I only learned about RHoK (Random Hacks of Kindness) recently. Founded in 2009, an initiative born out of collaboration between the World Bank, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and NASA, RHoK set out to use open source data for common good. This year, 20 groups of ‘geeky’ do-gooders around the world came together to hack very serious issues focused around natural disasters, as well as some more light-hearted, like bike-theft.

This year, the Toronto hack-athon, was the first time a RHoK event was held in Canada. One of the apps developed was called ‘Is This Bike Stolen’. The app allows you to scan the bike’s serial number using your cell phone to check it against the Canada-wide CPIC police database, letting you know if the used bike you may be about to buy, is stolen or not. The catch I guess then is, the bike would need to have been registered in the first place. I’d imagine many bikes out there have never been registered. Admittedly, I’m one of the people who has been known to neglect registering my new ride. But, I’d have to think that with a readily accessible app like this out there, people like me may find it more worthwhile. Pretty cool, anyway.

If you want to learn more and register your ride, you can link here