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.

And we are releasing the second challenge this week in relation to the Dundee City Archive’s historic images. Focusing in on the EXIF data (the data behind images that details geo-coordinates, direction of the camera, type of camera and other details) these details can be scraped from the images themselves and from their appearance on Flickr.

We are looking particularly at skills in web scraping, image manipulation and GIS – wouldn’t it be neat to take a walk through nineteenth century Dundee? Perhaps we’ll create one.

We’ll be running small tutorials and quickfire sessions explaining key skills throughout the event to help those that are interested, but might not have the data wrangling chops to be able to do this in their sleep. Our aim is that everyone will have an example of work to take home with them.

Register your free place today.

Dr Matthew Davis is director of Witten.