Archive | June, 2012

Sensor data for Taarifa, completion of feature requests and blue sky thinking at the Rhok in Southampton

5 Jun

The Rhok Southampton, organised by Dirk, Taarifian of the first hour, brought together a bunch of motivated developers to tackle global problems. A set of problems ranging from satellite image recongnition for drought detection to a charity project visualisation javascript library joined Taarifa in their quest for hacking awesome software.

The local government in uganda asked the Taarifa community for a feature which enables them to store reports on their phone when without internet connection for later upload. As the Taarifa platform is using an mobile optimised version of their website for reporting on the go this feature request got implemented using html5’s local storage and offline cache abilities. David, a freelancer traveling to Southampton from Freiburg Germany, happily hacked away on this problem and presented a working solution on time.

While improving the current platform is a priority for Taarifa, the hackathon in Southampton enabled us to engage with fascinating persons and to brainstorm possible new features. Sam, who is working on building affordable smart-phone compatible sensors using Arduino, joined the team for the weekend. Together with Mark and Martin we build a prototype to attach sensor data to a Taarifa report and visualise it on the Taarifa web page. Sensors of this type can be used to gather environmental data about air quality, humidity and possible water quality. Taarifa can act as a platform to collect this data and the technology used could potentially be priced well below 20 pounds per sensor unit. It is up to Taarifa community to collect information of the potential use of these sensor building on the Taarifa platform.

The Taarifa RhokSoton Team Presentation

Final Presentations at RhokSoton

Project description page of the Taarifa work at RhokSoton

Taarifa goes big in the June 2012 Hackathon

1 Jun

It’s happening again…. another big global hackathon, hosted online by Random Hacks of Kindness.  The event is being held in cities all over the world this June 2nd-3rd, and Taarifarians are taking part in a big way!

Leading the pack is Dirk Gorissen who took on the task of organising the UK’s only event this round. Cheers Dirk! Joining him at the University of Southampton are Nico and David – and the more who can join, the merrier! Taarifa’s presence will be global with Mark Iliffe partaking in the Dar es Salaam event.
These guys will share a bit about Taarifa at their events, and aim to recruit some more hackers to help build the latest features.

But they’ll of course be lending their skills and joining forces with others working on a range of featured problems, submitted by Amnesty International, the National Council of La Raza, NASA, Alerted, and more.

Of course, a big Thank You to the sponsors of the Southampton Hackathon and Random Hacks of Kindness: