The ITCH – Data: Creativity by numbers
As part our event The ITCH, we’ll be posting advice and updates about the event for applicants and anyone else who’s just a bit interested.
Today we’re all about data.
Anna and Chrissy from Makerversity Amsterdam met with Jasper Soetendal, Open data Programmer for the City of Amsterdam. Japser is head honcho of open source data in Amsterdam and preceded his meeting with us by sending through his latest summary on data sets in Amsterdam. Upon first glance, looking at these blocks of data on an excel sheet can be a daunting task- which is why we’re so lucky to have Jasper involved in the makerthon to take the ‘scare’ factor out of the numbers.
Driven by data superstars like Jasper, Amsterdam has some of the best open source data in the world right now. By opening up data, the city can help create innovative businesses and services that want to make Amsterdam a better place to live. Which is exactly why we think we’re the most exciting place for start ups in Europe right now!
“By opening up data, the city can help innovative businesses that want to make Amsterdam a better place to live.”
Jasper is no stranger to a makerthon- in fact he was the winner of the Apps for Amsterdam competition in 2011, which gave him the launch pad for his career today. His advice to anyone wondering about the data aspect of the ITCH is to be specific about what you’re asking for. “The broader your themes the less tangible the results will be” he told us. It’s the difference between asking for data around tourist information (ie very broad and open ended) or data for the amount of paper tickets bought on the no.16 tram each day (ie narrow and finite).
“The broader your themes the less tangible the results will be.”
If you’re thinking about applying for the ITCH and are worried by the requirement to use data as part of your idea fret not: right now you don’t need to know or totally understand it but you should have an idea of what data you want to make your idea come to life!
Here’s some examples of what data the City of Amsterdam has to offer.
Real time traffic data – shown on a map this data set’s API shows routes and colour codes them according to density of traffic and length of time it takes to travel the route.
Function map – this super cool map shows an up-to-date map of the city where each building’s use is colour coded. It shows us at a glance where residence and industry is concentrated and allows you to track patterns across the city.
Energy use – energy usage for each postcode including number of connections, gas and electricity units consumed.
The Rijksmuseum – an incredible data source for all of the Rijkmusem’s artworks including imagery of the works and all noteable information for it. Updated daily it currently holds over 100,000 pieces in it database.