Earlier this month we welcomed hackday veterans and newcomers to the first Hack the City. Of course, it wasn’t about breaking into City Hall’s computer systems – it was about helping people find out about and engage with their city through the public data that’s available to them.
Some came to experiment with open data, others to knock together a civic hack, and a few to prototype a data-driven startup concept with a view to entering the Open Data Institute’s Challenge Series programme.
Before we get into where the different hack projects are a few weeks on, it’s worth remembering that hackdays aren’t just about the hacks on the day. Conversations that start on the day can lead to some great contributions and collaborations that continue or are realised only after the event. Some of those we’d love to see taken forward that started at Hack the City include:
- Talk About Local and the Open Data Institute on hyperlocally delivered workshops to build general confidence in understanding and using open data
- Plenty of opportunities to explore between the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust’s Community Payback Visibility project and the Home Office
- Utility companies opening up data and getting deeper involved in supporting the Open Data Institute’s Energy and the Environment Challenge
The breadth of organisations getting involved on the day was great – the Open Data Institute and Nesta, the Home Office, as well as community organisations and commercial enterprises of varying scale.
That gave us a great mix of talent and interests in the room, including citizens, policy advisors, data owners, designers, entrepreneurs, marketers, journalists as well as software developers to turn ideas into reality.
In all, nearly 30 folk gathered to progress half a dozen hack projects, chosen from over a couple of dozen ideas to improve urban and civic experiences using open data that were put forward at the start of the day.
Thanks to everyone who came along or supported to make Hack the City a success. If it has inspired you to get involved or you want to find out more about open data in your local area, you’re welcome to join us at future Open Data Sheffield meetups. They’re usually in the evenings on the third Monday of the month, but keep updated for the latest by following @opensheffield on Twitter.
Hack the City was produced by MundoJumbo for Open Data Sheffield, in partnership with the Open Data Institute and Nesta as part of the Open Data Challenge Series. You can find out more about Series’ Crime and Justice Creation and Innovation Weekend on 12-13 October from this piece by Simon Whitehouse, the first Series Lead.