Kaffe Matthews to perform Love Sharks at Hack the Marine

For this edition of  Hack the City, we are again working closely with Alex McLean to continue the Inhabiting the Hack artist+coder experiment we did with Kairotic at the Culture & Heritage edition.

Kaffe MatthewsAs well as a  strong creative presence during the Data Dive and Main Hack, we’re very excited that Alex has been able to reach into his network to invite sound artist Kaffe Matthews (@kaffematthews)  to augment the event with a fascinating lunchtime talk and evening performance to inspire and celebrate both participants at Hack the Marine, and the wider public.

The talk takes place at the Sheffield Methods Institute from 1pm – 2pm on Friday 15 January 2016. Sign up for free via the main event registration page.

From tracing the journies of wild salmon up the river Tyne, hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos archipelago and the rise and fall of the Grand Union Canal as she walked it’s 80 miles from London to Milton Keynes, awarded sound artist/composer Kaffe Matthews will present and discuss the musical ideas she realised as songs, immersive installation and a work for 3 sonic beds through sonifying the data she gathered and more during these experiments.

Kaffe’s performance of Love Sharks then follows from 7:30pm on Saturday 16 January 2016 at Access Space in Sheffield. Tell us that you’re coming via the event page on Facebook.

Sharks are older than dinosaurs. They have evolved with the planet developing extraordinary perceptive mechanisms, and have learnt to navigate in straight lines by tracing the shifts in the earth’s magnetic crust at depths as great as 400m. They are still considered violent aggressors and continue to be slaughtered in vast numbers just for their fins to make soup. The truth is that a shark has to be one of the most sophisticated and beautiful of animals.

Love Shark is a new four channel solo by Kaffe Matthews in which she duets with 6 oscillators driven by 6 hammerhead sharks whose journeys were recorded north of Wolf Island, Galapagos April 2009. Matthews dived with, recorded underwater and filmed hammerheads whilst on a month’s residency on the Galapagos islands 2009. She later worked with shark scientists who gave her this shark hunting journey data. Her 3D sound installation, You might come out of the water every time singing has shown in Liverpool, Edinburgh, Lisbon and the St Pieters Caves, Maastricht.

Love Sharks

Also joining the quadrophonic show will be Shelly Knotts, Holger Ballweg and resident Yaxu.

Announcing Hack the City 5 – Marine & Waterways Edition

In this edition of Hack the City we’re stepping out of the urban context to shine a spotlight on the marine culture, biodiversity, environment and waterways data that is being made available through the huge OpenDefra programme.

We’re particularly interested in exploring how this helps improve understanding about and opportunities for life and living in waterways, coastal areas, wetlands and the communities around them.

What Data is Available?

There’s a growing repository of environment, marine and biodiversity data available via Defra and its agencies on data.gov.uk and other publisher websites.  

We’ll be reviewing some of the more interesting datasets at the Open Data Sheffield meetup on Mon 11 January, and sharing an update on other interesting datasets via the Hack the City website.

Seastar Shrimp - Klaus Stiefel

What’s the Schedule?  

We’re spanning a couple of days to give more time to discover and explore the data, form teams and develop sustainable hacks and projects.

Fri 15 Jan 1pm – 2pm: Lunchtime Talk – get inspired with data-driven artworks and music that bring new perspectives to marine and environment data, and life and living in coastal areas and waterways. Our special guest is sound artist Kaffe Matthews.
Open to all, even if you can’t make the Main Hack.

Fri 15 Jan 2pm – 5pm: Data Dive – find out what data is available and how it’s used, hear about the industry and research challenges and opportunities, and use these to generate some ideas to work up during the hack.
Highly recommended for Main Hack participants.

Fri 15 Jan from 5pm: Pre-Hack Social – recharge over a drink and some food, meet the other participants, hatch your hack plans and find some collaborators to work on projects together.
Exclusive to Main Hack ticket holders.

Sat 16 Jan 10am – 6pm The Main Hack – announce your projects, bolster your teams and make something happen. There’s food and refreshments throughout the day, culminating in a show’n’tell of what’s been done and awards.

Networking drinks follow from 6pm in the After Hack Social, and a data-driven music performance by Kaffe Matthews, Alex McLean and others from 8pm at Access Space.   


Friday’s Data Dive will take place at the ICOSS Centre on Portobello, near the University Roundabout and tram stop of the same name. Now home to the Sheffield Methods Institute.  

The Main Hack on Saturday takes place at Sheffield Hallam University’s Cantor Building on Arundel Lane, not far from the train station.

Kairotic to hack Hack the City

Hack the City evolves and experiments with every iteration, and on this occasion we’re hacking the hack with the well-placed intervention of Kairotic, the Weaving Codes – Coding Weaves project.
The project is led by artist-programmer Alex McLean and takes the relationship between patterns in code and traditional weavecraft as a starting point for investigating the influence of digital technology in making.

For the Heritage & Culture Hack, Alex has mustered a fine group of live-coders and crafters for an alternative take on the analog/digital expression of data and craft culture. While the inspiration for many on the day will be making apps using data about culture, the Weaving Codes project is bringing livecoders and crafters together to hack the Hack the City hack – making cultural objects from data.

Interested to see what emerges from the experiment? You can still get tickets for the Show’n’Tell – doors open at 6:30pm for demos at 7pm.

space invader 3

Hack the City 4 – the Culture & Heritage Challenge

The Culture & Heritage edition of Hack the City is on its way! Join us on 10 Jan 2015 to see and show your city’s cultural offer in a new light through open data.

Any civic or urban experiment, visualisation or hack based on open data is fair game for the event. If you want to try something more ambitious, we are supporting the Open Data Challenge Series. This offers a chance to win £50k equity-free funding for your open data startup concept, if it helps address the current theme challenge:

How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people, in UK heritage and culture?

Early Bird tickets are available free for individuals and teams thanks to support from our partners at the Digital Society Network and Sheffield Methods Institute.

Participate as an individual >> Create a team >>

Work in culture / heritage? We’re really interested in finding and creating value from the non-personal data in Sheffield’s cultural and heritage sector. If you work in an organisation in the sector anywhere across the city region and want to find out how you can do this without commercially exposing your organisation, please do get in touch.

If you’d like to sponsor Hack the City to help cover post-hack networking or contribute to prizes – please do get in touch.


2015 Dates for Hack the City

Unavoidably and regrettably, the fourth edition of Hack the City (previously earmarked for 11 Oct 2014) has had to be postponed. But fear not – we return in the new year with more challenges and more data to play with on 11 January and 14 March. Pop the dates in your diary and sign up below to get ticket release notification.

Any hacks are eligible, but as always there is a spotlight theme. For January, we’re particularly interested in culture, and what open data can reveal about the city’s cultural scene, artefacts and opportunities. If you run or involved in a cultural organisation or project, please do get in touch to find out how to open up your data to create new opportunities.

Details about March’s theme will follow.

Hack the City – the Food Challenge – POSTPONED

In the wake of Harvest Moon, Hack the City strikes back for a fourth time, inviting you to take up the open data challenge around Food. Join us in Sheffield on 11 Oct 2014 for a day of open data wrangling, urban and civic hacking and to develop your service prototypes and startup concepts.

As before, we are supporting the Open Data Challenge Series which offers a chance to win £40k equity-free funding for (on this occasion) your food-related open data startup where it helps to address the following question:

How can we use open data to help people eat more healthily, eat more sustainably and/or have a more secure food chain?

So, while any urban or civic project is welcome at Hack the City, this time we’re especially excited to explore how data can can help improve eating and producing healthy and sustainable food.

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Hack the City 3 – the Summer 2014 Challenge

We’re back this summer for the third instalment of Hack the City. Join us at the Showroom Cinema on 16 Aug 2014 for a day of open data wrangling, urban and civic hacking and to develop your service prototypes and startup concepts.

As before, we are supporting the Open Data Challenge Series which offers a chance to win £40k equity-free funding for (on this occasion) your housing-related open data startup. So, while any urban or civic project is welcome at Hack the City, this time we’re especially excited to explore how data can can help private or social tenants better understand their housing options.

Continue reading

Data for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration

There is a huge amount of data (raw and statistical summaries), across a vast range  of themes relevant for Hack the City, that are catalogued on the Data for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration website (http://data4nr.net).

Data is organised in the following top-level themes, each with their own sub-themes:

  • Population
  • Derivation & Income
  • Employment
  • Economy & Enterprise
  • Education & Skills
  • Health & Disability
  • Crime & Community
  • Environment
  • Access & Transport
  • Geographies & Benchmarking

Dataset records are collated from different sources, including data.gov.uk, Land registry, Office of National Statistics, The Places database, Department for Work and Pensions and many more. Many of these are only collected every few years, but there is a handy Recently Added section that gives an idea of current figures.

Local Information Systems are provided by geographical region.  National Indicator Sets, announced as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review to monitor local progress, are also linked in the following themes:

The website is an official commission and catalogue of the Department of Communities & Local Government, developed by Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI).

Education Datasets and Resources

Education is one of the featured themes of the second Hack the City.  Hacks to help parents with any of the following are eligible for the Open Data Challenge Series, and a stab at £5k to £50k in development prizes:

  1. Finding or expressing a preference for a school
  2. Choosing a subject or other learning priorities
  3. Engaging with their children’s learning

To help, the ODI and Nesta have compiled a great suite of datasets.  These are summarised below to give an idea of the scope of data available.

The full list, including individual download links, are on this Google spreadsheet.  Most of them are provided with some handy context information.  The spreadsheet also has some a bunch of ideas for inspiration on apps and hacks that could be prototyped.

Thanks to Chris Hopkinson for trawling the list and compiling a comprehensive archive of the core education data. You can download the 350Mb of recent datasets from Dropbox. We’ll have these available on a local filestore for Hack the City to avoid download congestion on the day. We’re also planning to get them into the Gangplank platform, so you should also be able to review the data schemas across the suite more easily.

Schools performance datasets School performance data at all key stages. Data covers: school performance, characteristics and spend per pupil data and for academies, their latest set of financial accounts. Entry level qualifications and attainment datasets available here too
Location of educational establishments Grid referenced location of educational establishments Source: Department for Education and Skills (DfES), ONS Access to Services Team Publisher: Neighbourhood Statistics Geographies: Grid Reference Geographic coverage: England Time coverage: 2003, 2005 Type of data: Administrative data Notes: The information presented here provides details on primary and middle deemed primary Local Education Authority maintained schools in England.
Pupil Absence in Schools in England This Statistical First Release reports on absence in primary and secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies.
Admission Appeals for Maintained Primary and Secondary Schools in England This SFR provides information about appeals lodged by parents during the academic year against non-admission of their children to their preferred school. It includes all appeals lodged during the academic year across all year groups. Figures are provided at both national and local authority level.
Destinations of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 pupils Education destination measures will show the percentage of students progressing to further learning in a school, further education or 6th form college, apprenticeship or higher education institution a year after they have left school or college.
Qualification success rates for school sixth forms: 2011 to 2012 This statistical first release provides experimental statistics on qualification success rates (QSRs) for state-funded school and academy sixth forms in England. QSRs measure the proportion of academic and vocational learning aims, for 16- to 19-year-olds, that are started, finished and completed successfully. This is the first release on QSRs and it is the first year that national figures for QSRs have been published. QSRs are provided for learning aims at levels 1, 2, 3 and ‘4 or higher’ that were completed in the 2011 to 2012 academic year.
Permanent and fixed period exclusions from schools in England: 2011 to 2012 academic year This statistical first release (SFR) provides information about exclusions from schools and exclusion appeals in England during 2011 to 2012
Secondary School Applications and Offers in England Information about secondary school applications and offers received by parents on National Offer Day as provided by local authorities.
School Capacity: Information on the number of places and the number of pupils in maintained Primary and Secondary schools and Academies
Special Educational Needs in England Provides information on the incidence and placement of pupils with SEN together with analyses on the characteristics of pupils by their stage of SEN
OPSN data on school performance at KS4 (GCSE). Focuses on quality of teaching in secondary schools across England detailing improvemnets in schools, subject entries, subject attainment. Also includes a link to a report summarising findings and patterns
Edubase EduBase is a register of educational establishments in England and Wales, maintained by the Department for Education. It provides information on establishments providing compulsory, higher and further education. EduBase offers a number of different services allowing you full access to the data, please contact our service desk for further information. Services range from infrequent or frequent access to data extracts, to the provision of specific tailor made datasets.
Attainment by Pupil Characteristics Attainment at all key stages, by Pupil Characteristics (specifically gender, ethnicity, eligibility for free school meals (FSM), special educational needs (SEN) and English as a first language)
National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2 in England Provides provisional information on the achievements of eligible pupils (typically 11 year olds) in the National Curriculum assessments at Key Stage 2 and 3 (KS2 and KS3). At KS2, assessments are based on tests and teacher assessments. At KS3, there are only teacher assessments as formal tests have been abolished.
Income and expenditure in local authority maintained schools in England: 2011-12 A national summary of schools’ income and expenditure for the financial year 2011 to 2012, utilising the full range of data schools provide to the Department for Education in their consistent financial reporting returns.
GCSE and Equivalent Results, England Provides the earliest information on the overall achievements of young people in GCSE and equivalent examinations.
A level and other level 3 results in England: academic year 2012 to 2013 (provisional) This release provides advanced level results (A level and other level 3 results) of young people (aged 16 to 19) in England.
Participation in education, training and employment by 16- to 18-year-olds in England, end 2012 This Statistical First Release (SFR) provides provisional end 2012 estimates
of participation in education, training and employment and those who are not
in education, employment or training (NEET) for 16, 17 and 18 year olds in
England. It also updates the end 2011 estimates from SFR 12/2012 published
in February 2013.
Youth Cohort Study & Longitudinal Study of Young People in England Statistics based on survey responses to YCS and LSYPE and brings together data about the family environment, attitudes to school, risky behaviours, engagement, attainment and post-16 participation. This publication reports on the same group of young people annually until age 19. The current group is now 19 and will be reported on in July 2011. A new study has not yet been commissioned and no publication is scheduled for 2012.
Open Street Map Full open street map datasets
Daily pollutant levels Maximum pollutant levels recorded for the 24 period Source: UK National Air Quality Information Archive Publisher: UK Air Quality Archive Geographies: Site Geographic coverage: England Time coverage: 2008 Type of data: Administrative data
Road transport energy consumption at regional and local authority level Consumption statistics for fuels used in road transport at regional and local levels are available below. In March 2008, this dataset gained National Statistics status. This applies to all data from 2005 onwards. Please note that the 2002, 2003 and 2004 datasets are still classed as experimental statistics.
Traffic, Speeds and Congestion
Independent school inspections and outcomes Publication of the results of the independent school inspections and outcomes including regulation compliance.
Source agency: Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills
Index of Deprivation 2004 – Income Deprivation Affecting Children ID 2004 Income Deprivation Affecting Children supplementary index (number of children in households in receipt of means tested low income benefits) Source: Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM): ID 2004 Publisher: Communities and Local Government (CLG) Geographies: Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) Geographic coverage: England Time coverage: 2004 (using 2001 data) Type of data: Administrative data (with statistical transformations applied)
Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index 2007 The Index of Multiple Deprivation, which was produced at LSOA level in 2007 and 2004, combines seven distinct domains of deprivation together to give an overall impression of the level of deprivation experienced by an area. The Living Environment domain combines 4 indicators to give an overall score for the level of deprivation in the quality of the local environment. The indicators used in the latest update of this domain are; – Social and private housing in poor condition – Houses without central heating – Air quality – Road traffic accidents involving injury to pedestrians and cyclists More information about this domain can be found in Chapter 2, Section 8 of the English Indices of Deprivation 2007 Report.
Cycle routes A digital geographical description of the cycle path network that is used in the Transport Direct cycle journey planner. The data describes the cycle route geometry and a variety of cycling features on cycle paths and roads, such as the presence of cycle lanes and toucan crossings. The road data is referenced to the Ordnance Survey digital road network and doesn’t include road geometry. The data is free and is made available under the Open Government Licence. The data will be refreshed every few months, taking account of feedback from users and local authorities.
Special Educational Needs, Children in Care: Pupil Absence, exclusions and SEN Numbers of children looked after for at least twelve months, and general information about their education, including whether they have Special Educational Needs (SEN) whether have been absent for at least 25 days or whether facing permanent exclusions
Truancy: Penalty notices, fast-track, parenting contracts & parenting orders Download records of penalty notices, parenting orders and parenting contracts issued by LAs, as well as details of cases entering the fast track to attendance case management process. This data is published annually.
PE and Sport Survey The PE and Sport Survey is in its seventh year and consists of a census of all schools and FE colleges in England, measuring levels of participation in PE and out of hours sport.
Pupil / Teacher Ratio Pupil teacher ratios for maintained primary and secondary schools
PISA The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a survey of the educational achievement of 15-year-olds organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). A total of 65 countries participated in PISA 2009.
School Workforce in England (including pupil: teacher ratios and pupil: adult ratios) January 2010 Information on the School Workforce in England. It combines information on teacher numbers and vacancies, sickness absence and ethnicity with information on support staff, pupil: teacher ratios (PTR) and pupil: adult ratios (PAR).