National Hack the Government Day – Aberdeen

Come to the event at the University of Aberdeen and use open data to make government work better for you. Come and meet other students, developers,  and designers to develop useful apps to make life easier using data that’s produced by the government at local, regional or national levels. We’re holding a remote version of the same NHGD event being organised by Rewired State at the Guardian offices in London.

The goal is to make government work better for us the people using data it already has. This is your chance to show that your ideas can have an impact and that we can do it better than the big firms.

We’ll provide the space and some refreshments, you come with ideas and enthusiasm.

When: Saturday, 26 March 2011, 9:00-17:00

Where: Room 311, Meston Building, University of Aberdeen

What to bring: you and your laptop

Sign up here:


Before you come your laptop should be set up to work well with a team depending upon your specialty. This needs to be done before you come in order to maximize the day we have available. This could include

  • a version control system such as Git so that you can easily collaborate with your team
  • a programming language such as Ruby and Rails, or Java, and/or the Android SDK, or iOS if you’re an iPhone/iPad developer
  • web development tools to create and edit web pages using HTML and CSS
  • suitable graphics tools for design work

This is not a chance to learn how to program, but rather a chance to show your design and development skills, and get experience working with others. This means we’ll provide support to help you with tools, but we’ll not teach you programming, or design.

Bring your ideas, and think up others

By all means come with an idea in mind and look for people on the day to help you implement it. Come and scratch your itch with us.

Similarly, if you just want to design and develop things, then come along too. Also do look through what others have done in the past for other Rewired State hackdays, and we’ll hopefully have some ideas that you can work with too.

In order to maximize time, and to let people mull over ideas, do feel free to share ideas in the comments below.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a big thing, even making an app to make it easier to read the RSS feed of Aberdeen events would be useful.

We hope to have prizes on the day for categories determined on the day, such as app to save the most money, app most likely to be used by the most people and such.

We are also interested in having sponsors, contact

Data repositories and APIs

You can find data to work with at these locations, although some of it might need to be put into more useful formats. Some places to start looking around are: for the local Aberdeen data sets the datasets used by the Scottish Linked Data group has more Scottish data sets is the starting point for Scottish data sets has the main national data sets including linked data with Sparql queries and links to the Ordnance Survey maps for a ton of data and ways to use it, and get ahold of it.

6 thoughts on “National Hack the Government Day – Aberdeen

Ian Watt
March 8, 2011

There are some great ideas and sources here, too:


March 11, 2011


thanks for those. Here’s a good list of what others have done with mashups both here in the UK and elsewhere around the world:

This is also good with brief mention of ideas waiting to be done, and others that would probably be bad ideas. All in all, a good starting point to think about what to do on the day.

Bill Roberts
March 16, 2011

Hi Bruce – I’m sorry I won’t be able to make it on the 26th, but just thought I’d mention a couple of other useful resources for the developers.

At we have a copy of the OS postcode dataset and a copy of the Administrative Geography dataset. Having them both on the same SPARQL endpoint is handy for the common task of working out how a postcode relates to wards, local authority areas etc.

And (together with Ian Watt and Jeff Pan), we hope to have the first one or two Aberdeen City Council Linked Data datasets online by then. Will let you know how that goes.

March 17, 2011

More data on sustainability is available from the Centre for Sustainable Engery, who have various open data repositories available

This includes energy certificate data for public buildings and fuel poverty

March 23, 2011

Some useful linked data examples using US data:

Chris Taggart
March 24, 2011

See also for info on local government and for info on Scottish companies

Comments are closed.

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