For immediate release
February 18, 2015
Fun with museum collection datasets at the CODE Hackathon
OTTAWA, February 18, 2015 – Coders, hackers, and developers of all stripes from across the country will have the chance to let their creativity run free with the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation’s (CSTMC) artefact collection dataset during the 48-hour Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) Hackathon, from February 20 to 22.
In October 2014, the CSTMC was the first national museum organization to make the entire dataset of its artefact collection publicly available on Canada’s Open Government Portal, as well as on the CSTMC’s own CKAN portal, which was developed with the help of Think Data Works. The release of this dataset has already resulted in one developer – An-Min Kuo, of The Blue Factor consulting group – to design and release a search interface for the CSTMC’s collection. Moreover, history students in collaboration with Digital Humanities at the University of Ottawa are working with the museum to mine the collection data, producing a student exhibit on the history of Exploration and Surveying in Canada.
Ranging from farming tools to space technology, through aircraft, industrial machinery, medical instruments, railway rolling stock, and much more, the CSTMC preserves Canadians’ collection of tens of thousands of unique artefacts that tell the story of Canadian scientific and technological innovation. Hackathons such as CODE – during which teams of developers creatively compete to find original new ways to present and use publicly-available datasets – constitute a very promising avenue for Canadians to more easily access their national collection from anywhere.
For 48 hours, beginning at 6 p.m. on February 20, teams of up to four participants from across the country – whether from home or from one of a number of partner HUBs in major cities – will begin creating innovative applications using Open Government datasets such as the CSTMC’s collection database. The CSTMC’s Chief Digitization Officer, Brian Dawson, will be present at the Ottawa partner site, at the Industry Canada Service Lab in the C.D. Howe Building at 235 Queen Street.
“When we made the data of our collection publicly available, we were hoping to see the raw creative genius of Canadian developers at work to help us find new ways to share our knowledge with all Canadians, and we’ve been impressed by what some of them have come up with so far,” said CSTMC President and CEO Alex Benay. “We’re looking forward to seeing even more developers push that envelope even further during the CODE Hackathon.”