(M)apps for Ghent puts Ghent’s open data on the map
The 6th edition of the Hackathon will be held on 19 March in Ghent. This is an event where anyone can use the open dataset of the city of Ghent. But what will this edition feature? And what will this year’s challenge be?
Applications based on open data
The city of Ghent has been making as much data as possible available to citizens for a few years now, though obviously within the limits imposed by privacy. Therefore, Ghent plays a pioneering role. The city promotes transparency in governance and wants to involve citizens in this governance, e.g. by improving the existing public services. However, the private sector can also use this open data to create new products and services. Just think of the various apps for the Gentse Feesten, the waste collection calendar, etc. (http://data.stad.gent/apps).
However, data are only interesting when they are translated into concrete applications. In order to encourage developers to use Ghent’s open dataset, a Hackathon has thus been organised since 2011. At this 1-day event, experienced or budding developers, and even people who know absolutely nothing about coding, are challenged to create a new application that uses Ghent’s open data.
Interesting, handy, or simply fun
And the great ideas that have come up during these hackathons definitely prove that participants show outstanding creativity. Just think of Studio Dott’s Popbike, an app that allows you to calculate better bicycle routes and share your bicycle with other people. Or Ghendetta, a very entertaining game where clans can fight each other and conquer districts of Ghent. Or even Book.y, which is similar to Tinder, but for books. Interesting, handy, or simply fun: the data are at the heart of the action.
(M)apps as central theme
This 6th edition, which will be held on Saturday 19 March 2016 in the Artevelde University College Ghent, will be about Mapps, i.e. apps for which maps play a key role. And this does not only relate to geographic maps, geodata relating to administrative borders, demographic distribution, etc., but also to interactive timelines, isometric maps, etc. Do you have a brilliant idea? In that case, the hackathon is your chance to bring your project to life. Registration is free but compulsory.
What will this event feature?
There is of course the traditional hackathon, where you can develop your product or idea from 9 AM to 3 PM. Then, from 3:30 PM, you have 5 minutes to present the results to the jury. You can choose one of the following options:
- For the “From Scratch Hackathon”, it is mainly the idea that counts, as well as the innovative approach, or the originality of your design.
- If you intend to fully develop or improve the idea, you can choose the “De ShowCase” option. However, it is crucial that your final result is a fully operational product.
This year, in addition to this competition, a Mappathon will also be held: from 9 AM to 1:30 PM, everyone will be able to help chart the world during the Mapping Party.
Who is (M)apps for Ghent aimed at?
Developers are, of course, the main target group – people who have made programming their profession or who enjoy programming in their spare time, students in IT, etc.
If you are not good at coding, or if you are not sure how you could translate the open data into an app yet, do not worry! There will be plenty to do and see at the Hackathon. In the afternoon, several guest speakers will explain how they work with open data and how they see the future.
Drinks and food will also be provided – from breakfast on arrival to lunch, and of course the big networking event, the reception, which is always a perfect opportunity to meet (new) friends and establish contacts.
With the support of Combell
Obviously, with our roots firmly based in Ghent, we at Combell could not miss this opportunity to support digital talent in our hometown. All participants will therefore receive a free .gent domain name. And the winners will also receive free hosting. This way, they will have all they need to put their new creation (or any other web project) online.
Of course, we will also participate in the Hackathon. We are really looking forward to discovering new talents and their creations!
(M)Apps for Ghent, Saturday 19 March 2016, from 9 AM to 7 PM, Artevelde University College Ghent, Campus Kantienberg, Voetweg 66, 9000 Ghent.