On 28 and 29 August 2014, Nicole Ronald participated in a NICTA-hosted infrastructure hackathon organised as part of the Australia 3.0 initiative. From our point of view, the main aims of participating were to understand more about how hackathons work and how we can encourage spatial and transport students to get involved, as well as having the opportunity to present some of our research to a different audience.
— Code for Australia (@CodeforAus) August 29, 2014
Nicole took the opportunity to work with the newly released Uber API, which permits real-time access to Uber data, and to test out a visualisation of launchpads, based on Michael Rigby’s PhD research. While Michael’s research focuses on ridesharing, where privacy is a major issue, Nicole identified convenience (shorter travel times, cheaper trips) and health (a door-to-door travel culture leads to less walking) as potential reasons why spatial flexibility is useful in the context of single-passenger taxis. As a one-person team, this provided a self-contained project that produced some early results: the diagram below showed that, when starting at the train station, walking a short distance could lead to being picked up quicker and a quicker ride. We intend to turn the static mockups into a live demo in the near future.
The winning team consisted of PhD students from our research partners in Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne and a Monash student co-supervised by Mark Wallace, an iMoD investigator. They will be mentored to further develop their product and also received two return flights to Silicon Valley.
For more information about the hackathon, please visit infrahack.org.