Saturday, July 16, 2016

Discussing about open data during MEDHackathon 2016

MEDHackathon 2016 took place in Patras, Greece, between 13-15/7/2016 - it was organized by various organizations including ERFC and SDI4Apps and hosted by the University of Patras in the lovely Conference Cultural Centre. MEDHackathon consisted of two main parts:
  1. A Conference on the first day, followed by
  2. A hackathon on the next two days - open data in different contexts and types. 
Both events were international, attracting participants from Greece, Latvia, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Norway etc.
I had the pleasure to attend the first two days of the event and in fact to make a presentation on how NEUROPUBLIC makes use of open data in its smart farming services. It has been a long time since I last participated in a Conference and a bit longer since I last made a presentation.The presentation provided some information on the status of open data in the agricultural sector, provided examples of open data in terms of types and formats and then showed examples of commercial uses of open data in commercial applications. The presentation concluded with the description of NEUROPUBLIC's GAIA Sense network consisting of a number of telemetric stations (GAIATrons) that are developed in-house and explained how the sensor data of these stations are combined with open earth observation data from the Copernicus program of the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide meaningful services to farmers.

Doing business with Open Data in agriculture by Vassilis Protonotarios

The Conference included presentations from the Greek public sector (describing the progress and status of opening up governmental data) as well as from private sector (focusing on how they make use of these data). It has been a great experience and allowed me to get to know some really interesting people like Nikolas Petropoulos from ERFC (organizers and hosts of the event), Visiting Prof. Fotis Nanopoulos (ex General Director of EUROSTAT and a person full of interesting stories to share), Irene Matzakou (Intrasoft International, really focused on projects and also active on social media like me!), Ery Zisi from the Greek Ministry of Agriculture (the person responsible for the ministry's open data!), Kalliope Aggelakopoulou (legal advisor and active contributor to the official Greek Open Data portal) and many-many more.

At the same time I had the pleasure to meet some old friends and colleagues like Karel Charvat (he was among the organizers of this event), Pavlos Georgiadis (We Deliver Taste / CAPSELLA), Prof. Vassilis Makios (Corallia) and others.

During the 2nd day of the event (which was also the first day of the Hackathon), I had to pass the floor to my colleague Thanasis Manos as I had to leave (and get back to the office) after I made a presentation of NEUROPUBLIC's challenge.

If you want to get an overview of what happened during MEDHackathon 2016, you can check out the Twitter hashtag #MEDHackathon for short comments and lots of photos from the event. The event was also broadcasted live through the University of Patras's Web TV.

Overall it was a nice experience, which combined the presentation of our work (the GAIASense network), setting up a challenge for the hackathon based on GAIATron sensor data and some useful networking among the participants.

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