TreeHacks 2021 was the seventh iteration of Stanford University’s premier hackathon. The theme this year was hacking for the future: addressing deeply impactful problems and building creative, unique solutions. There were five global and technological challenges: healthcare, education, civic engagement, sustainability, and social interaction. However, there wasn’t a strict guideline for what the hackers should work on. Hackers were encouraged to build anything that suited them. The hackathon team helped with “hack-packs”: resources like potential project ideas, data sets, APIs, and toolkits, to help the teams get started. Projects could include hardware and software.
TreeHacks applications were open to any enrolled college student (undergrad or grad) from all over the world. While current Stanford students were guaranteed admission, non-Stanford students applied and were able to attend only if invited. This year’s event was held virtually on the Ohyay platform and saw 2,000 registrations with 224 project submissions. Projects were submitted on Devpost.
Esri managed the event with a team of five, including Amy Niessen, Jim Barry, Armando Santana, Lingtao Xie, and John Foster. Jim led off the Esri engagement with a workshop that was held at 8 PM on Friday night in the hope to attract the hackers to ArcGIS before they started implementing their projects. We then utilized dedicated Slack channels and the Ohyay platform to engage with the hackers with questions, code sharing, problem solving, and ideation with ArcGIS.
TreeHacks is one of the best hackathons attended to by some of the most capable college students. It was an honor to participate, represent Esri, and see firsthand how our developer technology can impact builders and innovators to integrate location services into their projects.
Some notable projects from this year’s hackathon:
311 WhatsMyStatus Track, visualize, and perform analysis on city-wide 311 call data for Montreal. They used the Python API to load CSV call data and Web AppBuilder to visualize and analyze their data on an interactive map (dashboard).
Wonderly An immersive augmented reality platform to interact with the world’s greatest minds to learn from them anytime, anywhere, for everyone. They used the ArcGIS Runtime SDK for iOS with the AR Toolkit tabletop display to visualize maps in 3D to select personalities to interact with based on time and location.
Canary Bird observation and recording device (based on IoT raspberry-pi) built into a birdhouse recording event attributes into a feature service and visualizing and performing analysis on a web-based map using Web AppBuilder.
Blockfund A community engagement app to help communities vote on local project fund allocation and prioritization using blockchain and location. The project utilized ArcGIS REST API, web maps, and an ArcGIS StoryMap to visualize the geographic data they collected.
See all 14 projects in the project gallery on the Devpost project gallery.