Hacking Big Data and Open Data in San Diego #Hack4SD

Dates: Oct 3-4, 2015 (1st Round)
Oct 10,  2015 (2nd Round)
Location: Peterson Gym (Rm 153)
San Diego State University
Cost: FREE
Contact: Prof. Amy Schmitz Weiss
Github: Github


Thank you so much for your great participations of the final round presentations, after a long judge deliberation, the judge panel has announced our winners of the 2015 Big Data Hackathon.


1st Prize

DevPost Github


2nd Prize

DevPost Github


3rd Prize

DevPost Github

The Proposal Award:

The Honorable Mentions:


The Honorable Mentions

DevPost Github


The Honorable Mentions

DevPost Github

2015 Hackathon Themes

The hackathon will focus on three themes:

Water Drought and Conservation

Disaster Response and Assistance

Crime Monitor and Prevention


          This Hackathon is FREE! Bring your ingenuity, creativity, imagination, a laptop and a charger! Anyone is welcome to participate. Students, engineers, developers, programmers, journalists, scientists, public officials, and community members are just a few people who may find this Big Data event of interest. Food and beverages will be provided as courtesy of our sponsors!

Become a sponsor!


Lots of free and open San Diego datasets!


We've compiled a list of resources, APIs, libraries, and ideas just for you.

1. Prezi 2. Emaze
3. Google Slides 4. Libre Office
5. Google Docs
1. Amazon EC2 2. Github pages
3. Github 4. Dropbox
5. Heroku
Fire Sharing
1. Dropbox 2. Box
3. Google Drive 4. Amazon S3
5. FireZilla
Cloud Data Stores
1. Firebase 2. Parse
3. Backendless 4. Amazon S3
5. Amazon EC2
Project Management
1. Github 2. Trello
3. ASANA 4. Slack
Text Editors
1. Sublime Text 2. Atom
3. Notepad++ 4. TextWrangler

2015 Agenda





08:30 – 09:00 am

Registration, Check-In  (Prepare Snacks, drinks)


09:00 – 09:30 am

Registration, Introductions, Hackathon Rules

Prof. Amy Schmitz Weiss and Prof.  Ming Tsou (SDSU)

09:30 – 09:45 am

Open Data and Open Government in City of San Diego

Andrell Bower
(City of San Diego)

09:45 – 10:00 am

Water Conservation Speaker

Stephen Heverly
(Equinox Center)

10:00 – 10:15 am

Disaster Responses Speaker-OES

Robert Barreras
(San Diego County’s Office of Emergency Service)

10:15 – 10:30 am

Disaster Responses Speaker-Red Cross

Laura Millan (Horner)
(American Red Cross)

10:30 – 10:45 am

Coffee and Snacks Break


10:45 – 11:00 am

Crime Monitoring/Mapping Speaker

Eric Busboom
(San Diego Regional Data Library)

11:00 – 11:20 am

inewsource presentation on storytelling with these datasets

Joe Yerardi and Lorie Hearn

11:20 – 12:00 pm

Team formation and group ideas


12:00 – 12:10 pm

Introduction to the new Big Data Science Course at SDSU

Prof. Ming Tsou

12:10 – 12:25 pm

Technosylva (Modelling wildfires)

Joaquin Ramirez

12:25 – 01:30 pm

Lunch time and teams discuss group ideas


01:30 – 01:45 pm

HDMA Apps Demo (SMART dashboard and GeoViewer)

Dr. Calvin Jung and Ming Tsou

01:45 – 02:00 pm

ESRI ArcGIS Online Introduction

Jim Barry

02:00 – 02:15 pm

Cal(IT)2 Group Presentation

Jessica Block

02:15 – 04:00 pm

Team work time


03:00 – 03:20 pm

Coffee and Snacks Break


04:00 – 05:00 pm

Pitch the ideas to mentors and get feedbacks
(open for each team).


05:00 - 07:00pm

Dinner time


05:00 – 09:50 pm

Team work time and online proposal submission continue.

Participants must leave the classroom by 9:50pm.






09:00 – 10:00 am

Team work time, mentor advising, and online proposal submission continue.


10:00 – 10:20 am

Introduction to Open San Diego and Civil Coding

Xavier Leonard
(Open San Diego)

10:20 – 10:30 am

Coffee and Snacks Break


10:30 am

Proposal Submission Deadline (PPT or PDF files)


10:30 – 11:50 am

Project Proposal presentation (3 minutes for each team).


11:50 – 12:00 pm

Introduction to the new Big Data Science Course at SDSU

Prof. Ming Tsou

12:00 – 01:00 pm

Lunch time and judge deliberations


01:00 – 01:30 pm

Announcement of the most innovative ideas and the strongest teamwork proposal.  All team submitted proposals will go to the second round competition.

Judge Panel

01:30 – 02:00 pm

Additional Technical Tutorial Workshops (if needed).

Participants must leave the classroom by 2pm.






09:00 am

Teams prepare for presentations

09:30 – 11:00 am

Team presentations (6 minutes for each team: 2 mins for ideas and 4 mins for demo).

Judge Panel

11:00 – 11:20 am

Coffee and Snacks Break (Judging deliberations)

11:20 – 12:00 pm

Award Announcement and Ceremony

Judge Panel, Amy, and Ming


Joe Yerardi (Data Guru/Journalist at inewsource.org)

Data Analysis

Joe Yerardi is an investigative reporter and data specialist at inewsource, combining traditional reporting techniques with data analysis to produce investigative stories. Prior to joining inewsource, Yerardi was the data editor at the San Antonio Express-News. While in San Antonio, he wrote data-driven stories of local and regional interest, assisted reporters in utilizing data in daily and enterprise coverage and produced data visualizations for the newspaper’s print and online products. Joe holds bachelor’s degrees from New York University and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Learn Community

Rails / Javascript

Members from Learn will be on hand to provide Rails and Javascript advice/guidance during the Hackathon. Learn is a 4 month Rails and Javascript Bootcamp. It's a full-stack immersion course where students spend three months full-time, in person, learning HTML/CSS/Javascript/Ruby/Ruby on Rails. The final part of the course is a one month internship with a local startup, where students can apply their developer skills in a real world work environment.

Andrell Bower (City of San Diego)

Open Data Program Coordinator

Andrell Bower is the City of San Diego's Open Data Program Coordinator. The open data effort will make city data available online using open standards and lead to data analysis projects and visualizations that will give context to city data. Before joining the city, Andrell was a data, research and information graphics reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune. While there, she covered topics such as elections, water use, the local economy, and crime. Andrell earned a bachelor's degree and is completing a Master's degree from the University of Missouri.

Jim Barry (ESRI)

Manager, Developer Evangelism--ArcGIS Platform

Jim is a developer community advocate with Esri. He develops custom desktop and web applications on the ArcGIS platform and has been working with GIS apps, maps, tools, and data for over 20 years. If you¹d like to use Esri technology in the solutions you build during the hackathon, Jim will be around and can help you.

Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou (Geography, SDSU)


Dr. Ming-Hsiang (Ming) Tsou is a Professor in the Department of Geography, San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Director of Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA). His research interests are in Human Dynamics, Social Media, Big Data, Visualization, Internet Mapping, Web GIS, and Mobile GIS. http://map.sdsu.edu/tsou/

Carrie O'Connell (Journalism and Media Studies)


Teaching courses that range from Mass Media Writing to Contemporary Journalism. She has also taught courses that focus on network theory, visual communication, and media principles for various colleges in Southern California for the past nine years.

Laura Horner (American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties)

Manager, Regional Planner – Readiness & Situational Awareness Program

Laura Millan (Horner) has worked at the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties for nearly 4 years, serving first as the Manager of Disaster Operations Technology and now the Regional Planner for the Disaster Services Department. In addition to managing Planning and Situational Awareness volunteers, Laura ensures the day to day readiness of the region’s state-of-the-art Disaster Operations Center. Prior to the American Red Cross, Laura worked as a GIS Specialist at the Orange County Fire Authority and earned her Master of Science in Geographic Information Systems from the University of Redlands.

Cristiano Giovando (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team)

Technical Project Manager

Cristiano is a GIS and geodata specialist with 10+ years of international experience, strong advocate of open data and interoperability. At HOT he is leading the development of Open Aerial Map (OAM), an open source repository of aerial and satellite imagery. OAM will support humanitarian organizations that use aerial imagery for making and updating maps.


Amy Schmitz Weiss Associate Professor,
Journalism and Media Studies, SDSU

Atsushi Nara Assistant Professor,
Geography, SDSU

Chin-Te (Calvin) Jung Chief Data Scientist,
Human Dynamics Center, SDSU

Eric Bushboom San Diego Regional Data Library

Roger Whitney Professor,
Computer Science, SDSU

Xavier Leonard Open San Diego

Zoiner Tejada

Judge Criteria

  • Quality of the idea
  • Innovativeness / Creativeness
  • Practicality / Readiness
  • Technical Difficulty
  • Quality of the presentation


Please click on each logo to see more details about our sponsors!



  • The Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA)
  • The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center
  • The Center for Climate and Sustainability Studies (C2S2)
  • SDSU Student Associations (RSO)
  • The Society of Statisticians and Actuaries: Katy Torres and Jonathan Navarrete
  • Geography Graduate Student Association (GGSA): Emanuel Story
  • Supporting Women in Geography (SWIG): Lydia Wood
  • ACM student chapter: Isha Gautam and Sherman Marshall
  • The Student Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

SDSU Coordinators


  • Eric Busboom: Executive Director of San Diego Regional Data Library
  • Xavier Leonard and Jerry Hall: Open San Diego
  • Jeff Johnson: OpenGeo
  • Maksim Pecherskiy: Chief Data Officer at the City of San Diego
  • David Lindsay: County of San Diego
  • Robert Barreras: Emergency Services Coordinator for the County of San Diego Office of Emergency Services

Additional SDSU Faculty Collaborators

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