Valmiera INSPIRE Hackathon
Another event from the INSPIRE Hackathon series took place at the Vidzemes University of Applied Sciences (ViA) in Valmiera, Latvia, between 30 May and 1 June 2018. The event was organized by the ViA in cooperation with PoliVisu and several other European projects, namely DataBio, NextGEOSS, EUXDAT, as well as Plan4All association.
This Hackathon aimed to introduce the technologies and data used in the foregoing projects to students of the ViA. The majority of participants were 2nd year students of the ViA's information technologies programme. Students could choose tasks prepared by mentors before the start of the event or they could come with their own project ideas.
Students’ tasks for the Hackathon were derived from the following work streams
Visualization of 3D data using CesiumJS library
Processing and visualization of sensor data
Integration of available datasets to existing databases e.g. Smart Points of Interest (SPOI), Open Land Use (OLU) etc.
Design mobile application using open datasets (SPOI, OLU, etc.)
Analysing and visualization of remote sensing data especially Copernicus datasets
Define requirements and design mobile apps using some open datasets
Research of available open data in EU countries
Students were working on the selected tasks in small groups or individually, and discussed issues with mentors who provided advice on how to solve them. Each participating student presented the results at the end of the event and gave feedback on how to make better use of the available tools and data sets.
Some interesting results came out from the Visualization of 3D data project. Visualization of temporal 3D data was tested, including the CZML format data representation. Print screen of the tested data set visualization is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Visualization of 3D data in CesiumJS library
Several mock-ups and a set of requirements for mobile applications were presented as part of the mobile apps work stream. One proposed app was about the gamification of evaluation of restaurants and cafés in France. Another mock-up described a mobile app for integrating bike rental services from different companies. This app was described up to the level of functionality and screens design as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Screens of designed bike rental mobile app
The results of research on the availability of open data in selected countries and domains showed that the number of open data producers and publishers is increasing. The situation of open data was investigated in Latvia, France, UK and Spain.
Overall, students found the Hackathon very relevant and useful since it broadened their horizons with regard to modern technologies and data sets, especially in the spatial information domain. Also, the event taught students how to perform tasks quickly without compromising the quality of their work; a valuable skill to have in the labour market.
Figure 3. Coding and working session during the Hackathon
Programme Wednesday 30 May
10:00 – starting of event, introduction of cooperating projects and project ideas
12:00 – introduction of students tasks
14:00 – start of coding
17:00 – wrap up of day one
Thursday 31 May
10:00 – start of second day, coding and working on students tasks
17:00 – wrap up of day two
Friday 1 June
10:00 – start of students presentations
13:00 – evaluating results, end of the event