Dundee’s public data hack releases its first challenge

By Matthew Davis

Wittin, a company dedicated to democratising data, is working in partnership with Abertay University and Dundee City Council, to host the Dundee Public Data Hack alongside DataFest18.

The event is a unique opportunity for Dundee City Council to explore open data in collaboration with entrepreneurial minded data scientists, games developers, and ethical hackers, to develop ideas that would benefit the running of the council.

It will be held at Abertay University’s White Space on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March. The focus is for projects that look specifically at smart city data and improvements in sharing and understanding. These can range from games and visualisations, to infographics and storytelling.

But good ideas don’t only live in the heads of those who’ve been through years of schooling in data wrangling. The event is hopeful that people with nothing more than a healthy dose of curiosity and a head full of good ideas turn up as well.

We are planning a series of talks and workshops during the hack to help people connect their ideas with data even if they haven’t coded or wrangled in the past.

We are releasing the first challenge this week in relation to the substantial GIS (Geographic Information Systems) data. If you haven’t seen that term before that’s a fancy way of saying mapping data. Which in turn will allow us to map various aspects of Dundee’s open data.

We will be issuing several data sets with emphasis on mobility, air quality and food trading standards. Our aim is to encourage the ability for teams to design mapped visualisations of data across Dundee juxta positioning layers on top of each other.

For example wouldn’t it be neat to see a 3D model of Dundee displaying traffic patterns as they link to air quality, particularly at high traffic areas, and then throw in some weather data to see the effect of wind and precipitation? If we could inspire a bunch of newcomers to work through this even more the better.

Register your free place today.

Dr Matthew Davis is director of Witten.