Harnessing Local Market Opportunities Through Hackathons
In 2018, WhereIsMyTransport and Facebook for Developers—now part of Meta—worked together to host the 'CONNECT Hackathon Series' in Gauteng, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, and Nairobi, bringing a diverse group of developers and startups together to utilise both organisations’ data offerings to harness local market opportunities.
In each city, Facebook for Developers and WhereIsMyTransport provided a platform to help participants build mobile solutions that combined both the Facebook Places Graph API and WhereIsMyTransport’s Transit Data. Facebook for Developers and WhereIsMyTransport both believe that insightful and valuable services can be built on a foundation of reliable data. Notable entries from our hackathon series brought this belief to life.
In Gauteng, Avospace—a group of freelance software developers—won the competition, building a consumer app that facilitated payments between minibus taxi operators and commuters via blockchain. Second-place JMR Software built a method that used public transport network data to inform commuter risk measurements, helping employees manage their daily commute in an informed manner.
Kampala’s Entambula Yo took home the first prize with a journey planning application that combined our Transit Data with crowdsourced virtual addresses, helping people get around their city or provide delivery services when physical addresses are unavailable or unreliable. Second-place Pakme developed an app to help people find shared parking spaces close to public transport nodes, with the team sharing their code on GitHub for future innovators to access.
In Dar es Salaam, Pied Piper won the competition with a journey planner app designed to encourage use of the city’s new DART bus rapid transit system. Journey plans were also anonymously logged, helping stakeholders understand public transport network demand.
Additional project partners included Mlabs, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport, Outbox Tech Hub, Buni Hub, Palmstore, Liquid Telecom, and TUMI. Collaboration between governments, international organisations, businesses, and nonprofits is critical for tackling the world’s greatest challenges—many of which are intertwined. Meta and WhereIsMyTransport believe in data-based collaboration, which is why, in addition to this hackathon collaboration, both businesses also participate in the Development Data Partnership (DDP)—a global initiative to facilitate the use of third-party data to solve societal challenges.