?

2:20 AM <dantekgeek> we have a hackspace though

2:20 AM <samthetechie> yes

2:20 AM <samthetechie> NYC resistor, Hackmanhattan

2:20 AM <samthetechie> you name it

2:20 AM <dantekgeek> I'm asking some of the NYC coworking people to come in here

2:20 AM <samthetechie> there are like 5 in NYC

2:20 AM <dantekgeek> yeah

2:20 AM <samthetechie> also #nycresistor

2:20 AM <dantekgeek> I could reach out to phil torrone, if he has connectivity

2:21 AM <samthetechie> and #hackmanhattan


samthetechie: EEEPC netwooks are 12v too

5:09 samthetechie: they make good little debian servers

5:09 samthetechie: and they have a built in UPS

5:09 samthetechie: :p

5:09 samthetechie: battery

5:09 samthetechie: epic

5:09 samthetechie: v.useful at OccupyLondon

- run on SD cards, can easily make prebuilt sdcard images for dd (or just distribute premade sdcards)


The [open/dd-]wrt neighborhood-wide chat/status page network

Intended deployment: suburbs (increased distance between nodes is now an issue, can't knock on every single door in the neighborhood -- not everyone is still at home anyways, some have gone to hotels and so on)