INSPIRE Hackathon 2016

INSPIRE Hackathon 2016

VGI & Citizens’ observatories INSPIRE Hackathon, Barcelona 2016


The “VGI & Citizens’ Observatories INSPIRE Hackathon” is the first hackathon organised in the frame of the INSPIRE Conference 2016. It aims to sustain and develop the unique European Citizens’ Observatories concept as a forceful tool in environmental management and public participation.

Current society requires easy, reliable and quick access to environmental information published by various organizations and initiatives. The environment questions cover many activities that produce various sorts of data. They are connected with natural risks and hazards (e.g. floods, forest fires), pollution and contamination of air, soil or water, degradation of landscape (e.g. deforestation, erosion, slide processes), scientific research (ecology, geographical sciences), historical landscape memory (landscape ecological research), education and raising public awareness and business activities (e.g. eco-tourism, ecological farms, ecological food production). Local and community activities capture local knowledge in multimedia forms including videos, photos or oral histories. The collected information can contribute to update data.


The objective of the first INSPIRE hackathon is to:

  • concrete new ideas by re-using the outcomes of previous research projects and already available data sets to the benefit of new Citizen Observatories;
  • set of additions to the Citizens’ Observatories tools and apps;
  • prototype data model that can be used across the current and future Citizens’ Observatories and other citizen science initiatives.

The hackathon links data from the area of Citizens Observatories and projects focused on Open GI Data (Foodie, SDI4Apps, Open Transport Net). The hackathon should transfer results from these projects to the new suite of citizens observatories (GROW, SCENT, Ground Truth 2.0, LandSense) so that they can benefit from the work done and further develop the results.

In addition to make use of existing tools, it is also a goal to combine data from various sources, including those provided by the current Citizens Observatories, Copernicus, GEOSS, and INSPIRE, as well as data collected and produced in the MyGEOSS apps and the EU projects including FOODIE, SDI4Apps and OpenTransportNet.


Monday, September 26, 2016

11:00 INSPIRE Hack [I] – tools, services, APIs and data from existing projects
14:00 INSPIRE Hack [II] – ideas and building teams for the hackathon
16:00 INSPIRE Hack [III] – collaborative work in teams


The hackathon was divided into three groups addressing the following challenges:

  • Challenge 1 -How might future environmental management and public participation be improved by re-using already available data and tools?  What can be learned from the experiences from existing projects – for new projects.
  • Challenge 2 -How can the 4 new Citizens’ observatories as well as next generations of observatories re-use and tailor the tools developed in the 5 first Citizens’ Observatories (in particular the soon ending CITI-SENSE, WeSenseIt and CobWeb projects), and related projects like SDI4Apps, FOODIE and Open Transport Net?
  • Challenge 3 – Based on use cases from the 4 new Citizens’ Observatories, how can data from a variety of data sources be made interoperable and integrated as information answering concrete environmental issues?

Around 50 attendees on-site and remotely were distributed quite evenly on the three groups.