As originally researched by Angela Woodall of the Oakland Tribune, people receiving state and Federal food assistance were having trouble finding EBT-accepting stores that sold good, healthy, fresh food. Though there is a Federal web page that lists EBT-compliant stores, all it offers the user is a name and address; many of these are liquor stores, service station marts, etc., and users were forced to a process of trial and error to find one good store with fair prices. And if they locate one, they have no way to share that information publicly.

In the course of one weekend hackathon, my team created SNAPMapper, a responsive mobile web app (Pew Internet indicated most of our users would have web-enabled smart phones) that allowed users to locate, rate, and comment on food stores that accept EBT, allowing real people to call out food deserts, poor service, and unfair pricing, while rewarding good service at a fair price.

Team members scraped the (open) Federal database and entered cleaned data into out own server. I created the interface with jQuery Mobile, Google Maps API, the AC Transit API for route mapping, and various libraries for star ratings and reviews.

Second Prize, Alameda County Civic Hackathon 2013


This mobile app grew out of research on how people ignore the ballooning costs of credit cards. With CreditCalx, users can see how much each purchase they make will really cost over time, given their credit card’s interest rate and their payment schedule. What’s more, it shows how much of that total cost is purely payment to the bank. The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.

(My first experience working with jQuery Mobile and JavaScript.)