Upcoming events

For your diaries:

  • Codethecity 9 (*) will be in September 2017. Date and theme to be confirmed.
  • Codethecity 10 will take place on 26 and 26 November 2017. Theme to be decided.

(*) please note that the event which we pencilled in for 3rd and 4th June will not go ahead due to the organising team’s other commitments.

Thanks to all who attended Codethecity 8 – our Chatbot weekend which took place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February 2017. It was a blast. Thanks very much to our sponsors. Expect a full write up soon.

 

Sunday updates – Codethecity Health

Great progress overnight and through the morning. Very few drop outs overnight – keeping a real energy in the room.

Float your boat

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The team have created a prototype website focusing on helping people find events and services locally. Includes stories about people improving their lives through accessing services.

Currently acting as a central hub for finding further information.

Have discussed turning it into an app, but clearly a web first approach seems the most appropriate at this stage. Discussion about the potential for local community ownership, or for a body like Health Partnership Development to take the lead.

A key observation was that the scope of ambition for the project has jumped from very ambitious and broad, to much tighter, and back again multiple times. Deciding on the scope to tackle took significant time, and was acknowledged as key to making progress.

Worth noting that the team is treating the sourcing and management of high quality data to be a parallel problem, likely tackled elsewhere.

Friends Tree

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The team has a paper prototype app aiming to guide people towards independently finding a way to take part in the local community.

Similar to the Float’ project, but focussed more tightly on social isolation issues and solutions.

They have been looking at the scoring, rating and categorisation of services and activities to aid in selection and guide people towards appropriate choices.

This team agreed with the importance of selecting a specific objective for the project – and to focus on that. Very easy to get distracted by related issues.

The unique element identified in the group discussion was the potential to allow the creation of some small groups. A fascinating example was the creation of a ‘take the bins out’ agreement among neighbours – helping people find help if they are away from home, and easing a ‘first contact’ event with new neighbours when you move home.

Delta Test

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While the team ‘have nothing fancy to show’ they have made substantial progress since the last update, and are confident of having a well progressed project by the end of the day. Work has progressed on three fronts:

Data collection and insertion to new database.

Reporting layer, where work if focussed on generating mean values for overview presentation.

The Geo team have been translating postcodes into coordinates, and creating workflows and automation to allow this to happen as time goes on when new data and boundary changes happen.

An interesting discussion about availability of data about GP practices, (there is more than you might think, much of which can be reviewed here) and what can be done with it.

Pomoc

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The language barrier project has focussed on refining the story told in the video and literature that it is creating. The discussion touched on the existing use of mobile phones as a primary translation tool for many people with English as a second language, especially when confronted with technical or medical terms.

Also discussed options to not only offer better translation access, but to offer language skills development services as a preferred approach.

Team text

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This team have met a couple of technical barriers when tying their various elements together, but have achieved a number of key elements.

SMS messages are being relayed successfully.

A prototype of the service has been created in Java to simulate the interaction, on screen for now rather than by SMS.

Discussion has been primarily around the importance of marketing and communications around the service. Targeting of publicity thought to centre on food banks, shelters, pubs, chemists, community centres – all places with high footfall from the demographic groups the service would be most appropriate for.

The wider group identified this as a key tool in self management of long term issues, and something that would have a genuine impact.

Data visualisation

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Finally, a demonstration of some visualisation options using off the shelf visualisation tools to gain insights into the quality, coverage and usefulness of a data set.

View the visualisation here.

Discussion around the demonstration identified the usefulness of the geographical visualisations in identifying differences and gaps in service levels from area to area.

Saturday evening updates – Codethecity Health

Pre-pizza updates from the teams:

Team Text

Since lunchtime the team have grabbed more coffee, created a big list of tasks, and been working on pulling Aliss data into their project. Work still to be done on the SMS layer.

Also discussing interesting natural language processing element to improve ease of use for the app.

Watch team Team Text on Periscope.

POMOC

The team have created a script and video prototype in English with Polish translation underway. Web based version is in progress and likely to be complete early tomorrow.

Looking at options for animation of the video tomorrow.

Watch team Pomoc on Periscope.

Delta Test

Since lunch the group have wrangled some network issues which held up progress, but have completed initial database design, and are working on the data and reporting layers in parallel.

Watch Team Delta Test on Periscope.

Friends Tree

Since lunch the team have worked on a web prototype of the front end of the service. Lowering participation through better data access, easier navigation and quality curation.

Watch team Friends Tree on Periscope.

Floating my boat

Since lunch have eaten sweets and cola. Community layer is vital to many health issues – a service discovery app.

They have created a number of user personas to enable

Four sections to the envisaged service:

  • Folk that can help
  • Your community
  • Folk that can listen
  • Events and getting about

The data underpinning this has been worked on in Open Refine and Dataseed to create visualisations of data coverage.

Watch Float My Boat on Periscope.

Codethecity Health Saturday Updates

Lunchtime updates from the teams:

Team Text

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Everyone has the right to access to information to make them well. Many people do not have regular access to the internet, best indicated by the deprivation index.

This project is looking at how to bridge this gap over SMS – allowing individuals to send a text with a location and theme such as “Aberdeen Anxiety” and receive a response either asking further questions, or suggesting a course of action. No web links, just telephone numbers and addresses.

Currently looking at quality of results, data protection issues, tech layer, how to pull information, how to store information, how to access and discover the service.

POMOC

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Pomoc is “help” in Polish. Many people are blocked from accessing appropriate services effectively due to language barriers.

This team is looking at the best ways to overcome this. They have discovered that in many cases it is cultural, rather than linguistic differences that are the biggest challenge.

Examples include cold remedies being available from doctors in Poland, but easily available in high street pharmacy in the UK. Seeing a doctor can waste GP time, lead to frustrating first appointments, and discourage further access.

They are currently working on the communication challenge around these differences, rather than on translation of medical terminology.

Delta Test

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The team are addressing demand optimisation of GP requests into labs. The core problem is that many GPs do not have access to adequate information to select which tests to request – so request a full suite of tests.

Current system is very disjointed, excel based, and difficult to use. They’re working on an on-demand alternative to deliver easier access.

Friend Tree

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A Gumtree for friends. Social isolation is a significant problem. The team wants to tackle this with a theme of ‘finding volunteers and other ways to provide social contact’.

The research phase has discovered a number of apps delivering similar ideas. The team is keen to avoid recreating something that already exists. The next phase is to test existing options.

The Team (formerly known Torry Dolphin Watchers and now known as) Float My Boat – Signposting

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The key challenge here is how to enable people to identify options for health and wellbeing services and other related activities.

Have identified the potential for an app that can be aware of individuals, carers, cared for, and even provide profile management for care professionals.

Looking at novel interfaces to encourage usage. Also looking at challenges around the sourcing and validation of data.

Codethecity Health kicks off

We have a great turn out for the first morning of Codethecity Health this morning – despite the venue change and the sub zero temperatures in Aberdeen.

Following the initial idea capture using our barrier and opportunity cards, and a few warm us exercises we formed teams around initial ideas and problem areas.

More updates about each of the teams as the day progresses, and on #codethecity.

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Journeygrid

“We should build one for here!”

So starts another Codethecity conversation on discovering a neat data driven tool. This time it’s the excellent New York subway toy created by Jason Wright.

Brand_New_Subway

The tool allows you to redesign transit provision in the city by building new subway routes. By adding new stations. By removing or moving existing lines.

It’s addictive and fascinating.

As is so often the case, we then start riffing on what it could also do. It could time travel using that tram data we have from the early 1900s. It could give alternate route options if we hook up to that academic project we spoke with earlier in the year. It could carbon count. It could give safety information for cyclists. We could data collect with a new app to feed it improved validation data…

Before we have the cake we’re discuss how pretty the icing will look.

In reality what we should be looking at is the bottom layer. The underpinnings.  The data.

Where do people live? Where do they work? Where do they school run? Where is the football stadium and where do the fans live? Where are the shops and where is the money?

We’re going to start with the commute. Where do people start, spend, and end their day? How do they move around? And when? No agenda. No grand insights planned. Just a good solid data gathering and modelling project.

We’re calling it journeygrid.

journeygrid open data transportation project

If you have any data, or methodologies for gathering and storing such data we’d love to speak to you.

You can find out more about the New York Subway project here, and you can play with it here.

Codethecity 6 – Save the date

Codethecity #6 – History Jam.

March 19-20.

Save the date, or grab yourself a ticket.

Last October,  we ran Code The City 5, a hack weekend focussing on history and heritage. One of the projects that we worked on was “Histerical Time Machine”. Over the course of 36 hours Andrew Sage built a 3D virtual reality model of a small section of the centre of Aberdeen as it was in the 1870s. Alongside this we saw a group of volunteers look at a variety of books (remember those!) and extract some key dates to attach to the model.

CTC6

Normally at Code The City events, participants are encouraged to come up with the ideas and are free to work on what they want. We are going to run Code The City 6 , which will be supported by Aberdeen City Libraries, slightly differently. We are all going to work on sub-projects that will contribute to the further development of the 3D Historical model, and its data needs.

What we’ll be doing

We will have teams working on tasks such as:

  • expanding the geographic coverage of the model. There will tutorials for developers on how to do that in Unity.
  • transcribing a variety of pre-identified sources of data and putting those into structured formats that will drive not only this project but also be a permanent free source of open data.
  • visualising data within the 3d model and in other ways.
  • writing about the weekend, taking photos, blogging and using social media to tell the world what we are doing.

Who we need

We need a broad range of skills. These include:

  • Transcribers, Note-Takers, Genealogists, Historians, Librarians
  • Developers, Designers, UX Experts, Data wranglers, Data Scientists,
  • Bloggers, photographers, videographers,

If you come with enthusiasm we’ll find a role for you – and we guarantee you will leave having picked up new skills, and with a sense of having achieved something useful with lasting value.

Bring a laptop to work on if you have one. An HDMI cable is useful for connecting to external monitors. If you want to take pictures or videos please take your own equipment if you can. We’ll make sure there is wifi for you to use. Don’t forget your power cable, and any chargers you might need too!

What does the weekend look like?

We’ll open up on Saturday morning at 9am, then have breakfast and a briefing session at 9.30am. We’ll then break into groups, each with a distinct set of tasks.

During the day, each group will work on their projects and periodically report back to the room on progress.

We’ll have lunch then continue in the same fashion for the afternoon. We’ll have pizza and drinks for tea and those who want to work on into the evening.

On Sunday we’ll start at 10am with breakfast and a quick update. We’ll follow the same pattern as Saturday, with lunch. We’ll wind up with a grand show and tell session in the late afternoon.

Sound good?

Then save the date, or grab yourself a ticket.