A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers meet to intensively engage in collaborative programming. The term hackathon was first used in 1999, but its origins can be traced back the 1970s. The main objective of hackathons is to create usable software.
Hackathons’ subjects are usually related to software development, but can also include a hardware component. Many are organized as a platform for the development of mobile applications, operating system variations, and video game upgrading. They can also have an educational theme or social purpose.
Hackathons also provide a forum for networking with potential employers and business partners to fund new ventures. They usually conclude with presentations and demonstrations in which each team presents its results to a panel of experts and other teams. In some cases, the panel of judges selects winning teams and awards prizes.
The 2016 Asia Open Data Hackathon
The 2016 Asia Open Data Hackathon was held in Taipei, Taiwan in August, and attracted teams from Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.
“Through these international exchanges, not only can we learn creative ideas from others, we can also help governments understand the status of open data. We truly hope this event can help more people learn the benefits of using open data,” said Mr. Jiunn-Shiow Lin, Deputy Director of Taiwan’s Industrial Development Bureau, during the opening ceremony.
After two days of competition, the judges selected six winning teams; The Urban Baker, Farmers is Here, Hello World, Pinky Power, Prowide, and Radya Playground.
The participating teams used existing hardware and upgraded software technology to better deliver information to users.
By marrying an augmented reality (AR) application to cultural data, a Taiwanese team came up with an idea to help tourists acquire information about their country’s landmarks, such as the Taipei 101 tower by just snapping a photo on their smartphones.
Another team from Taiwan made use of the concept of internet of things (IoT) to tap into a car’s impact sensors to automatically notify first responders in the event of an accident.
Urban Baker used the Pokémon Go game and open data from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture to provide players with information regarding historical sites, so as to better preserve the country’s cultural heritage.
Pinky Tower converted Taiwanese power consumption statistics into a visual format to better identify high electricity users to improve energy management.
Farmers is Here tackled the issue of market exploitation in Thailand by establishing a platform to allow farmers to better understand customer preferences and adjust their production accordingly. As farmers reduce their cost of production, consumers are better able to purchase agricultural products at reasonable prices.
Prowide came up with a solution to help Thailands farmers better control their supplies. The platform allows farmers to see real time market prices for their products, allowing them to adjust output and pricing. The platform also allows consumers to purchase produce directly from farmers, making it easier for farmers to predict demand and avoid excess production.
Hello World developed an application to raise the awareness of Indonesia’s national culture and artifacts by means of a point-based prize approach. The application in turn helps tourism administrators better understand visitors’ behavior so as to enhance their cultural experience.