A lot can happen in 24 hours. At Reno’s first 24-hour hackathon in October, Hack4Reno, a team of five outdoor enthusiasts constructed a fully functioning prototype of GoOutsi.de, a website and application intended to help Reno residents and visitors explore the city’s landscape. Now that the new year has begun, the team—comprised of marketing specialists Dawson Loudon, Rob Gaedtke, Ryan Dyess, Andy Muth and David Lockwood—is focusing on strengthening the usability and infrastructure of the site before releasing it to the public.
Hack4Reno, organized by the Reno Collective and the city of Reno, is an open-code marathon in which participants engage in “hacking for good,” according to Hack4Reno.com. Each team designed a project that will help improve or support the city. The GoOutside.us project took Best in Show, and was, appropriately, created entirely outside.
“We know what can be built in 24 hours,” Gaedtke said. “It’s key, for an event like that, to think of it as a first round.”
The project is the brain child of Loudon, but the other members saw the potential in the idea.
“We took it from a napkin to something a little more formal,” Gaedtke said.
“The vanity domain was cool, but people were having trouble finding it,” said Gaedtke.
The .de URL can still be visited, and features a sign-up link and general information. A mobile version of the website is available to view and a fully functioning app is in the works, given that mobility is integral to the project.
“I’m involved with health-related organizations,” Dyess said. “I know how important it is, for health reasons, to get outside. So we had to really make it mobile so people can take it on the go.”
The city of Reno provided them with data about the parks and community centers in Reno as a starting point.
“It’s a project that requires a lot of data, and the data drives the idea,” Gaedtke said. The developers hope that other cities will follow suit to establish a profile for locations across the country. Each city will get its own web address, such as reno.gooutside.us.
The app will function so that users will be the ones adding new locations. There will be an option to tag a newly discovered place and fill out a profile on it so that others can find it. A social feature will be a part of the finished application where users can create friend lists based on interests like hiking, cycling, rock climbing and more. Essentially, the app encourages a crowdsourced approach to local geotourism.
“We wanted to focus on things that are free,” Loudon said. “We’re not promoting anything that’s paid.
“It’s great for walking downtown and you’re trying to find a trail, or some place that has work out equipment. This city is a playground. It kind of speaks to the little kid in all of us.”