Day 1: rise and shine

Thursday morning, 9 AM, the brave participants of the Open Data Hackathon gather at ICAB to immerse themselves into the world of sensors, Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino’s and creative data creation and collection. Toon Vanagt introduces the open data hackathon goals and the team members pitch challenges they would like to work on for two days. The outcome were 2 teams to measure traffic flows and to  gauge air pollution. A different Toon, Nelissen to be specific, explains what InfluencAir already does and how we can advance this ambitious open data project.
The 15 participants divide themselves in two groups to get to know each other, experience the team dynamics during an original warm-up session: the world’s first marshmallow soldering challenge!
The participant have to use the material found on the table to build the highest tower that’s able to support a marshmallow. Equipment: 30 pieces of electricity wire, a small piece of tape, some solder and a 350°C soldering machine.
Check who won by watching the video below.

The projects: OpenTraffic and Influencair

OpenTraffic: mapping the flow of traffic in Brussels

The team of OpenTraffic immediately gets to work building the sensors to collect and open traffic data. The idea, simply put, is to detect and count cars at different strategic spots around Brussels. A collaboration of the right hardware and software should allow the team in a next phase to recognise vehicles, hash the number plates to avoid privacy issues, and upload it all to the cloud.
By doing this, they are able to map the routes and density of traffic.

Influencair: gauging the air quality in Brussels

The other team starts building sensors to measure particulate matter PM10and PM2.5. These are small particles in the air, mostly generated by cars, heating and agricultural processes, that can penetrate into our lungs, and via blood into our brain and other organs.
The project is inspired by Luftdaten and leverages their expertise and documentation to move ahead quickly.


Time for lunch!

With all these brains working at overdrive, people are getting hungry. Luckily, Betacowork provides a delicious lunch. Everybody looks happy, so without a doubt, the productivity will be kept high in the afternoon as well.

Canal Z pays a visit

Triggered by all this zealous activity (as you can see above), the press had no chance but to pay us a visit. While the developers are hard at work building the project, Toon and Louis explain what is going on here. I recommend you to watch the video to have a better understanding of what’s going on.
Video Canal Z Hackathon (French)

Day 2: the hacking continues

The teams prepare themselves for the big moment: the pitch in front of a jury!

One of the projects will win, but everyone will certainly go home with a prize. Everybody’s a winner, because amazing steps have been taken in only 48 hours. The projects will be reviewed using the following parameters:

  •   Societal impact
  •   Use/creation of open data
  •   Use/creation of open source
  •   Innovative character
  •   Team quality
  •   Pitch quality
  •   Story telling & social media reach

The jury included:
Claudio Truzzi Program Manager at,
Dimitri Strobbe Attaché Mobilité – Travaux publics Kabinet van minister Pascal Smet
Marnix Housen CEO of Icab Incubator.
Who wouldn’t want to win one of these gadgets …