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Posts Tagged ‘hackathon’

Food+Tech Hackathon

December 9th, 2010

On December 4th, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and general food enthusiasts came together at the Food+Tech Hackathon to develop and explore applications to help evolve the food and information technology community. The event, which was part of the International Open Data Hackathon, was in New York City and was organized by Danielle Gould from Food + Tech Connect, Marc Alt from Open Source Cities, and Tian He from Gojee.

Evan Patton and I had a chance to come down and help out with the day’s hacking. I kicked off the event with a lecture on Open Data and the Semantic Web. I gave some background on the Open Data movement in the last few years, discussed some of the current challenges in open data, and talked about how Semantic Web technologies can help address these challenges.

Evan helped explain some of his work on publishing USDA nutrition data on semanticdiet.com and discussed the Wine Agent’s food ontology and recommendation with participants. Semantic Diet uses semantic web technologies to bring together nutrition data, recipes contributed by users and crawled off the web, and personal dietary needs. Having these data organized and encoded using semantic technologies allowed groups to query and reason about food data, and even link it into their own hackathon ideas.

During the hackathon there were thirteen groups work on everything from application to help people eat more sustainably to projects that allowed people to understand price fluctuations in food products over time. We were thrilled to see some of the groups using some semantic data and technologies provided by Semantic Diet and TWC’s LinkedOpen Government Data project. Evan and I spent most of our time educating and assisting teams on using semantic technologies and data. It was great to see so many people enthusiastic about semantics and thinking about how they could use open data to start a project or improve existing projects.

All in all I feel the hackathon was a huge success. At the end of the day we had many applications and projects that have potential to really move forward and make a real impact in the community. Evan and I would like to thank the sponsors and organizers of the first ever Food+Tech Hackathon and hope to help and participate in many more.

Links to other great blog posts on the Food+Tech Hackathon:

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RPI Hackathon: Linking government data

December 9th, 2009

This is an invitation to participate in the RPI Hackathon 2009 for linking government data. For more detailed information check our wiki.

Part of the work done here in the Tetherless World Constellation consists in translating the government datasets available from data.gov into RDF. This effort has produced billions of triples from (at the moment of writing this post) more than 130 datasets. This data can used in multiple ways: It can be queried from a SPARQL endpoint, used in visualizations such as maps or it can be combined with other datasets (whether from data.gov or other sources) to find correlations, clustering or other types of analysis.

However, we think that the data is more interesting and useful when is linked: For example, a system can answer a specific query and also suggest other sources of information that may be relevant to the user. Thus we think that while we keep translating datasets, it also would be nice to link these datasets to the Linked Data cloud and, in order to do that, we are asking your help.

During December 12th and 13th we will host a Hackathon (i.e., an event where people gather together to work on a specific computational problem). This event is part of the Great American Hackathon promoted by Sunlight Labs. We will host this event at Winslow Building, RPI, in Troy NY. It will start from 10AM to 5PM , but if you have only a few spare hours, you are also welcome! As I mentioned above, our main goal is to link the available data to the Linked Data cloud, but if you have also other ideas to develop using one or more of the datasets, please join us too! The only requirement is to bring your computer and register by email to gravea3[@]rpi.edu or difrad[@]rpi.edu. Because we know big brains needs energy, food and beverages will be provided. Even if you can’t attend physically you can help us working online.

Everyone is invited to participate. If you have any comments, questions, etc. please don’t hesitate to contact me at gravea3[@]rpi.edu or check the announcement in data-gov.

Alvaro Graves and the Data-gov team.

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