At historic Faneuil Hall, the seven finalists of Boston’s second HubHacks hackathon were provided the opportunity to show the data visualizations they created for the benefit of the city and its residents.

The second HubHacks was announced back in February, took place in March and on Saturday, April 4, each finalist gave a demonstration of what their respective data driven initiatives can do.

Faneuil Hall, with its revolutionary roots and walls adorned with majestic portraits of famed patriots, may have seemed a peculiar venue for such a tech-centric event. But as Boston’s chief information officer Jascha Franklin-Hodge explained, there are actually fewer places better suited for it.

“I suspect that the people who built this building did not anticipate we’d be using it for this purpose,” remarked Franklin-Hodge. “This is a spot where people came together to talk about the issues that matter in the City of Boston, in the state and in the country.”

Added Mayor Marty Walsh, who stopped by to congratulate the finalists and further promote civic engagement, “we’re doing thing the city has never seen before.” Illustrating the technological strides Boston has made since he took office in 2014, he said “when I took over as Mayor of the City of Boston, most departments, 99 percent, didn’t have voicemail.”

According to City Hall, some 70 individuals created 17 different submissions, which was then pared to the seven finalists, who were asked to:

  • Connect City data and other public data sets to create more contextualized understanding of our progress towards the goal of a thriving, healthy and innovative city.
  • Craft innovative visualizations that highlight trends, opportunities, and decision points, providing deeper insight for the City and better transparency to citizens.
  • Find valuable insights that will help business owners, residents and students who call Boston home.
  • Create visualizations that support a conversation between City government and the community around important topics.

Below are the seven finalists as told through the tweets of CIO Jascha Franklin-Hodge.

Boston Visual Strong


Mayor’s Hotline Explorer


Boston Licensing Explorer


Biking in Boston


Take Out the Trash


Bike Safety in Boston


Neighborhood Watch