A Home for Windsor's Tech Community


Hackforge to Lead Local Crowdsourced Cycling App

February 7, 2022

by Lauren Hedges in C3 Tech

On Tuesday, February 8th at 12pm Windsor Hackforge is hosting a virtual event to announce the launch of a new initiative in partnership with The City of Windsor Bicycle Committee, The County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS), and Parallel 42 Systems. Titled C3Tech (short for “City-County Cycling Technology”), this project aims to leverage open source software to create digital tools that will make navigating Windsor and Essex County by bike safer, easier, and more fulfilling.

Through community engagement, including townhall forums and hackathons, cyclists and developers will have the opportunity to contribute ideas, data and code to the initiative. Hackforge events are learning, networking, and community building opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels. 

“The mandate of the Windsor Bicycling Committee is to enhance the safety and viability of bicycling in the City of Windsor. To that end, I was proud as Chair that we supported an initiative to make cycling more accessible to people in our community,” says Windsor Bicycling Committee Chair and Ward 9 Councillor Kieran McKenzie. “Working together with these partners and other stakeholders as well as the public will help us to create a tool that will put more riders on the streets and help us as a region to realize all of the social, environmental, economic and public health benefits that active transportation can create.”

“CWATS is excited to partner with the Windsor Bicycling Committee in creating a regional cycling app. We want to make it as easy as possible for cyclists to navigate the connections between the active transportation routes in Essex County, Windsor and Chatham-Kent,” said Diana Radulescu, active transportation coordinator for the County of Essex.

A strong proponent of the local tech ecosystem, “Parallel 42 Systems is glad to contribute resources and expertise to an initiative supporting active transportation in our region,” says Parallel 42 Systems lead consultant Doug Sartori. “Hackforge’s approach to the project will leverage the strength of the tech community and demonstrate the value of open data and open source software.”

Cyclists can contribute their thoughts and ideas through a short survey and anyone interested can join the Hackforge Discord to connect with organizers, mentors, and developers. Project information and event listings will be updated regularly on the Hackforge website.

Interested parties can use this link to join the launch event on Zoom without pre-registering.

 

About Parallel 42 Systems: Parallel 42 Systems is a partnership of software practitioners that provides consulting and software development services to companies large and small. 

About CWATS: The County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) is a 400km+ network of active transportation facilities (including multi-use trails, paved shoulders, bike lanes, and more) connecting all seven municipalities within Essex County. Construction over the next 20 years will see the network expand to over 1000 km.

About The City of Windsor Bicycle Committee: The Windsor Bicycling Committee (WBC) is comprised of 10 members, including one City Councillor, who strive to enhance the safety and viability of bicycling in the City of Windsor.


February 2022 at Hackforge

February 2, 2022

by Lauren Hedges in C3 Tech, Events

Hackforge Virtual Watch Party: I Am Legend
Friday, February 4th @ 8PM  Discord

In this month’s post-apocalyptic thriller, follow Will Smith as he plays scientist Robert Neville, the last surviving human in New York.

Join our discord server and download Teleparty to take part. Please note that all participants are required to have their own streaming subscription service.

 

C3 Tech: Official Launch
Tuesday, February 8th @ 12pm Join

Hackforge has partnered with The City of Windsor Bicycle Committee, County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS), and Parallel 42 Systems to start the C3Tech initiative.

 

The ‘C3’ in C3Tech stands for “City-County Cycling,” and outlines the main goal of this endeavour – to create technical solutions that will make navigating Windsor and Essex County by bike safer, easier, and more fulfilling.

 

Join us on Tuesday, February 8th at 12pm to learn more about how we will be bringing the regions cycling and tech communities together – no advance registration required!

 

The Digital Twin of Windsor & Detroit: An Unreal Engine Project

Friday, February 11th @ 6pm Meetup | Facebook | Linkedin | Register

The digital twin project of Windsor & Detroit is an initiative to build an advanced urban planning tool that is accessible to the community. Spearheaded by Geopogo Cities, this project looks to create a powerful public tool that combines the 3D digital twin of the city, civic data layers, and SimCity-like features. Ultimately, the goal is to empower the public by providing a platform through which they can visualize their ideas for what Windsor can become.

The current iteration was created through partnerships with students from St. Clair College in Windsor and UCBerkeley in California. Now, the developers are inviting YOU to become part of this unique and ambitious project.

Tune in on Friday, February 11 at 6pm EST to learn more about the Digital Twin of Windsor and Detroit, and how you can get involved.

 

Border City Data: Making Data Maps with QGIS
Tuesday, February 15th @ 6pm Meetup | Facebook | Linkedin | RegisterIn this session Doug Sartori will provide a newbie-friendly introduction to building effective maps with open-source application QGIS. Available on most platforms, this app allows users to view, edit, and analyze geodata.

Join our free, one-hour event where Doug will show attendees how to source base layer data and combine it with spreadsheet data to create map-based data visualizations.

 

Repair the World
Monday, February 28th @ 6pm Meetup | Facebook | Linkedin | Register

Technology has a role to play in the climate crisis, and it’s up to creators to decide exactly what that role will be. Will tech contribute to the warming faced by our planet, or will we use it to hold corporations – and ourselves – accountable? Could tech reverse the damage that has already been done?

To get us thinking more about how tech and climate change intersect, we’ve invited Mark Bartlett from The Climate Reality Project Canada in to discuss climate science, including what we’re currently experiencing and where we’re headed.

Following Mark’s presentation we will have an open discussion on what we can do as a group to positively influence the climate crisis.


How to Join an Online Watch Party

January 6, 2022

by Lauren Hedges in Events

On the first Friday of every month, Hackforge organizes a movie screening that allows members the chance to watch a movie together – from home.

We use our movie-screening-specific channel on the Official Hackforge Discord to share the streaming link and for mid-movie chatting, and the Teleparty browser extension to sync everyone’s Netflix playback. Please remember that all attendees require their own Netflix subscription to participate!

 


January 2022 at Hackforge

January 4, 2022

by Lauren Hedges in Events

Hackforge Virtual Watch Party: I Am Mother
Friday, January 7th @ 8PM  Discord

Experience a post-apocalyptic world where the human race relies on the repopulation efforts of sentient robots for survival in this month’s Online Watch Party. 2019’s I Am Mother is an R-rated dramatic sci-fi thriller starring Rose Byrne and Hillary Swank, with a runtime of 1 hour 53 minutes. Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, and meet us on Discord at 8pm to watch along!

Join our discord server and download Teleparty to take part. Please note that all participants are required to have their own streaming subscription service.

 

Border City Data: Intro to OpenStreetMap
Tuesday, January 18th @ 6pm Meetup | Facebook | Linkedin | Register

OpenStreetMap (or OSM) is like Wikipedia, but for geographical information.

All of the geodata stored by OSM is generated and maintained by the public, resulting in a database that covers more than just vehicular roadways. This is particularly useful for Hackforge’s newest endeavour, Cycle Windsor, which aims to improve the quality and quantity of cycling-related geodata available for the city.

In this free one-hour event, host Doug Sartori will be introducing the basics of contributing to OSM, and outlining ways existing data can be used in different applications.

 

Border City JavaScript: Intro to CyclOSM
Monday, January 31st @ 6pm Meetup | Facebook | Linkedin | Register

Building upon the Border City Data talk on OpenStreetMaps, this event continues the conversation around crowd-sourced geodata.

CyclOSM is an opensource OSM layer that displays geodata most relevant to cyclists – including bike paths and lanes, locations of bicycle repair stations, and information on road surface quality (as well as much, much more).

In this free, one-hour talk, host Chris Burford (Tech Manager of Cycle Windsor) will introduce attendees to the backend of this system, including the Hackforge-specific fork that will be used to build out Windsor’s very own cycling-specific map.

Join us to learn more about CyclOSM and the Cycle Windsor initiative!


December 2021 at Hackforge

November 29, 2021

by Lauren Hedges in Events

Hackforge Virtual Watch Party: The Social Network
Friday, December 3rd @ 8PM  Discord

After a fantastic inaugural event, our monthly online movie screening is back! Join our discord server and download Teleparty to take part. Please note that all participants are required to have their own streaming subscription service.

 
In this month’s screening, Jesse Isenberg plays a lizardman with goals of world domination. With help from  his favourite 90’s pop star, he battles Spiderman in court for the right to be the main invader of your privacy. All of this is set to an award-winning soundscape provided by Nine Inch Nails. 2010’s The Social Network will remind you that Facebook (or Meta), has been swimming in scandal since its inception.

 

Border City Data: Python Basics – Exploratory Data Analysis
Thursday, December 16th @ 6:30 PM Facebook | Meetup | Linkedin | Register

Python programming language just celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. Trusted by internet giants like Instagram and Spotify to support their backend, the high demand for Python application developers demonstrates that it’s a leader amongst the most popular programming languages.

Using this easy-to-learn high level language, we’ll discuss the fastest way to get started with Python using a Jupyter Notebook. And we’ll explore ways to use Python data analytics libraries such as Pandas and Matplotlib to transform and visualize Windsor election results and traffic data by creating repeatable workflows.

Hosted by Ken Hudak


Do you have a topic or project you would like to present at a Hackforge meetup? Is there a subject you would love to see us cover? Reach out to Lauren@parallel42systems.com!

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