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Call for Code: Reunite

Our ingenious app speeds up survivor searches tenfold after a natural disaster

Mitigating natural disasters is one of the world’s greatest challenges. The past decade has been one of the worst periods for natural disasters - hurricanes and typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis, floods and storm surges, volcanoes, wildfires, and extreme weather.

And while they may be inevitable they don’t have to become catastrophic. We can improve disaster preparedness and relief, build resilient communities, and safeguard the health and well-being of individuals and institutions. 

Call for Code is a worldwide, multi-year initiative that inspires developers to solve pressing global problems with sustainable software solutions. It’s a rallying cry for them to use their skills to drive positive and long-lasting change across the world with their code. 

The initiative is a collaboration between IBM, The Linux Foundation, UN Human Rights, and American Red Cross. The project with the greatest potential impact is implemented as part of the IBM Corporate Service Corps. 

In parallel with the worldwide competition, IBM runs an internal hackathon event. The 2019 Challenge focused on protecting individual health and community well-being. The team that won the UK hackathon this year is "Reunite," a web app that uses IBM Watson Visual Recognition to get families back together again. 

It envisages situations such as when a child cannot find her parents after a tsunami. In a refugee camp administered by the Red Cross, she could look through photos of survivors to try to spot them on a shared computer. But it would take forever for each child to look through the thousands of survivor photos with an intermittent internet connection. The Reunite app can prioritise photos to speed up her search tenfold. 

Come and try the app, and talk to our team about the Call for Code initiative.  


IBM UK Lab Campus, Hursley,
Winchester, Hampshire,
SO21 2JN
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