Meet our 2012 winning apps!

We’re about to send out details of the final demo and prize ceremony for September 27th where our wonderful teams will show of their finished or working projects and we can celebrate these awesome collaborations. We’ll post links and videos of the apps after this event, but for now these are the winning apps from the hackathon along with what they each receive upon launch/MVP.

Grand prize plus Community Engagement Bonus: OpenBudget ($1500+ Socrata support package)

A web app for visualizing and interacting with city budgets.

Second prize:  ($1000)

A website that helps diners find restaurants that have positive health inspection reports and avoid places with poor health conditions.


Code Reuse and Neighborland Bonus: Early Alameda ($750)

A website and app that allows families to find services for their young children and infants.


Educational and Neighborland Bonus: Hack Rack ($750)

A web resource to help developers connect to projects

Public Data: Edible Fruit (500) 

EdibleFruit is a web app designed to help locate neighborhood fruit trees using public records to help residents to identify public trees that can be harvested freely in season.


Multiple ChannelsTopcop ($250)

A multi platform app to allow residents to rate their interactions with police officerss

Meet our Judging Panel!

Our judges for the 2012 hackathon are now finalized:

Dan Turner: UCB Information Managment School
Alfonso Dominguez: Popuphood creator
Kiran Jain: City of Oakland Attorney’s Office
Libby Schaaf: Oakland City Council Member
Jason Young: Mindblown Lans and lead on the Hidden Genius project

Teams at this hackathon will be building native mobile apps, mobile web apps, or other mobile services that will be either fully or partially functional…

Teams should be able to show enough to demonstrate their full vision, and how they intend to implement it technologically. Incomplete parts of projects may be represented by wireframes or other plan documents.

The goal of this hackathon is to create or begin development of new resources and tools that:

  • Improve civic engagement
  • Improve digital education and literacy
  • Support, sustain and help to attract small businesses in Oakland
  • Support economic development in Oakland

Apps or tools that hit on at least one of these areas will receive bonus points!

How can we support the winning apps?

As part of our prize package for the winning app on the day, we are offering not only a $1,000 cash prize but an amazing support package to help the team complete the app, develop a business plan, marketing strategy and to help prepare the product for a full launch! We feel this is a great way to help ensure that the great ideas and efforts can really have a strong, lasting impact and hopefully spawn a new start-up truly Made In Oakland!

Socrata will help you transform your application into the foundation for an effective and successful company. If applicable, your application could be featured on our website, in our newsletters and in future webinars. We’ll also be providing valuable consultative opportunities with three key members of the Socrata team:

 Business Strategy

Opportunity to get real-world civic startup coaching from Kevin Merritt, Socrata’s Founder & CEO. Coaching will include feedback on business strategy, building a team and bootstrapping and financing your civic venture.

Total time with Kevin: 2 hours


Opportunity to meet with Saf Rabah, Socrata’s VP of Marketing and receive real-world coaching on go-to-market strategy. Coaching will include identifying market segments, creating a messaging platform, and executing a campaign strategy.

Total time with Saf: 4 hours

Product Development

Meet with Socrata’s Director of Product Development and Developer Evangelist, Chris Metcalf, to review all technical aspects of your application. Chris will discuss ideas for optimizing and building upon your application, and help you establish a product roadmap.

Total time with Chris: 2 hours

Sign up now! Limited ticket sales available on Saturday for $20

New Data available from Alameda County

Alameda County has released it’s new OpenData platform in beta version in advance for our CodeforOakland hackathon on the 21st!


This is the first time a county in California has published an OpenData catalog- since San Francisco pioneered this idea! It provides a number of selected datasets that hopefully are of interest to our hackathon attendees!

This initial release is a preview essentially, layout changes and more data are on the way. It’s a Socrata based platform- one of our event sponsors! In addition to a cash prize for our winning app team, Socrata are offering a great package of business support to help bring the winning app all the way to market!

The most interesting new data being released from my perspective are the:

We’re looking forward to what local developers, analyst and researchers can start to create and learn with this new wealth of data! There will be more juicy data released by urban Strategies Council and hopefully the City of Oakland for the event also!


Building Our Civic Web- Hackathon on July 21!

Come out for the 2nd annual Code for Oakland: Building Our Civic Web;  a month-long series of focused discussions and events that culminate in a one-day hackathon at the Henry J Kaiser Center!
Join Oakland’s community of civically engaged developers, coders, designers, entrepreneurs and innovators as we re-imagine ways in which collaboration and technology can help shape, grow, and sustain the healthy future of our City.
The focus of this year’s hackathon is on: building apps, hacking public data and building tools to support economic development in Oakland, improve civic engagement, improve digital education and literacy in our residents and provide tools to attract and sustain local business in the town.
Do you have ideas about how technology could help address these issues, but don’t consider yourself a techie? Come to one of these upcoming listening sessions to share your ideas, brainstorm community needs and help shape what is built at the hackathon. We want to hear from small business owners, community activists, teachers, city staff, nonprofit leaders and people from across the city- your ideas may just spark a great new app or tool to make positive change in our city!
On July 21, the second annual Code For Oakland event is happening at the Kaiser center.
Code for Oakland brings together members of the technology/software development community
with other Oaklanders for a “hackathon,” where ideas and/or apps (software applications)
will be discussed and developed.


To prepare for this event we are holding 4 community listening sessions where community members
technical and non-technical alike, can get together and discuss community needs and ideas for apps,
and or other techie projects which might be interesting to focus on during the event.
Code for Oakland is about having fun through building apps that our community needs and wants.
So get your ideas heard and come to one of the listening sessions held over the next six weeks.

Not technical ? Doesn’t matter, we want to hear from you. Don’t have time ?
Don’t worry you can post your ideas here  or at one of the locations below,
just look for our poster and stick your idea on it.

West Oakland Library –June 26th 5:30 – 6:30

Mosswood Recreation Center – July 11th 5:30 -6:30

Downtown Library – July 12th 5:30 – 7:30

81st Avenue Library – July 17th 5:30-6:30

Come win prize money for your ideas!

What will happen at the event?

This will be a day of talking, brainstorming, planning and hacking. We will:

Show and share the great apps built last year, and to discuss how we can sustain and scale their use in our city

Build connections between potential collaborators who want to build useful apps for local people and need to fill out their team/skills

Encourage the exchange of experiences, expertise and ideas between those involved in leading open government data initiatives around the East Bay and nearby.

Build & Hack new apps, tools and solutions driven by real needs and problems in our city

Celebrate we’ll end the event with a happy hour at a nearby watering hole to network, share and relax.

Engage On Sunday we will have some team events to get even more involved- stay tuned as we develop some ultra geeky but ultra fun events for everyone! Hint- Max Ogden and Matt Senate are conspiring…

Sustain We will be providing a light breakfast, plenty of caffiene and a great lunch and plenty of snacks.

** If you really would like to participate but can’t part with $15 please contact us, we’ll get you taken care of. We want you there!

Can I propose a new app or need?

Yes, we will be holding city and community listening sessions ahead of the event to solicit ideas and to uncover pain points in local government that we can build solutions for. There will be a pitch session early in the day to get ideas from everyone attending. These sessions will be listed here soon!

Get connected early: #CodeforOakland

Who’s behind the event?

Code for Oakland: A one day hackathon was conceived of and is being organized by a committee of Oakland-based business, city staff, developers and community based organizations. Those groups planning the event include

  • The City of Oakland
  • Oakland Local
  • Code for America
  • Lake Merritt / Downtown Business Association
  • Tech Liminal
  • Urban Strategies Council
  • more organizations are joining each month!

Ideas for Oakland, by Oaklanders

Here at Urban Strategies Council we’re lucky to work with a wide range of partner organizations throughout the city and county in government agencies, community based organizations, resident groups, organizing groups and faith based communities.  We’ve been asking folks for ideas and issues that are important to them that may be overcome, aided or improved through the use of great technology-based tools, especially mobile apps for use by those without fancy (and expensive) smartphones. The following ideas for apps or tools came from a variety of people working to improve our city for the residents of our city, take a minute to read over these to see if they are of interest to you as a developer seeking great ideas or to see if someone else is possibly thinking about the same issues you are. We’ll be forming teams on Saturday to work on some of these ideas hopefully! Or just get inspired by these and bring your own creative approach and possible killer app for Oakland!


  1. Text based service to find the nearest location of low-cost money transfer services (example of data to support this from TIGRA)
  2. Text based service to find locations of nearest VITA tax assistance site (United Way provides addresses of locations each tax season) - this is a national program too - think scalable!
  3. Service to find locations of places with free food and/or to enroll in food stamps (prototype was developed at the SF Apps 4 Good event - )
  4. Mobile service to find places to use non-food EBT for low-cost withdrawals.
  5. Mobile app to identify locations with a variety of social services (try our new API for social service providers if you’re interested in this one! at

Whatever ideas inspire or intrigue you there are certain to be some other folks interested in working on a team this Saturday so don’t miss the first Oaktown Hackathon!

If you want more or you’re serious about competing for the FCC prize pool of $100,000 then check out the ideas, concepts and progress over at Apps4Good. If someone else is building your dream app then perhaps you adapt and work on something else, or you get ultra-competitive and try to out-do them!

Good luck, happy coding and see yall Saturday!