geo Hackathons in Montreal

2 geo Hackathons are taking place in Montreal very soon!
  1. Défi GeoHack: (le 2 octobre)
  2. EcoHack:  (séance de travail le 21 aout – , événement principal mi-octobre, date exacte à préciser)

Montrealers are taking open data, apps development and hackathons to new heights and a more focussed level than anywhere else in Canada right now.  There has been Hacking Health in a few cities, and Apps for Climate Change in BC, and Random Hack of Kindness, which have brought great people together.  The folks in Quebec, however, really ground their efforts into the development socio-political-technologies for social good and tie their work into the political process.  For instance:

  • Logement Insalubre an open data movement which brings together apps developers, open data advocates and housing and homelessness activists and organizations to address the dearth of data on these topics,
  • Montreal Accessible which matched people with disabilities, apps developers and volunteers to conduct accessibility surveys and map results, à la participatory geography,
  • Hackons la corruption, where more than 100 developers and hacktivists came together to mine contract data
  • ZoneCone, which is an open source, interoperable, standards based à la GeoConnections app to navigate Canada’s construction season by integrating transportation road network data and road constructions zones
  • OpenNorth, while a national organization, was created by a groups of anglo, international and franco Montrealers,  is the first open data non profit developing tools for a better democracy
  • and one of the first companies in Canada to merge open data, web aggregation data/content algorithms and data about the charitable sector in Canada and then create products to improve and aid the sector in becoming more evidence-based while also pushing for national scale research.

Montreal Ouvert also created a Table De Concertation to advise the city on its open data strategy.  They have taken great pains to ensure that it has broad  representation.  They also have pic nic‘s,  how great is that!

This is great stuff!
Geomatics, Cartography and geography students can contribute to and learn from these activities, and class projects can be hackathon like prototypes dedicated to resolving real world issues in an interactive, collaborative and multidisciplinary way.  Data specialist can help by improving the social science of these works in some instances, study these effort, and info specialists can contribute their semantic ontology, portal design, keyword searches, data management and preservation as well as cataloguing skills to the processes which are normalizing across the country.  There are open data initiatives across the country at city, provincial and federal scales  and they all need a multiplicity of skills.
I love this stuff, and hope you do too!