After six months of planning Bath: Hacked was finally upon us and like the rest of the steering group I breathed a sigh of relief when the first sign-ups appeared half an hour early! Bath: Hacked was all about trying to benefit the community through use of open data and it was great to see B&NES not only backing this but taking the driving seat when it came to organising and running the event here at the Guild. It was also a great chance to get some of our members involved with the hack, indeed two teams were made up of Guild members, but a number were also involved with the steering panel, Jack McConnell created the website and Simon Starr managed twitter.
Back to the hack, over 48hrs we had over 50 people come through our doors...some never left with many coding through the night. Saturday consisted of 10 minutes of welcome and introductions to the data before everyone broke off into their own groups and got their heads down to business. In the evening there was a chance to relax over a beer and some pizza, though unsurprisingly it was the cokes and red bull that went first.
When I got back on Sunday morning I was surprised at the number of people who had clearly stayed the night, indeed it wasn’t too difficult to discern who had gone home for a warm shower the night before. Sunday was a calls to arm type of day with people in a mad rush to get their apps/websites completed ready for the presentations at 3pm.
By the end of play we had 13 teams all ready to present to the judges: Doug Laughlen, Ross Ferguson and Valerie West, after much deliberation the overall winner was announced as Data Blitz, with the Community Impact Award going to Team Discover(y), Best Use of Data went to Tourism Dashboard, Best Completed Project and the Hackers Choice Award went to Road Reporter.
Look out for the next Bath: Hacked later this year during the Bath Digital Festival.