Code The City 9 – It’s on!

We kicked off the ‘Code The City 9 – Health Signposting’ weekend this morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. There are just under 20 attendees from mixed backgrounds.

We have volunteered to help solve issues around health care data. One problem is that health care data are currently maintained in (at least) three unconnected systems run by different organisations. These are ALISS, GCD (Grampian CareData) and MILO. The ultimate goal of this project is to create an open data source that provides accessible up-to-date information to the public and professionals.

Continue reading Code The City 9 – It’s on!

History Jam – #CTC6

The History Jam (or Code The City #6 if you are counting) will take place on 19-20 March 2016 at Aberdeen University. You can get one of the remaining tickets here.

As an participant, you’ll be bringing history to life, creating a 3D virtual reality map of a square mile of Aberdeen’s city centre. You’ll be gathering data from a variety of historical sources, transcribing that and creating new open data. You’ll import that into the the 3D model.
And there will also be the opportunity to re-use that data in imaginative new ways. So, if you are a MineCraft fan, why not use the data to start building Minecraft Aberdeen.
This is not one of our usual hacks, whatever that is! This time around instead of you proposing problems to be worked on, we’ve set the agenda, we’ll help form the teams, and provide you with more guidance and support.
If you come along you’ll learn open data skills. And you’ll get a year’s free membership of the Open Data Institute!

Saturday’s Running Order

09:00 Arrive in time for fruit juices, coffee, pastries, or a rowie.

09:30 Introduction to the day
09:45 Briefing of teams and, if you are new to Open Data, a quick training session

10:15 Split into three streams:

  • Sourcing and curation of data, and structuring capture mechanisms
  • Transcribing,  cleaning, and  publishing open data
  • Creating the 3D map, importing and visualising the data


Throughout the day we’ll have feedback sessions, presenting back to the room on progress. We’ll write blog posts, create videos, photograph progress.

13:00 Lunch (the best sandwiches in Aberdeen)

More workstream sessions with feedback and questions.

17:30 (or so) Pizza and a drink

We’ll wind up about 8pm or so if you can stay until then

Sunday’s Agenda

09:30 arrive for breakfast

10:00 kick off

Morning sessions

12:30 Lunch

Afternoon sessions

16:00 Show and Tell sessions – demonstrate to the room, and a wider audience, and preserve for posterity what you’ve produced in less than 36 hours. You’ll be amazed!

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.