Hack for Sweden – inspiration, commitment and motivation for more open data!

mars 21, 2017

The creative event Hack for Sweden took place in Stockholm this weekend, 11-12 March. Over 200 enthusiastic participants had 24 hours to solve societal challenges in a new and innovative way using open data. There were three challenges in this year’s competition: urban physical planning, smarter environmental information, and tourism and recreation. There was also room for other ideas in an open track.

Foto: Stefan Lundaahl

Photo: Stefan Lundaahl

Hack for Sweden has been held since 2014 and is a collaboration between government agencies and organisations that want to enable the development of new services and products using official open data. The Minister for Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi, lifted the importance of open data in his opening speech, as well as the assignment given to the National Archives to promote efforts of the state authorities to create access to digital information and open data. The National Archives participated in Hack for Sweden as a partner agency, and we presented our work on open data and PSI and the national data portal öppnadata.se.

It was amazing to see all the cheerful energy and creativity that after 24 hours resulted in open data presented in new, innovative and exciting ways in 50 different grants.


First prize winner Johan Marand/Project Forest. Photo: Stefan Lundaahl

The entry that won the first prize ”Hack for Sweden Award” was “Project Forest”. The project involved using machine learning and analysis of open datasets in order to estimate high conservation value forest in a specific area. More information about all the winners can be found on the Hack for Sweden website.

We are particularly delighted that the winners of the category ”Best Young Hackers” used data from the National Archives. The winning team, ”Hello World Team 1″ wanted to bring to life historical events with the help of GPS information. Their app would also be able to suggest cultural tours and art walks and contains a part inspired by the game Pokemon Go where you have to collect as many historical objects and events as possible. Data combined in this app included information from the National Heritage Board, Geological Survey of Sweden, Swedish Meterological and Hydrological Institute and the National Archives.

The prerequisite for all those exciting and creative projects that were developed and presented during the event was the access to open data. Seeing all the possibilities was an inspiration to us in our work to promote access to even more data for reuse.

”We know that data is the fuel of open innovation.” Gavin Starks, CEO at Open Data Institute, said, and that is something we have seen this weekend.

Sanja Halling