BODC to host NERC funded ‘Hackathon’

Envirohack 2015

A NERC funded ‘Hackathon’ will take place at the Digital Catapult Centre in London between 27 and 28 February. This event is being organised by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), and will provide an exciting opportunity to hack environmental data and create value from Linked Open Data sets.

This hackathon, called EnviroHack, will make ‘raw’ data, collected by environmental scientists, available to the ‘hackers’ to explore in new ways. For example, integrated data from the various NERC centres could allow the tracking of a pollutant from its source, through the river network and into the sea, by integrating data from the atmosphere, soils, rivers and the ocean. It is becoming more and more vital to understand the whole Earth System in this way, not just meteorology, oceanography or ecology or hydrology in isolation. The raw data for this event will come from; the BODC, CEH, the British Geological Survey (BGS), UK Data Archive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the Met Office.

Participants will be using the method of ‘Linked Data’, which is a means of using web technology to link different data sets in order to show how they are connected. The BODC has been using Linked Data in a variety of projects for several years, most recently in the FP7 funded SenseOCEAN project.

Dr Adam Leadbetter, Vocabularies Manager at the BODC, and one of the co-ordinators of ‘EnviroHack’ said “We anticipate that the attendees will be from Universities, NERC institutes, public bodies and private business. This mix will foster new contacts and may lead to future collaborative projects.”

There will be a few brief introductory talks on the Friday morning, after which participants will be split into teams. The members of each team will collaborate to explore the available data and produce an application prototype over the remainder of the two days.

The event, facilitated by Red Ninja Studios, will run from Friday 27 February at 10:00am until Saturday 28 February, 2015 at 8:00pm at the Digital Catapult Centre, 101 Euston Road, London. To register for free, or request more information, please contact Dr Graham Allen on