Philly GiveCamp 3

2013-01-22 - General, Off Topic

Introduction

I spend the last weekend with about 50 other developers, architects, analysts and designers at PhillyGiveCamp. GiveCamp is an event were people with technical backgrounds come together to help charities with their IT projects. Most charities need help setting up or redesigning a website but there are always one or two really innovative ideas in there. This time I was assigned to a project requested by the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger (http://www.hungercoalition.org/). On the team were three developers. We also shared an analyst with another team. The Coalition Against Hunger has a well-designed website already and did not need help with that. Instead they asked for help with their yearly hunger statistics report. That report will be published in about 6 weeks and this time they wanted to include an interactive choroplethic map of Pennsylvania with information about each county.

The Weekend

We started out on Friday evening to figure out how we could use one of the mapping APIs out there to achieve this goal in the short timeframe we had. The deadline was set for Sunday noon, at which point all teams got together to demonstrate their projects. We settled on Leaflet, a JavaScript library for mapping purposes.

With Leaflet we were able to implement most of the functionality on Saturday. On Sunday morning we had just some styling and clean-up work left. The entire solution is using only JavaScript, HTML and CSS and does not require any server side processing. You can see the result here:

It still needs some more CSS cleanup but it already works pretty well. Also, the data for this report is still being collected, so we had to work with randomly generated data. I will publish the link to the final report with the real data here, once it is out.

During the project we kept notes on what we did and how we got there. You can see these notes here: hunger.sqlity.net/bootmap/index.html. The notes also contain the link to the GitHub repository where you can get the source-code.

Summary

This was my third GiveCamp and as always, it was a blast. If there is ever one close by where you live, you should seriously consider to attend.

Categories: General, Off Topic

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