Hacking the Smart City, 7 to 9 Nov 2013

As part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science, the Talisman project is holding a hackathon at UCL (University College London) co-sponsored by the UK’s Ordnance Survey to develop solutions that will make cities smarter. The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL has developed a number of innovative technologies in the areas of visual analytics, data sensing and extraction, crowdsourcing, digital social research and geospatial modelling. These social science methods can be used to extract, analyse and visualise a range of big data streams arising from social media such as twitter, transport data from the city of London, weather data, air pollution, survey data from crowdsourcing, etc. We are looking for individuals with a range of different skills who want to experiment with the data and learn more about these technologies in order to solve a range of smart city challenges.

The event will run over three days:

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Thurs 7 Nov,6 to 8 pm, Ice breaker event with an overview of CASA technologies + skills swap and challenge pitches, AV Hill Lecture Theatre, Medical Sciences (UCL)

Fri 8 Nov,5 to 9 pm,Team formation and work to begin on challenges,Haldane Room, Wilkins Building (UCL)

Sat 9 Nov,9 am to 5 pm~~5 to 6 pm, Work on challenges~~Lightning presentations and awards ceremony, Haldane Room, Wilkins Building (UCL)


The event is free, and as with other hackathons, we will provide sustenance and plenty of strong coffee.  Please register for the event at:


Download a map from here to help you find the venues.

Smart City Challenges

Below is a set of smart city challenges that we have come up with so far, with some more to be posted shortly. Take a look and see which ones might be of interest to you. You will have an opportunity to hear more about these different challenges on 7 Nov and to then find a team to work with. Alternatively, if you have a challenge that you’d like to put forth or a dataset that you want individuals to play around with, then please bring your ideas/data to the event.

1. Characterising city ‘wellness’

2. Cycling in the city

3. Building a social radar for the city

4. Mobile gaming in the city

5. The weather in London

6. Improving transport in Britain

7. Hacking with Pigeon Sim

8. Creating your own City Dashboard

9. Developing a Solution with Leap Motion Technology

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