Final show and tell from Edinburgh

This is a last, long blog to share all the news on the ideas developed over the weekend in Edinburgh.  There is more info on twitter and on the two Storify items as well as on CodetheCity Eventifier.

We had six presentations and it was amazing to see the way ideas had developed over two days and had become live prototypes with real potential for the future!

We had a great mix of folk attending – design students from Hanzehigeschool Gronigen, young people from the Edinburgh Prewired group with Mentors from CodeBase, a number of local developers and designers who have worked on Edinburgh Council projects as well as others interested in Edinburgh data and one or two local digital companies.  We had over 70 people attending over the two days, and the buzz and focus was inspiring.

Here are the final ideas/prototypes:

Trashban – this team created Monster, munching Max – both a physical bin and an app.  The monster gets happier the more you feed it.  They looked at mapping litter reports and bins, but ran out of time, but it influenced their thinking and they would have added in locations given time.  The app encourages you to feed the monster! The final app would also include a leader board with awards for those who get rid of the most litter.

This team also had a hardware development team, built using an actual bin, which talks to you when you put litter in. It was powered by Arduino and other bits and pieces – a speaker on the inside, light sensor, and LED light – when it is disrupted by litter being thrown in the voice is activated. Everyone had a lot of fun recording litter messages! It does work but the lead developer threw in a piece of rubbish and broke it before the live demo!

Fly – an app crowdsourcing biodiversity data in the city the app issues a daily challenge to find species with a score board. The community self-moderates and data is uploaded onto a server which creates a heat map of locations in the city. Requests will come through at a specific time each day, and the rarer the species the more points there are. Incentives include virtual trophies to be won, and encourages competition. The ultimate goal is to crowdsource the data across the city.  The team managed to create an API to pull in data.

The design – homepage designed by one of the visiting Dutch students from Gronigen and images and species were researched before developing a graphical view of Edinburgh Castle – an eye catching design, with a kingfisher as the app logo.

Cyclists for cyclists – an app designed to offer a range of services for cyclists including where to get repairs, shower, park and eat as well as a chat feature. In the future it would be possible to add cycling routes, and share trips you have completed. It has the user GPS to help locate.  The idea is for it to be community driven, crowdsourcing useful information.

Edinbro built a website where people can share tasks – looking for help in their community, from anything to finding a cat to moving house. Points are awarded depending on the complexity of the task and it includes a leader board to discover who is the most helpful in your area.  They have a separate app.  Their backend was also developed so they could demonstrate adding a new request, as well as the architecture for their development.  

The Land Revival site was built by two of the Prewired coders who attended the weekend – they had the idea of mapping all the data for vacant and derelict land so people could ask for land for community projects or to buy.  Using the Council API to extract data they created a searchable site, with a full map and also a satellite map. You can view by map or list.

Data Noms is really the start of a project thought of by a local developer who is using Edinburgh Council open data.  It is an idea to create a hub to improve data for anyone using it.  Using Council data he demonstrated with one data set using programmes created to find data errors and fix them, improving the data. His example was a csv file improved from 3 star to 4 star (following the open data quality system). This development is open and be used by anyone working with data, and at specific events to help those working with data.  Although it is just a starter it is exactly what Edinburgh needs to improve its data.

Published by

Steve Milne

Steve is a Codethecity trustee, and Head of Digital at Fifth Ring.

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