The University of Edinburgh Innovative Learning Week in Informatics 18th - 22nd February 2013

Smart Data Hack

Doing smart things with data to benefit local people

Thanks to everyone who took part: students, sponsors, data providers, volunteers and organisers. The hack was a great success!


See the winning projects, and a list of everything else that was created during the week.


Slides and workshop materials are still available.


See photos, write-ups and feedback about the event.

You can see the original information about the event here for students and here for other participants.

Best for Travel

Winners of £100 Amazon voucher per team member, sponsored by Skyscanner

Team Batkan

Stefan Adamov - "Kit is a stalker"

Georgi Koshov - "I'm a third year AI and CS undergrad with experience in developing web-apps using HTML5 and JavaScript and currently working with Python.
I would be really happy if I get the chance to get my hands on and learn more about MVC JS frameworks such as backbone.js, angular.js, etc. during the hack-week!"

Stefan Sabev - "I am taking part, because I'd like to do something cool with the data that will be available on the hack day. I've got a solid grip on Python/Flask, I can do a lot of SQL and lately JS and visualisations."

Yordan - "I want to win the prizes."

Nikolay Bogoychev - "A third year AI/CS student looking to practice machine learning with real data."

with project Flyscape

We plan to revolutionise the way holidays are booked. We require only the bare minimum of input from the user - either pinning a location on a map or just stating his/her preferences for the type of holiday he/she desires with a few clicks - and then we will go through the tedious process of finding the locations, the cheapest flights, arranging accommodation, etc. Our goal is to eliminate all the effort that the user has to make so we do all the complex, frustrating and time-consuming tasks like finding the cheapest flight combination between multiple locations over a large period of time, or even actually finding a desirable location to visit.

We will demonstrate the project from one of our machines.


Code repo:

Team Wizards

Turan Rustamli - "Some highlights: Taking MASWS course, done IRR related to Semantic Web Search (Investigating things like Google's Knowledge Graph), Good programming skills: JavaScript, Python, Java; some UI design skills

Find out more here:"

Andreas Kapourani

Aniket Sanyal - "did bachelor's in computer engineering; currently doing master's in artificial intelligence; 2+ years of industry experience ... i'm here just to play and have fun with real data ..."

Andrew Price - "I'm an informatics MSc. I did my undergrad in philosophy in the States. I really want to learn how to build a native web and/or mobile app. Very interested in learning more HTML5 and d3. I have a basic foundation in machine learning, can code in java, and have very strong writing and editing skills. I have a background in online media.

N.B. There's a chance I'll have to join a little late on Monday due to travel."

with project easyscanner

We are working on a new generation of flight search user interface. Our main goal is to simplify the process providing a minimalistic single-search-box design which is backed up by natural language processing and information extraction technologies (inspired by Facebook's Graph Search and Chrome's Omnibox). During this project we developed a proof-of-the-concept prototype system from scratch and deployed it to Google App Engine: We are exploiting SkyScanner's data to test our novel UI approach. Major outcomes of our efforts are smart search box component that support hightlighting, adaptable grammar parser and extraction algorithm tailored for fligh searches. Keywords: machine learning, natural language processing, human computer interaction and information extraction


Code repo:

Best for Health and Wellbeing

Winners of a Kindle Fire per team member, sponsored by ALISS and the School of Informatics

Team go4itprincess

Margus Lind - ""It's not a bug; it's an undocumented feature!""

Dan Ristea

Matus Falis - "skills: About a year and a half of java programming."

Matej Mezes - "I see this as a brilliant opportunity to gain new set of skills as I am new to hacking. But with strong IT background I consider myself as a quick learner."

Princess - "I am the princess! (I am not a real person)"

with project ediCycle

An app that would rate cycling routes taking into account the dangers that lay ahead based on the history of accidents and fatalities provided by the Ed'bra Coonsil. Provided we get similar pedestrian data we have the support for displaying a calculated pedestrian index for the same start and destination points for comparison. "Just type in a destination and a place of departure in Edinburgh, and you'll get the safest routes. The ratings are given based on records of previous accidents, and is calculated considering the length of the journey and the density of previous incidents."


Code repo:

Best for Community

Winners of a £100 Amazon voucher per team member, sponsored by Skyscanner and supported by the City of Edinburgh Council

Team Tusive

Chase Stevens

Jonas Olsson

Joris Urbaitis

Egidijus Skinkys

Ingvaras Merkys

with project SaferRoute

Aggregates and parses details from Lothian and Borders Police Reports (available at, enabling the utilization and leveraging of crime statistics to create actionable turnkey logistics/transportation solutions for end-users and thereby cultivate user empowerment and maximize user travel confidence. Also allows the user to dynamically explore crime statistics via an interactive data visualization interface.


Code repo:

Best Visualisation or UI

Winners of a Kindle Fire per team member, sponsored by Open Innovation

Team Will Code For Food

Martin Asenov - "I want to get a feeling of what it is to work as a programmer 7 hours a day. Good knowledge of Java."

Dimitar Todorov

Yordan Hristov - "I am taking part mainly because of the experience - both programming and team-working. I have some web developing knowledge - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, basic PHP, some C++ and Visual Basic and some Java. I want to learn some Android (or any other type of) mobile app development but all in all any kind of programming experience will be good."

Dimitar Dimitrov - "I hope to gain experience in teamwork and write some interesting code. I have experience in writing in C/C++ and C#"

Boris Penev

with project Sports Cubed

Interactive 3D cube, which allows the user to select a variety of options about all the sports facilities in Edinburgh and then shows them on a map(using the data from "The City of Edinburgh Council" ; will upload code soon).


Video demo

First year prize for Best Data Mashup

Winners of a Nexus 7 per team member, sponsored by CompSoc


Jamie MacDonald

Ben Jeffrey - "I want to work with some real data, and brush up my coding skills, especially in pair-programming and TDD.

I know:
* Python
* little bit of Java
* Golang
* teensy bit of Haskell"

Connor Stuart - "I want to learn how to build web apps. I have limited skills, but not when working with large data sets. The d3o.js knowledge particularly interests me. Plus, it's something to tell the PT I actually did when it comes to our meeting."

Nantas Nardelli - "I'm a first year undergrad Informatics student with several (I'd say too many) years of C and assembler languages - that I fear now more than ever - behind my shoulder.
I'm currently learning C++ and Python and I am particularly interested in AI development, cognition and behaviour, so anything related to those elements is fine.
Well, everything is actually fine: the fun lies in learning!"

Matthew Summers - "Taking part to learn new skills (such as android app dev, data visualisation, web dev), and also for pizza and prizes. I've got experience in C#, Java and Haskell, mainly C#, and would like to break out of that little comfort-zone niche bit thing."

with project MyEd 2.0

A proof of concept design on how some MyEd functionality could be implemented in an alternative way using a wide selection of University and City data sets. A variety of different services are included in this, including RSS feeds and an updated timetabling service.

Code repo:

The other entrants

Men of Digital Pizza

Dalius Grazinskis

Lukas Dirzys

Marijonas Petrauskas

Ignotas Sulzenko

Gytis Kairys

with project FlyAnywhere

We have built an app that uses Skyscanner data and API to suggest the best travel destination with a limited amount of money. We use d3.js and jQuery frameworks to conveniently present the data to the user.


Code repo:


Cameron Gray - "Sounds like something I would really enjoy.

I have good experience in PHP, Javascript/jQuery as well as moderate Perl, Java and C#."

Craig Peden

Rikki Guy

Lewis Barker

Theo Scott

with project SkyHopper

A web app using SkyScanner to allow the user to book multiple flights by entering more than one destination and how long they wish to stay in each place. The flights will be shown in order of price and then filtered appropriately as the user chooses each one.

Our project will only be demonstrable from our machines as we are hosting the webapp locally.

Code repo:

Team Adverse Weather

Craig Snowden

Hayden Ball

Sukrit (Roy) Hotrabhvanon - "First year Comp-sci and Electronics student.

Past Projects :
Homebuild Quadcopter leading to a fully fledged autopilot Hexaxopter, designed - manufactured + coded all inhouse.
Intelligent ultra-light electric scooter - designed and built for an urban vehicle project.
Personal Hovercraft

Skills :
My skills are mainly hardware based with limited software experience. Although i'm well versed in programming methodology, I can very quickly pick up a language with a guiding hand."

with project Adverse Weather

Visualising the state of DICE machines in Appleton Tower labs (i.e. Whether they are in use, asleep, available, etc) in 3D using data previously collected by Alex Shearn in 2012 (due to lack of current data).

Project is not hosted publicly at the moment, so will have to be demoed from one of our machines.

Code repo:


Bilyan Borisov - "I'm taking part because I want to do something interesting during ILW. I'm good with Java(and fairly well with any other language that's studied here as a part of some course) and I posses enough knowledge to enable me to learn on the spot. I believe a person's ability to code well is developed while doing some actual project so this would be a nice opportunity to do so."

Jakub Kaszyk

Jaroslaw Hirniak

Lubomir Vikev - "I am currently in my second year of SE course. I have good knowledge of HTML5, CSS, PHP. I also know some Java and C++. I have strong interests in web site building but I would like to learn how to make Android apps as well. I'm looking forward to the Innovating Learning Week."

Yordan Stoyanov

with project Make My Day

Our app, given the preferences of the user(taken from facebook and questions answered at the beginning), plans a day for the user in Edinburgh. The app displays a map with a route and checks the weather. We make use of Edinburgh Council open data, as well as a few external APIs. We will be running our app on our own machine.

Website: not present yet

Code repo:

The E-Team

Euan Reid - "Sounds like a fun activity to do for the ILW - plus, free food.

I'm a 3rd year SE student, I've a lot of experience with PHP (inc. ooPHP), some with Javascript, and a fair dose of HTML (less with 5). Have also done some stuff with Android for the SELP, and various bits of Java. A little Python, a dose of CSS, a touch of Google App Engine, a solid dose of C# and VB.NET, and a willingness to figure things out as needed."

Angus Scott

Mattias Appelgren - "First year inf student. I'm joining in because I want to try some "real" programing. I have limited Haskell Java and Python abilities. (First two from class and the third self taught although I doubt I will remember many useful things there)"

Lucy Parker

Robert Oyler

with project Park-o-matic

Takin' a location frae the user, we'll use data frae the cooncil an' tell'm where tae park.

The application takes a users current location or planned location and returns the closest parking area to them. The information returned includes details such as location, price and number of spaces.


Code repo:

Unnamed Team

Barney Jackson - "I like challenges, building things, and big data. Particular experience in Javascript, Ruby on Rails, Python."

Chris Wait

Craig Innes - "I like data but not if its too small because then you dont have much data so i guess i like big data but not if its too big because then its a bit scary and overwhelming but i guess if you look past their bigness theyre not really that intimidating because after all we're all just people, it kinda reminds me of that warner brothers film with the iron giant except in this scenario the iron giant is like census data or something and the little boy who believes in him is like a jquery frontend"

Ashley - "Joined: un-named team."

with project Clean Street Graffitication

Any council wants to make their city a better, cleaner place to live, but have a finite amount of resources. A major problem in any city is graffiti, which creates an ongoing battle and drains these resources. But not all graffiti is created equal. If we can help the council prioritise which graffiti is having the worst impact on an area, we can save them time and money, as well as improve relationships between the council and the community, by removing the worst graffiti first.

Graffiti can divide opinion - is it offensive vandalism or is it art? We suggest that the people in the communities are in the best position to make this decision. By allowing them to upload and vote on geolocated photos of graffiti, we crowdsource this decision to members of the community. How does graffiti impact a community? By combining these photos and votes with environmental data collected by the council, we can look for correlations between the perceived quality of graffiti and the environmental score of an area.


Code repo:


Jose Daniel Leal Avila - "Background in electronics, doing an MSc by Res. in Interdisciplinary Creative Practices.
Interested in learning all kinds of stuff!! Particularly for this, web stuff and mobile apps. Not much experience in web programming, just very little of php, javascript and SQL... but plenty in C, embedded C, Java and embedded Linux.
Let's do something world changing!"

Nestor Hernandez - "I have enthusiasm for technology projects which involve team work and putting ideas into the real world.
I have and mixed background of electronics and computer science, and I'm doing a master in acoustics in music at this time, I like to think in ideas that can mix all my interest into one project, coming to this event will help me to improve my programming abilities and have fun with one week project"

Basile Henry

Andrej Ivanis - "I'm would like to improve my knowledge of web design.
I have 10 years of programming experience, and I've been making App Store iOS applications (mostly games and entertainment) for almost 5 years.
For last few years I've been working mostly with Unity 3D engine, 3d modeling, graphics, sound effects and C#. Older project include C, C++, Web Sites, MS SQL, Objective C, C# for web servers, Java, JavaScript, Flash, ActionScript…
I would like to make mobile app, website or something else."

Paul Scherer - "First Year, no particularly notable skill set; can learn quickly and keep wide view on project as a whole, logical items (such as rights for user), and implications/consequences of such on end product.

Hope to learn as much as I can from my immediate seniors and their approaches/theory to tackling problems involving large sets of data. Pretty much open to anything as it will likely all be new to me.

Note: I might have to leave early (3 hours) on one of the days."

with project The SkyScanner Mapinator

A project using SkyScanner's live API and Open Data Set. It attempts to display the user's input information in an intuitive and quick fashion look using a temp-coloured map. It tries to relay the most important information with asynchronous updates to information taken from the requests to give a "live update"-like view.

The application can only run provided the repo is downloaded. So it can only be demo-ed from our machines until the action is completed.

Code repo:

"); DROP TABLE `users`;--

Andrius Žiūkas - "I have spent more than half of decade solving various algorithmic/data structure based tasks on plethora of imperative/objective languages (though I have a particular liking of c++ and ruby). I am somewhat interested in robust data analysis, hence the registration."

Martynas Melninkas - "I like coding."

Jakov Šmelkin - "Third year CS student, looking to apply the knowledge gained in machine learning and other courses on a real dataset, in order to see the actual feasibility of such processing."

with project DoEd

Web application that allows Edinburgh residents to find a lot of community-focused activities in and around the city. The project uses tagged and otherwise processed data from both Edinburgh council and ALISS in order to provide initial suggestions, as well as search functionality.


Code repo:


Alexandra Kearney

with project RL Oklahoma

This project is desktop application that grabs stock data and generates investing suggestions using a reinforcement learning agent.


Code repo:


Nikola Klinkachev

Vanya Petkova

Katrina Yankova

with project Spot Finder

A website dedicated to finding the best spots in Edinburgh or evaluating a certain spot's "happiness value" based on your preferences.

Website: Under development.

Code repo: No repository available.


luke mcauley - "Taking part for fun and to learn new skills. Would like to learn some phone or web app development."

with project rendezvous

An app that helps groups of people that are located across the world to meet up at the cheapest price.

Code repo:

Y U no code?!

Milan Pavlik - "I know nothing and everything."

Ieva - "Taking part for fun. Want to learn some coding. Good presentation skills, some new ideas."

Patricia Dragan

Andre Tamm

Kim Taylor

with project Edinburgh Wellbeing

Edinburgh Wellbeing

We have built a prototype of an Android Application which allows users to find nearby places of interest around. We are using the Edinburgh Council data to make searches. We have managed to parse the data and extract meaningful features.

Our applications allows for combination of searches and retrieves elements ordered by distance. Currently, we provide searches on subjects such as Parks, Libraries, Sports, Youth Centres, Community Centres, Allotments, Play Areas, Toilets, Day Clubs, Museums and Galleries and interesting information about old Trees in Edinburgh.

We allow the user to either get current location though the GPS built into the Android smartphone or enter a specific location. This allows the user to over-ride the search and make searches not only from the current location.

Code repo:

Brodie's friends

Diego Zamoro - "PhD student with a past as tourist guide, guiding tourists around the High Street and central Edinburgh, amongst other places.

Special skills: dramatic performance, story telling, tour planning, knowledge of the Scottish tourism sector and crafting community."

karl monsen - "We missed Monday's sessions, so we're a last minute entry.

Working with team Brodie's Friends to deliver a geolocative mixed reality game, Deacon Brodie's mystery, using the addressing history dataset.

Skills: javascript, html5, php, css"

with project Brodie's Mystery

Geolocative mixed reality game, drawing on historically accurate data about professions and locations in Edinburgh (using the API).


Code repo: N/A