Athens Green Hackathon 2013
Athens Green Hackathon 2013 was the second in a series of events where hackers and developers together with domain experts and data scientists met to create and apply new ideas, targeting a sustainable and healthier future! One of the main goals of the Green Hackathon was to showcase the potential of Open Data and APIs that make access to environmental, agricultural and biodiversity data easier.
The events were funded by the European research projects agINFRA ("A data infrastructure for agriculture"), SemaGrow ("Data Intensive Techniques to Boost the Real-Time Performance of Global Agriculture Data Infrastructures") and Organic Lingua ("Demonstrating the potential of multilingual Web Portal for Sustainable Agricultural & Environmental Education") under the 7th Framework Programme and the ICT PSP Programme of the European Union.
Finally, the Athens Green Hackathon 2013 took place from Saturday, December 14th, 2013 to Sunday, December 15th, 2013 at the coLab Workspace in Athens. Its scope was for the participants to utilize the knowledge gained during the previous days to develop applications that will address one of the challenges given at the beginning of the event! The most successful ones were awarded during the Closing Ceremony that took place on Sunday, December 15th, 2013 at the Impact HUB Athens.
DataSets & APIs
For this year's event we had identified a number of open data sets for programmers to work on, that are available here. The data sets were suggested by the event organizers but were in no way limiting for the participants.
Due to the unique identity of this event, Athens Green Hackathon 2013 addressed to researchers in the fields of statistics, mathematics, physics, chemistry and agriculture, as well as experts in artificial intelligence and web developers! Citizens that could contribute and were concerned about the environment could also join the event during the Closing Ceremony that took place on Sunday, December 15th at the Impact HUB Athens.
Athens Green Hackathon 2013 was hosted in various venues around Athens trying to connect all Athenians!! Thus, the Intro Course (29.11.13) and the Hands-On Session (12.12.13) were held at the Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications of the NCSR Demokritos (Patriarchou Grigoriou and Neapoleos St., GR-15310, Aghia Paraskevi, Attiki, Greece). The actual hackathon event (14 & 15.12.13) was held at the coLab Workspace in Athens (28 Petraki Str., Athens, Greece), whereas the Closing Ceremony of the Athens Green Hackathon 2013 was hosted at the Impact HUB Athens (28 Karaiskaki Str., 105 54 Athens, Greece).
Intro Course (Friday, November 29th, 2013)
The Intro Course was organized as a full day event on Friday, November 29th, 2013 at the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications of the N.C.S.R. Demokritos. The targeted audience of this one day training course was researchers, who are involved in “Data Science”, as well as domain experts and developers who are interested to be taught on how to become “Data Scientists”.
The course was divided into two main parts, the training sessions' part and the creativity workshop. During the first part, Dr. Antonis Koukorikos (Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications, N.C.S.R. Demokritos), Dr. Vassilis Protonotatios (Agro-Know Technologies) and Dr. Charalampos Thanopoulos (Agro-Know Technologies), gave to the participants the main ideas on the Big data and the Semantic web technologies that can be used for them, as well the design process of data products (with some generic examples) and how this approach can be applied for dedicated agricultural problems.
After the completion of these presentations, the creativity workshop took place, during which the participants were asked to define the data and to design and present the data products that can be used in order to address the following challenges:
• Challenge No1: How might we create an application for APIVITA website (http://www.apivita.com), where users can find multilingual educational material?
• ChallengeNo2: How might we develop an application for STEVIA Hellas website (http://www.stevianet.gr), where users can get access to accurate bibliographic resources?
Participants were split in small groups of 3-4 persons and developed 4 different data products for each challenge. The presentations of the data products can be found below, by clicking on the relevant links:
Hands-On Session (Thursday, December 12th, 2013)
The main scope of this event was to train the participants on the tools and technologies to be used during theAthens Green Hackathon 2013! To this end, within the context of this event the following training sessions took place:
- Using public infrastructure for Data problems & products in Agriculture
- Incorporating existing data processing algorithms and components in your data product
- Incorporating existing agricultural data sets in your data product
All the training sessions were handled by domain experts from widely known institutions, such as the University of Alcala (UAH), the Institute of Physics, Belgrade (IPB), the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), the Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (SZTAKI), theFood & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Open University (OU) and the Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications of the N.C.S.R. Demokritos.
Athens Green Hackathon 2013 (Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th, December 2013)
Athens Green Hackathon 2013, following the format of the previous event, included a specific process for the elaboration of the applications/hacks that were developed. This process was problem-driven and it's basic steps are described below:
1. Hacking equation set forth in the beginning (Data + Need = Hack)
2. Rapid talks from invited Data Users and Data Owners of environmental data sets
3. Interview with invited experts/users within the groups of participating hackers
4. Data collection & analysis
5. Brainstorming on specific solutions to the hacking equation set forth
6. Selection of hacks that solve the equation and will be moved forward
This time, the brainstorming began a little bit earlier, during the Intro Course (Friday, November 29th, 2013), where the participants were asked to identify data sources/ types that might be useful for APIVITA and Stevia Hellas, and come up with ideas for data products that could be included in their websites.
The input received, was then used in the Athens Green Hackathon 2013, aiming to help the participants brainstorm on the data sources and data products for APIVITA's and Stevia Hellas' websites, discuss these ideas with the companies' representatives or come up with completely different ones. More specifically, Mr. Anagnosti John Choukalas (New Business Development Director, APIVITA) and Mr. Christos Stamatis (CEO, Stevia Coop) gave a short speech about their companies, so as to help the participants get to know them better, and afterwards acted as interviewees, giving the participants the chance to ask any questions they would like to, in order to collect the requirements needed to address the challenges set in the beginning of the events.
Having completed this process, each team brainstormed once again on the data sources/ types and the data products needed for these two companies and came up with more ideas about hacks that could successfully address the companies' needs. The standard voting process followed and each team started working on the hack chosen.
Athens Green Hackathon 2013, aimed to develop hacks that will address real needs. Having this in mind, the two challenges set in the beginning of the events, were the following:
- "How might we create an application for APIVITA's website (http://www.apivita.com/), where users can find multilingual educational material?"
- "How might we develop an application for Stevia Hellas' website (http://stevianet.gr/), where users can get access to accurate bibliographic resources?"
The rapid speakers selected for the Athens Green Hackathon 2013, were inspired individuals with deep knowledge of their domain and a special communication ability that allows them to inspire and motivate their audience. More specifically, due to the fact that in this year's event, the challenges set had to do with two widely known companies in their field, the invited speakers represented both of them. Thus, Mr Anagnosti John Choukalas (New Business Development Director, APIVITA) helped the participants get to know APIVITA Company better, whereas Mr. Christos Stamatis (CEO, Stevia Coop) told us really interesting things about Stevia Cooperation.
Have a look at the presentations given by the two companies, by clicking on the following links:
- Presentation of APIVITA Company (Mr Anagnosti John Choukalas, New Business Development Director)
- Presentation of Stevia Cooperation (Mr Christos Stamatis, CEO)
Once the inspiring talks were completed, each of the two speakers was allocated to the respective team as an interviewee. Two members of the Athens Green Hackathon 2013 served as facilitators and the discussion began..
- Facilitator: Angeliki Papageorgiou
- Interviewee: Anagnosti John Choukalas
- Facilitator: Charalampos Thanopoulos
- Interviewee: Christos Stamatis
Data Collection & Analysis
In this year's event, the data collection and analysis phase took place during the Course: "Introduction to Data Science for Agriculture". All the notes taken during this phase, were summarized once again after the interview, giving the participants the chance to add any new thoughts.
During this phase, the participants were reminded of the hacking equation set forth in the beginning of the event (data + need = hack), so as to come up with hack ideas aiming to solve this equation. Each of them was asked to contribute his own notes taken during the interview and explain them to the rest of the group so as to initiate a discussion.
Selection of hacks
Having completed the brainstorming session, all the notes were clustered based on their common themes, and the following clusters came up:
- Producers Communities: Forums where producers could exchange opinions about the raw materials used by APIVITA
- Consumers Communities: Forums where consumers can get engaged around topics that interest them and connect with others having similar interests and of course with APIVITA itself
- Learning Resources: Learning resources to be utilized in order to help consumers and producers get to know APIVITA's products better
- Social Data: Social Media & Blogs, where customers could exchange opinions and rate APIVITA's products
- Location Based Data: Information on the traceability of compounds/ products
- Supply Chain: Supply chain info on ingredients, suppliers, price and quality
- Graphs: Recipies' graphs, manufacturers' graph, datasets with recipies, graph of products with similar benefits
- Marketing Analysis: Price and market analysis, statistical data, identify possible revenues by marketing statistical data
- Separate Customer and Farmer Website: Develop two different interfaces, so as to attract more customers and farmers
- Word Analysis: Focus on diseases that can be healed with the use of stevia, word image with diseases and stuff (visitors)
- Show the Process: Show in detail the process followed to make stevia products
- Sensor data analysis: Sensor data to give personalized instructions, so as to help farmers with the stevia production
- Map indicating stevia appropriate areas: Map with appropriate areas to cultivate stevia
- Games: Develop games demonstrating stevia's benefits
- Social: Community Driven APP/ Game, Create Communities of Producers & Customers where they could exchange opinions about stevia products and raw materials
Each of the teams, chose one or more of the clusters to follow and started "building" their hacks.
The panel of experts that evaluated the presented hacks, consisted of prominent professionals in their field:
- Theodoros Karounos, Chairperson, Greek Free / Open Source Software Society (GFOSS)
- Yiannis Giannarakis, General Manager, Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies (HAMAC)
- Pythagoras Karampiperis, Researcher, Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications, N.C.S.R. Demokritos (IIT)
- Nikolaos Marianos, Project Manager, Agro-Know Technologies (AK)
Organic Lingua Prize: Stevia Toolkit (Giorgos Panagopoulos, Dimitris Papavasiliou, Dimitris Proios)
SemaGrow Prize: BeeNET (Carlos Villavicencio, Nikolaos Vorniotakis, Panagiota Papageorgiou, Katerina Zervou, Vladimir Slavnic)
In case you would like to have a look at the presentations of the two awarded hacks, you can easily do so by clicking on the following links:
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Friday, November 29th, 2013
Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Saturday, December 14th, 2013
Sunday, December 15th, 2013
The final brochure of the events, can be downloaded here.
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