National Day of Civic Hacking in Columbus Georgia

05 Jun 2013

This past weekend I participated in the National Day of Civic Hacking. It was a time for the programmers across the US to help out our cities and communities by building new and innovative apps. I was lucky enough to work with two of my friends on this project: Geoffrey Shoultz and Fred Johnson.

National Day of Civic Hacking

Our app was called “Where’s the bus?” As the name would imply, it’s a service that lets you find out when the bus is arriving at your bus stop. It does a few other things too like telling you all the times for a stop and setting up reminders. We created the whole app using Google Script and Twilio for our texting service. Try it yourself. Text 0603 to 706-225-2970 and you’ll get the time for the Miller Road/Moon Road stop.

One of our goals was to make it accessible to anyone – no smart phone required. We decided on using Twilio as our text messaging service. We also used Google Script because we all knew Javascript and we wouldn’t have to get slowed down by deployment issues.

We built the whole thing in 24 hours. Check out our presentation. And here’s our code on google script or github.

Text 0603 to the the next arrival time for this bus stop

Text 10603 to get a list of all times for this stop

Text 20603 to setup a reminder

Each bus stop would have a sign like this.  These signs were also automatically generated by our program.