Open Data, Volunteered Geographic Information and Citizen Observatories

This is the second edition of the INSPIRE Hack, i.e. a hackathon that is part of the INSPIRE Conference 2017. This time, the hackathon will start early in July 2017 when hackathon teams will be created and will start working on their projects before the INSPIRE Conference. The INSPIRE Conference will serve as a platform for presenting the hackathon results. All the hackathon teams will present their projects during a dedicated workshop at the INSPIRE Conference. The workshop including the award ceremony will take place either on 4th or 5th September 2017 in Kehl, Germany.

The INSPIRE Hack supports creativity, innovation, technical capabilities and knowledge sharing. The INSPIRE Hack focuses on methods where citizens are able to contribute to different environmental and societal issues through smart phones and other sensors.


Local and community activities capture local knowledge in multimedia such as videos, photos and other sensor data. The collected information can contribute to tackle environmental and societal challenges in agriculture, forestry, fishery, risk management, air, soil and water pollution and contamination, landscape management, education and commercialisation.

Volunteered geographic information (VGI)  is the harnessing of tools to create, assemble, and disseminate geographic data provided voluntarily by individuals.

Recent developments in the sensor domain have led to a DIY (do it yourself) approach, using sensors based on low cost hardware, as well as an increasing availability of Bluetooth connected sensors that can be easily connected to a smartphone and together with existing smartphone sensors provide a large amount of spatio-temporal sensor data.

Citizen observatories are community-based environmental monitoring and information systems. They build on innovative and novel Earth observation applications embedded in portable or mobile personal devices.  This means that citizens can help and be engaged in observing our environment.

Young generation representing smartphone users is one of the enablers of new geographic information based applications. Spatial information helps young generations to learn about relations to and with the environment, history and culture in different regions. Online sharing of spatial information goes beyond the linguistic barriers, which are one of the most important constraints for the communication between different regions.

The open data movement covers many issues of using existing data sets without any limits or restrictions. Open data activities mean open-source, open-content and open-access. Open data sets are often provided by governmental bodies, but also by scientists or international organisations and bodies (e.g. European Commission, World Bank, Copernicus, Group of Earth Observations).


The first phase of the INSPIRE Hack starts with creating teams that will work on a certain project. You can create your own team with people you know or people you’ve worked with before. Or you can can explore the existing ideas and teams that have been already created and you can simply join them. In any case, you need to register in order to gain access to the shared space where building teams and design of ideas is happening.

For participation, please register at

As soon as you register, you will be sent a link to the shared space for collaboration. You can join the already existing teams and projects or you can create your own team and project idea. Please keep the shared space up-to-date and share the basic information about your team and project idea as well as your contacts and means of communication. The workspace will be accompanied by data and tools, which are available in preliminary versions, listed at the end of this page/document.

All the teams will be invited to present their projects during the dedicated workshop at the INSPIRE Conference. For this reason, teams will be asked to prepare a presentation showing the hackathon results. The details including the timing for the presentation will be announced later on.


The best three projects will be selected by the jury that will be formed during August 2017 and the winning teams will be awarded. This includes a live broadcast on social media, an interview (video/audio) with the winning team that they can use freely and that will be published in specified channels.


7th July 2017
Start of the INSPIRE Hack II – start of the registration

7th July – 31st August 2017
Building teams and working on hackathon projects

1st September 2017
Delivery of the presentations for the INSPIRE Conference workshop

4th or 5th September 2017
3 hour workshop for presenting hackathon results and award ceremony, participation of all teams is strongly encouraged


For any inquiries please contact Karel Charvat at: charvat (at) and Tomas Mildorf at: mildorf(at)


Plan4all – Plan4all is a non-profit association sustaining and further enhancing the results of multiple research and innovation projects. It aggregates large open datasets related to planning activities in different specialisms areas transportspatial and city planningenvironment and tourism. Plan4all makes sure that open data are easily accessible for reuse, data are maintained and their quality is improved.

DataBio – The data intensive target sector selected for the DataBio project is the Data-Driven Bioeconomy, focusing in production of best possible raw materials from agriculture, forestry and fishery/aquaculture for the bioeconomy industry to produce food, energy and biomaterials taking into account also various responsibility and sustainability issues. DataBio proposes to deploy a state of the art, big data platform “on top of the existing partners” infrastructure and solutions – the Big DATABIO Platform. The work will be continuous cooperation of experts from end user and technology provider companies, from bioeconomy and technology research institutes, and of other partners. In the pilots also associated partners and other stakeholders will be actively involved. The selected pilots and concepts will be transformed to pilot implementations utilizing co-innovative methods and tools where the bioeconomy sector end user experts and other stakeholders will give input to the user and sector domain understanding for the requirements specifications for ICT, Big Data and Earth Observation experts and for other solution providers in the consortium.

NextGEOSS –  The NextGEOSS project will implement a federated data hub for access and exploitation of Earth Observation data, including user-friendly tools for data mining, discovery, access and exploitation. This data hub will be supported by a strong commitment to the engagement of Earth Observation and related communities, with the view of supporting the creation of innovative and business oriented applications. The main general objectives for NextGEOSS are to 1) Deliver the next generation data hub and Earth Observation exploitation for innovation and business; 2) Engage communities, promoting innovative GEOSS powered applications from Europe; and 3) Advocate GEOSS as a sustainable European approach for Earth Observation data distribution and exploitation. NextGEOSS engages main providers of Earth Observation data, including Copernicus Collaborative Ground Segments and Core Services.

SKIN – SKIN is an ambitious initiative of 20 partners in 14 countries in the area of Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs). It intends to systematise and bring knowledge to practitioners, promote collaboration within a demand-driven innovation logic and provide inputs to policymaking through links to the EIP-AGRI.
Partners will scout, analyse and classify a significant number of cases in different countries. “Good practices” (at least 100) will be systematised, processed into highly usable formats and made accessible to stakeholders via the web and through the set-up of regional nodes, to allow a deeper penetration of existing knowledge into practice. The work on good practices will also allow identifying key issues (hindrances or opportunities) around SFSCs. Such issues will be the main themes of 6 “innovation challenges workshops” the purpose of which is to stimulate stakeholders to propose new ideas for innovation based research or innovation uptake. These will be supported in a coaching phase where consortium partners deliver guidance to stakeholders for the full development of those innovative ideas.

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