What if the Big One Hits? Hacking Earthquake Resilience

Scientists and coders make the Bay Area safer and more resilient by hacking urban data.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


May 31, 2014 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



In the technology hub of the San Francisco Bay Area, where the threat of a major earthquake is imminent, coping with the Big One means preparation. Luckily, smart cities, the Internet, and urban data offer unprecedented new opportunities to simulate and plan for disasters such a massive quake.

Join data scientists from ETH Zurich FuturICT and UC Berkeley Smart Cities Research Center for a 12-hour hackathon at swissnex San Francisco aimed at facilitating a resilient local response.

Teams will have one day to propose a solution to an immediate post-quake problem, such as reduced mobile and landline communication, limited water or energy supply, or emergency rescue. Infrastructure and environmental data and resources are provided by the Smart Cities Lab.

First prize winners will receive $ 3,000 and will be able to contribute to the FuturICT Planetary Nervous System team, second prize is $ 2,000 and third prize $ 1,000, and all the winners will be offered a chance to present during the netSci2014conference Systems Resilience in the Digital Society satellite on June 3 at UC Berkeley.

We are looking for the most user-friendly, actionable and applicable solutions and ideas.

Our event is part of the National Civic Day of Hacking, together with people in 90 other cities around the US we help to improve our communities and the governments that serve them. We are proud to be on board.


9:00 am

doors open, breakfast provided

9:15 am

introduction by Sophie Lamparter, swissnex and Thomas Maillart, School of Information, UC Berkeley

9:30 am

keynotes by Richard M. Allen Director, Seismological Laboratory, UC Berkeley,  Prof. Dirk Helbing and FuturICT Team, ETH Zurich, and Michael Germeraad, Earthquake & Hazards Specialist Association of Bay Area Governments

10:15 am

data sets presented by Alexei Pozdnoukhov, Asst. Prof. Smart Cities UC Berkeley and Ian Johnson, organizer d3 Meet-up Bay Area

10:30 am

hacking begins, lunch provided

6:30 pm

team presentations

7:30 pm

break, snacks and drinks provided

8:00 pm

jury announcement (Alexei Pozdnukhov, Smart City Research Center UC Berkeley, Thomas Maillart, UC Berkeley School of Information, Ian Johnson, d3 Meet-up, Dirk Helbing, FuturICT ETH Zurich, John A. McKnight, Emergency and Disaster Services, The Salvation Army, Michael Germeraad, Bay Area Governments,Christian Simm, swissnex San Francisco)

Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos