Flood Hack

Member Article

Flood Hack events highlights big data opportunities

A hack event inspired by the recent extreme weather currently devastating parts of the UK attracted over 200 developers at the weekend.

‘Flood Hack’, which was organised by Tech City UK, took place at Google’s London Campus on Sunday and attracted participants from companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Conversocial, Datasift, Taskhub and many more.

Developers used the Government’s flood level data and other relevant data sources from the Government Data Services and the Environmental Agency to produce genuinely innovative apps that aimed to help people living in flood affected areas access the information they need in order to prepare for weather events or access help and support if affected.

Amongst those ideas pitched to a panel of experts from Google, Tech City, No.10 and the Cabinet Office was a service that visualises flood levels in 3D, allowing residents and businesses to determine whether their property or land was likely to flood in the event of further rain and an alert system that allows people to register for push or SMS notifications for events that require them to take action, such as power loss, burst river banks, flooded roads and breached flood defence systems.

As well as producing genuine technology solutions that can help people prepare for and manage future weather events, the Flood Hack event demonstrated the opportunities to deliver vital and genuinely useful solutions developed on the back of government data.

The upcoming Sunderland Software City led Integrated Transport and Weather Information Pilot Innovation Day will open up access to never before available weather and transport data provided by partners including the Met Office, Nexus, the Port of Tyne and the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority to the region’s software companies to allow them to explore open data solutions for the transport and logistics industry.

Potential end users such as the Network Rail, Eddie Stobart, the Freight Transport Association and Local Authorities will be attending the ITWIP Innovation Day, on the 28th February, to advise software companies of current information issues and work with developers to develop genuine applications and solutions.

The Connected Digital Economy Catapult (CDEC) and Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) will be attending the event to present the data available and provide details of ongoing support being made available to software companies to turn their ideas into fully commercial solutions. ITWIP marks the first time two catapult centres have worked together on a project.

David Dunn, CEO of Sunderland Software City said: “The Flood Hack event at the weekend demonstrated the possibilities presented when government data, and other big data sources, are opened up to the tech community.

“The ITWIP project is a long term effort to facilitate collaboration between innovative software companies with end users with real business needs, companies who can achieve greater efficiencies or productivity through the use of new technology systems or intelligence services.

“The Connected Digital Economy Catapult is about understanding and managing big data and the Transport Systems Catapult is about managing the UK’s transport systems and increasing effective mobility.

“By bringing these centres of excellence together, along with never available before MET Office data makes this a nationally important project and is a truly unique opportunity for Software SME’s in the North East to enter new markets and sell innovative solutions that are in demand from large, national organisations.”

The Innovation Challenge is open to any North East based software company who are interested in developing bespoke solutions, weather, transport or logistical solutions or are experienced in managing and utilising big data sets.

Interest companies are asked to register for the Innovation Challenge by visiting https://itwip.eventbrite.co.uk or by calling 0845 872 8575.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Amy Watson .

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