Edinburgh Apps has been running for two years, and aims to involve start-ups and students, designers and developers, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers in creating new ideas to benefit Edinburgh and the people who live here. The challenge pits teams and individuals against each other in a challenge to come up with innovative new ways to use data available from the council and its partners, in a way that brings value and new thinking to the city. Edinburgh Apps was the first event of its kind when it launched in 2013, and this year the contest returns with five challenges to intrigue participants. They focus on themes around health, sports and culture, which has engaged a number of participants working on their ideas.
This year’s Edinburgh apps launched on September 5 with a bustling icebreaker. Last weekend marked the midway of this year’s challenge, and for two days on October 4 and 5 teams and individuals worked on a variety of challenges and ideas. After a pitching event in the morning, participants gathered in thein the stunning Informatics Forum to hear from the council as departments involved detailed some of the thoughts behind this year’s challenges. The health focus was on managing behaviour and staying safe after addressing drug, addiction and abuse issues, and accessing information for patients with deteriorating illnesses like MS or dementia. The culture and sports department focused on getting people more physically active, and how to experience the many monuments and museums in the city in a new and better way.
Fuelled by breakfast, cake, coffee and pizza, several teams and individuals made great headway towards finished products, or by putting together concepts, proposals and MVPs making them ready to submit by October 26.
On Sunday, people presented some of the things they had been working on, and there was great excitement around lots of cool stuff that people had come up with. From crowdsourcing images on Instagram and ways to connect with people to play sports with, from Aberdeen’s exciting MatchtheCity project to an immersive game on Calton Hill, with art journeys through the city and personalised health apps – there were lots of things to be impressed by.
See the stories from the Edinburgh Apps halfway hackathon on Storify, and make sure you register to enter if you have an idea that can benefit Edinburgh!