Photo Credit: Israel Police
The shooting attack on Dizengoff Street, April 7, 2022, that inspired Mappyloc.

A team of six Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) students this week won first prize at the school’s 7th annual Great Minds Hackathon for their unique system that automatically analyzes footage taken from several security cameras and maps the route of an escaping terrorist in real-time.

The students were inspired in part by last April’s terrorist attack on a pub in Tel Aviv that killed three Israelis and injured six. The attack was followed by a city-wide manhunt for the gunmen that lasted many hours as live TV cameras depicted the utterly confused security forces rushing from one apartment building to another on Dizengoff Street, clearly without any clue as to the terrorists’ whereabouts.


The winning students created Mappyloc, a system that automates data collection while cross-referencing information from many different cameras. The system––responding to a challenge by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems––then maps out the precise route taken by the wanted individual or an object he or she had used.

“We wanted to develop a solution where instead of having to watch hundreds of different tapes from different cameras, you can run them through a program that tells you where a certain person or object on the video went and displays the route on a map,” said Yehuda Shani, a 3rd-year computer science major and a member of the winning team. “It’s estimated that today there are over a billion security cameras deployed in the world, and the amount of information we get from cameras today is astronomical. Our program offers a way to use the data we have much more efficiently, saving tons of time, resources, and potentially even lives.”

Two of the first-prize winners of the JCT 2023 hackathon. / Courtesy of JCT

Israeli and international Orthodox and Haredi students attend JCT, studying electronics, electro-optics, computer science, software engineering, industrial engineering, and business. And they all labored tirelessly throughout the 48-hour hackathon competition, responding to challenges that were presented by Rafael, United Hatzalah, Rassini, AlphaTAU, FlyTech, and SpotReality.

The LifeLine team took home the second-place prize at the hackathon, responding to a challenge from United Hatzalah: they produced a digital system to track and monitor wounded individuals in a mass casualty event. When emergency forces arrive on the scene of an incident, they are required to catalog the victims according to the severity of their injury. The JCT students developed a digital solution to enable medical professionals to scan a patient’s personal tag, review their specific medical data, and insert additional data in real-time. The app then tracks which ambulance picked up the wounded individual, and which hospital or clinic they were delivered to.

“Too often critical data for patients can fall through the cracks when they are transferred from one medical staff to another or arrive at hospitals for treatments – which can be extremely dangerous,” said team member Yoshiyahu Moskowitz. “This solution minimizes the chances for human error and digitizes the entire process, so no information is lost, and medics and doctors know exactly the background of any particular patient.”

The hackathon is run by the LevTech Entrepreneurship Center of JCT, which also includes a pre-accelerator program to help students turn their ideas into products and start-ups. The winners were selected by a panel of judges from successful Israeli and international companies.

Yoni Colb, General Manager of Cross River in Israel and a judge at the hackathon, said: “Cross River is very proud to be the main sponsor of the hackathon of the Lev Academic Center. As a significant employer in the field of fintech in Israel, Cross River is constantly looking for high-quality and creative employees. We currently employ many graduates of the academic center Lev, who have integrated into all parts of the company, including in significant management positions, and hope to continue the fruitful cooperation with the center in the years to come.”

The other judges at the hackathon were: Josh Wolff, COO at OurCrowd; Dr. Dov Rubin, CEO at HeartTrends; Elan Zivotofsky, Managing Director, Moelis & Company; David Stark, General Partner, Ground Up Ventures; and Yoel Ezra, Founder & CEO, Engineering for All.

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