Portland API Hack Day Recap

Portland API Hack Day's colorful donutsLast week, among the caffeine-laden ruins of OSCON 2011, a number of geeks came together in a not-so-secret meeting at Urban Airship called API Hack Day. Powered by coffee, colorful donuts, tacos, coffee, pizza, and other tasty beverages, a number of champions rose from the ashes to demonstrate their prowess and creativity with some of the best APIs in the land.

Three stood above the rest.

This is their story.

The second runner up was “Visual Resume” from Tantek Çelik and Erin Jo Richey. It combined LinkedIn data with a Gantt-chart like visualization layer to create this:

Visual Resume

As a project management guy, the Gantt charts makes quite a bit of sense and has visual appeal. During their presentation, they described their eventual desire to tie together information from Lanyrd, etc. to link the displayed milestones to events and presentation slides. I’m looking forward to the next version already.

Lookzi DataAs the first runner up, we have Jami Dwyer with Lookzi. She uses geolocation data from the browser to retrieve local information from a variety of open API’s. While the UI is still embryonic, the possibilities are endless. If you’re looking to find information on your neighborhood right now, this is the place to find it.

On the Twilio front, she’s already begun evaluating Twilio Client to enable click-to-call functionality directly from the site. Soon you’ll be able to find out what’s happening right now and contact them instantly. It’s a great start for a 6-8 hour effort.

The grand prize winner was Planrrr, which has nothing to do with pirates, but if you have ever had to organize an event, this is the site for you. Bennan Novak and Oscar Godson conceived of a tool that they could use to reach out to all of their guests with their own technology of choice. No more “Oh, I forgot you don’t use Facebook” or “Didn’t you get my voice mail?” You simply create an event, add your guest list, and then it sends an SMS, an email, a Facebook message, or a variety of other things they’re working on. I could use this one, well, today!

Planrrr Signup Page

If you’re jealous that you missed this Hack Day, stay tuned for Austin API Hack Day.

Special thanks to Deyln Simmons and Neil Mansilla of Mashery, Shanley Kane of Apigee, Tim Falls and Brandon West of SendGrid, Andrew Mager of SimpleGEO, Maciej Skierkowski of PHPFog, Kirsten Jones of LinkedIn, Rick Nixon of the City of Portland, and our host Barb Stark of Urban Airship for planning and executing a great event. It was great working with all of them.

For some alternative coverage, check out the O’Reilly Radar post by Andy Oram or Programmable Web post by Adam DuVander. In addition, if you want to see the rest of the applications, Programmable Web is hosting a PDX API Hack Day gallery.