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Pinoy team to compete in global NASA Space Apps Challenge

It’s one small step for local fishermen… and hopefully, one giant leap for Pinoy innovation.

For the first time, a Filipino-made app was selected to join the global NASA Space Apps Challenge. Nominated as a finalist for Global Impact, the team behind the app will compete against 24 other participants, chosen by a panel of judges from 2,729 hackathon teams across 200 locations worldwide.

ISDApp: A successful catch

The brainchild of team iNON (comprised of IT professionals Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda), ISDApp was designed to communicate useful information to fishermen (such as real-time weather updates, sunrise and sunset times, wind speed, and cloud coverage) without the need for an internet connection.


iNON team comprised of
The iNON team is made up of IT professionals Revbrain G. Martin, Marie Jeddah Legaspi, and Julius Czar Torreda

ISDApp uses the NASA GLOBE Observer app, which utilizes information from citizen scientists paired with NASA satellite data. The app sends SMS notifications to fishermen’s phones via the Amazon Web Services gateway. Local government officials may also manage their details via a smartphone app linked to the cloud.

According to NASA scientists and experts, ISDApp is one of the solutions "with the most potential to improve life on Earth or in the universe.”

Hack and slash

Prior to being selected as a global finalist, ISDApp beat out other Pinoy-made apps at the local edition of the challenge, which took place at De La Salle University from October 19 to 21, 2018.

With the theme “Earth and Space,” the 48-hour hackathon involved coders, scientists, developers, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, technologists, thinkers, and entrepreneurs coming together to develop solutions based on NASA resources to address significant issues both within and beyond our planet. It coincided with the International Space Apps Challenge event, hosted by Urban Engine in the US Space and Rocket Center at Huntsville, AL (also known as "The Rocket City").


The hackathon
The hackathon

Other interesting apps at the local hackathon were an emergency checklist kit app for disaster preparedness, games using images from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA Earth, an augmented reality mobile app telling the story of the changes in Arctic and Antarctic ice, and an artificial intelligence app to help scientists confirm the habitability of exoplanets.

Since 2012, the International Space Apps Challenge has been called the world’s largest global hackathon, with innovators across different countries using multidisciplinary perspectives and NASA’s open data to build advanced solutions to today’s pressing problems. — LA, GMA News