In the week of February 3rd, 2500 first year students from the University of Applied Science of Amsterdam collaborated to create new apps using open data for Amsterdam. During the SIM (Students in Motion) week, 250 teams of 10 students each were assigned to a specific neighborhood in Amsterdam. They were given the task to come up with new applications that could help their neighborhood. The only requirement was that the application needed to use some sort of open data. Also, the students had to perform micro-assignments during this week, in which they had to complete several open data challenges.
Open data and CitySDK
During the SIM week a lecture was given by Maarten Groen about the concept Open Data. In the lecture the students learned about what open data is, where to find it and why it is so important. Also, the CitySDK project was presented to the students as an open data platform they could use for their application. Furthermore, examples were given of applications using the CitySDK to spark the creativity of the students.
Micro-assignment: Figure running
One of the micro-assignments was a figure running application. This assignment was created as a collaboration between the CitySDK project and the SENSEI project. All students teams were given a smartphone application containing over 200 routes. All routes were formed as either the letter H, V or A (see below), which together form the name of the university.
When the students were walking a route in their assigned neighborhood, smartphone sensors such as the accelerometer and gyroscope were tracked and stored for research on sensor based engagement for improved health. The students were given a visual representation of the existing routes and the routes that were already completed. All routes were added to the CitySDK platform and were visualised as seen on City Runner page.
At the end of the SIM week, from the 250 concept applications, 10 were chosen to be presented at the grand final. The winning concept is given the chance to actually create the application. The winning concept was ‘Safe Amsterdam’, which allows citizens to quickly report any suspicious situation and its location to the police, allowing them to react quicker.
Another interesting concept was an application containing data about all parks in Amsterdam, showing how to get to the park, as well as information about the trees in the park and itineraries along interesting places or art.