Appening

A month ago I tweeted about Appening (a 24 hour hackathon on public data in Sundsvall) and that I wanted to participate. A couple of hours later me Johan Mjönes, Joakim Bodin, Jonas Beckman and Patrik Åkerfeldt decided to participate.

Data

Försäkringskassan (Social Insurance), Bolagsverket (Swedish Companies Registration Office) and Riksantikvarieämbetet (The Swedish National Heritage Board) participated and held presentations on their available APIs. Appening 2011

Försäkringskassan mostly handle very sensitive data and could because of this not open up their data. Even though I believe I should have the possibility to export whatever data they have on me in their system. For the event they did their best and brought a server with mocked data about a fictive family for us to query and build new services upon.

Bolagsverket didn’t have any available APIs available for us instead we had to screen scrape their web to be able to build anything useful. However they provided us with login credentials for their service that they normally charge quite a lot of money for. Appening 2011

Riksantikvarieämbetet presented a quite impressive and and well documented API.

Other data sources was also available but not presented in detailed, instead they where listed on the Appening website. There was lot of data available from Sundsvall municipality, if the data would have been presented in a better way or by someone I’m sure we would have seen this data used in some apps.

Avtryck

We created the Android app Avtryck (roughly translated to mark). Our idea was to build a service where users could create routes by marking out points of cultural heritage with their own descriptions. By creating routes like this we allowed users to put the data into a context which we believe is more appealing. During the event we focused on the Android app and built a mocked API for fetching routes.

Our presentation is available on Bambuser, around 3.40, slides is uploaded to GitHub (PDF). More information about the project is available at our organization on GitHub. During the event we also registered the domain tidensavtryck.se and we hope to continue the work on both the app the service so users can actually start to create routes. We also want to combine other data sources to create richer routes. A route I would like to see for the summer is the best flea markets around Stockholm combined with recommended cafés along the route.

Avtryck won prize for best idea, sponsored by Sundsvall42 and a prize from Riksantikvarieämbetet. Thank you! Appening 2011

Summary

I was very impressed by what all teams presented during the event, all teams and their presentations will soon be available at the Appening website. Four out of seven teams used the data available from Riksantikvarieämbetet. I believe most of the teams decided to use this data because it was not only the most interesting data it was also the most structured and well documented data set available. I believe/hope that the other authorities that participated got inspired and will start working on open up their data soon.

Thank you Mittuniversitetet, E-delegationen, Sundsvall42 and Dragon Open Source Foundation for organizing this event.

I hope Appening will be an annual event and that we will have more data sources available and authorities participating next year.