Hacks and Hackers Hack Day Belfast (and Dublin)

logo from scraperwiki.comJust noticed an event on Saturday 13 November that is likely to be of interest to some Slugger readers and contributors. (I’ve no connection with Scraperwiki or 4iP!) Free ticket booking – for hacks and hackers – over at Eventbrite. To quote from their blurb …

What? Scraperwiki, the award-winning new screen scraper and data mining tool, funded by 4iP, is putting on a one day practical hack day* in Belfast at which web developers and designers will pair up with journalists and bloggers to produce a number of projects and stories based on public data. It’s all part of the ScraperWiki UK & Ireland Hacks and Hackers tour. We would like to thank our sponsors the School of Media, Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster and Guardian Open Platform for making the event possible.

*We’re still seeking sponsors to get involved. If you think your organisation might be interested please contact aine [at] scraperwiki.com. Or get in touch with any other questions!*

Who’s it for? We hope to attract ‘hacks’ and ‘hackers’ from all different types of backgrounds: people from big media organisations, as well as individual online publishers and freelancers.

What will I get out of it? The aim is to show journalists how to use programming and design techniques to create online news stories and features; and vice versa, to show programmers how to find, develop, and polish stories and features. To see what happened at our past events in Liverpool and Birmingham visit the ScraperWiki blog.

How much? NOTHING! It’s free, thanks to our sponsors.

What should I bring? We would encourage people to come along with ideas for local ‘datasets’ that are of interest. In addition we will create a list of suggested data sets at the introduction on the morning of the event but flexibility is key for this event. If you have a laptop, please bring this too.

So what exactly will happen on the day? Armed with their laptops and WIFI, journalists and developers will be put into teams of around four to develop their ideas, with the aim of finishing final projects that can be published and shared publicly. Each team will then present their project to the whole group. Overall winners will receive a prize at the end of the day.

*Not sure what a hack day is? Let’s go with the Wikipedia definition: It “an event where developers, designers and people with ideas gather to build ‘cool stuff'”…

The Scraperwiki tour will be stopping off in Dublin on Tuesday 16 November.

Feel free to comment below and discuss potential datasets that could be mined on the day, or areas that deserve investigation.

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  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Sounds like a fun day….Ill be there.
    Thanks for this heads up.

  • Mark McGregor

    As Alan was blogging this I was mailing him and others about it. I have a really anal idea for it. Probably too nery to get anyone interested in coding it!

  • Mark McGregor

    My hope would be to attract interest in putting our reader generated election data to work – its a pretty unique collection of statistics that doesn’t get the full value it could.

    Our collection method is a bit ropey and analysis of what is submitted is weak – it is down to me and a spreadsheet afterall.

    I’d like to see if it could be devloped into a better projection tool and also used to identify strong and weak demographics for voting.

    I’m sure the old data and how we approach it in future could generate other ideas. At present its mainly a bit of craic to fill the dead hours between polls opening and actual figures coming out but it has the potential to be a lot more and quite a few people put a decent bit of effort into collecting the raw numbers.

  • Michael

    Nerdy is my middle name
    Well, it’s Edward, but anyhow

    I’m always up for a bit of recreational coding, and currently looking for a project to let me get my teeth into the new spring roo google app engine integration, you get me the rquirements, i’ll get you the app, wife/baby daughter permitting.