Alabama issues, ideas and datasets

See the "How to use this site" page for instructions on adding your own ideas. For more ideas, see the main Challenges page. 

Immigrant issues

Misinformation and rapid dissemination of facts 
Many Hispanic immigrants to Alabama, especially those who are not skilled English speakers, are likely to receive a flood of misinformation from their fellow non-English-speaking neighbors and friends about current immigration laws and available services. There is no central repository of timely information available to this immigrants in their native language. How can we get them accurate information and dispel rapidly spreading myths and rumors in the heat of the moment? Can we harness SMS or other mobile technology to address this?

A path to becoming legal
While citizenship is difficult to obtain, there are other ways for illegal immigrants to obtain a legal status. Look at building an app that's clear and easy to follow for immigrants looking for information and a list of steps (maybe with links to resources) to getting documented.

Matching needs and services
Is there a way to connect immigrants from all backgrounds to the services available nearest to them? Help connect them to NGOs, churches, career centers and more that can help them.

Alert system for immigrants in legal trouble
Some immigrants worry about finding themselves in a situation where they might be cut off from contacting their loved ones or seeking assistance.  For example, immigrants pulled over by police may find themselves detained indefinitely, leaving their family wondering what's happened, or they may find themselves in an accident and unable to communicate with emergency responders. Build an app that immigrants can use that will allow them to quickly, at the tap of a finger, alert their family, friends and the nearest appropriate NGO that they need assistance, legal or otherwise.

Rating system for attorneys
Unfortunately, some legal advisers who claim to offer assistance to immigrants are not as reputable as others. Devise a Yelp-like rating site/app for attorneys who offer these services.

Anonymous tracking and data collection
Researchers and NGOs in Alabama have a need for accurate data on immigrants. Is there a way we can legally, ethically collect information on immigrants, with their permission, and guarantee their identity would remain safe? Is there an incentive we can offer to get people to participate in this data collection?

Demographic changes
Base Realignment and Closure effect on population 
BRAC resulted in thousands of jobs moving both in and out of the state. How has this affected us? Where can we find the data, and how can it be used?

Technology-induced migration shifts
Demonstrate migration tied to technical advances (air conditioning, automobiles, etc.)

University towns and their impact on the economy
University towns and the migration associated with that. The impact on service industry, housing, city planning. Housing is a big issue at UA right now because of tornado rebuilding, UA growth, etc. 

General demographic shifts in Alabama
A timeline on map interface to show shifting demographics over time in Alabama, with map markers for major demographic-shifting events and links to stories that further explain the event. 

Temporary or rapidly changing population shifts

Population shifts caused by disasters
Hurricane Katrina and natural disaster-induced migration over time. Good tool for city planning? Could help predict movement and distribution of resources.

Game Day migration
Football-induced migration and its impact. Could be partly user-generated, with images showing impact of game days on parking, trash, service industry, police resources, etc.