Time For Another Hackathon! (For A Good Cause)

Want the experience of a Hackathon and the knowledge that you just might help make the world a better place at the same time? You’ll get your chance on October 13-15th. Come on out and help Search & Rescue in Canada!

Here’s the link.

The SARscene 2016 SAR Hackathon to highlight the benefits of collecting data and adopting technology for Search & Rescue. Law enforcement, military, volunteers, provincial, and federal stakeholders will pitch their challenges, while Canadian and international development teams will try and solve them within just 24 hours. 

The SARscene 2016 SAR Hackathon is an opportunity for Software Developers, Programmers, Data Scientists, and User Interface / User Experience (UI/UX) Designers to collaborate closely with SAR Responders and Prevention experts to create the next generation of Search and Rescue software, apps and tools. Whether tactical apps for smart phones and tablets, software for SAR alerting, case management or prevention or even strategic business intelligence tools based on big data, this will be the place to interact and share ideas.


This year’s theme converges on the use of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concepts. The vast majority of responders (volunteers) have smart phones or tablet type devices. The ability to take advantage of this capability can be useful to incident management teams if the apps developed are able to connect seamlessly with the incident management software. 

Event Objective

The objective of this year’s Hackathon sprint focuses on the use of apps to collect and transmit information, clues and missing person information to/from searchers in the field. This can include:

  • Missing/lost person information;
  • Vehicle or vessel information;
  • Clues or evidence found (with GPS position); or
  • Video or pictures (with GPS position);
  • Recording information from witnesses to an incident; or
  • racking witnesses or bystanders around an incident location.

The sprint to build working prototypes will be supported by industry vendors who will provide free access to resources and on-site technical expertise to assist teams. The event has been made possible through the support of local developers group and D4H Technologies who provide Incident Reporting, Live Operations, and Equipment Management software to Alberta.

All code produced at the event will be open-sourced, and made available to all Search & Rescue organizations globally through an international repository of plugins, extensions, and applications built on-top of existing APIs and platforms.


The event will accept approximately 20 to 25 participants including:

  • Developers;
  • UI and UX Designers;
  • Data Scientists;
  • GIS experts; and
  • Subject Matter Experts (SAR stakeholders).

The participants will join teams of around 5 combining various specialities, based on their interest in the challenges but forward, and will each focus on one challenge.

Planned schedule

Doors open at : Thursday Oct 13th, 17:00 You can arrive at any time between 17:00 at 19:00. The room will be accessible for everyone to setup their equipment.

Kickoff : Thursday Oct 13th, 19:00 The hackathon team will explain how everything works, challenges will be pitched and teams will be made.

Work : Thursday Oct 13th, 20:00 (approximately). Teams are expected to start working around 20:00. This time is approximative depending on the actual time the kickoff takes.

Ongoing work.

Free pizza & refreshments: Friday Oct 14th, 20:30. For all participants! Thanks to Esri Canada.

Ongoing work.

End of the programming phase: Saturday Oct 15th, 14:00. Plan to have your working project by that time and pack up most of your equipment.

Break. Maybe time for a nap?

Demos, meet & greet: Saturday Oct 15th, 18:30-21:00. Teams will be welcomed to the evening meet & greet and trade show so they can showcase their work to SARscene attendees.

SARscene attendees will be able to vote on the projects, which will be taken into account to choose to the laureates. The winners will be announced towards the end of the meet & greet.

Leave a Reply