Five students from the School of Computing took part in FloodHack on Google Campus in Shoreditch on Sunday 16th February. They joined developers from, among others, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft at the hackathon designed to find solutions to the current flooding affecting the UK.
The organisers stated; ‘Thousands of people have been affected by the floods in the UK. While tech can’t fill sand bags, there’s a lot we can do to support the flood victims by connecting them to information and enabling them to better communicate with the authorities.’ Delegates were given access to flood level data from the Open Data Institute.
The team consisting of Rob Cresswell, John Davidge, Jack Peter Fletcher, Juan Garcia Alvite and Nicholas Panayiotou won a ‘medal of honour’ for their web app UKFloodAlerts. The web app is a local alert system working on IOS and Android, with SMS support for ‘dumb-phones’.
Rob Cresswell said; ‘Our aim is to cover all bases – to allow people to easily select a predefined alert, such as power loss, a burst river bank, flooded roads/paths etc, with those in the local area being instantly alerted by app or SMS. The alerts can also be updated and removed, so people can see when an area is safe to return to. It is also useful for providing aid in the local area – you can see when those nearby are flooded/out of power, etc.’
The team’s prize consists of one year’s part-time membership at TechHub and $2,000 worth of hosting on Google Cloud.