Participate in our Datathon challenge and win a trip to the final COST Energic meeting in the halls of the Royal Geographic Society in London on 12-13 October!

What is a COST Energic Datathon?

The Energic COST action aims to demonstrate the potential of Volunteered Geographic Information or user-generated geographic content. Such data, generated by a wide range of participants ranging from authoritative bodies across scientists to individual citizens, can be used to provide information relevant to scientific, societal and policy in a European context. The objective of the Datathon is to allow anyone to participate in our activities, and demonstrate the potential of transformations of data to knowledge. To lower the barrier to entry for participants and provide a starting point, we have created several Datathon challenges. Each challenge provides:

  • a description of the underlying motivation for the task
  • an initial set of questions that might be explored through the data
  • gives access to some prepared data or suggests potential available data sources, and
  • suggests potential tools and methods which might be used in the challenge

However, these guidelines are only intended to give a starting point to the activity, and we encourage you to be as creative as possible. Entries to the datathon will be judged by a panel of Energic members, and the best will be invited to present their results at the Energic closing meeting in London.

Reporting your results

The mentioned panel will grade your contribution based on a report of your approach and results. This report should:

  • Describe the data and methods you used (and provide links to these such that your work can be reproduced)
  • Interpret your results, concentrating on what you learnt through the Datathon
  • Emphasise challenges in carrying out the datathon
  • Illustrate the originality and novelty of your approach
  • Reference any external sources you used to help you complete the task
  • Link to a 2 minute video pitch presenting your report

Your report should be prepared as a self-contained set of HTML pages which can be accessed by the judges and uploaded to the Energic website after the challenge. All content on the website should be licensed CC-BY-SA (where you use data sources covered by other licenses you should provide tools and access to these and make clear any limitations in their use).

Judging criteria

  • Overall quality of the entry to the datathon
  • Originality and novelty of the approach taken
  • Quality of the description of the data and tools used, especially with respect to reproducibility
  • Soundness of the approach taken
  • Potential scientific, societal and policy impacts of the results
  • Quality and engagement in the video pitch

Additional information for participants and organisers

The Energic Datathon is open to anyone. We especially encourage teachers to use our challenges during courses or lab work. However, it will be most fun, and probably also most productive for small groups (typically 3-4 people, also see below for eligibility to win the prize). The tasks have been designed such that they can be carried out by groups with different levels of skills, ranging from basic spatial analysis using standard GIS to creation of more complex workflows using programming skills. We estimate that typical time investment for a Datathon task should be of the order of 12 hours – however, it is of course up to participants how much or how little time you invest. The only hard rules are our deadline for submissions of 31.07.2016, and a maximum of two participants to travel to London (if your group is larger, you can still participate and win, but not everyone can join the meeting).

There is no need to register for the Datathon, just submit your report to by the deadline. However, we’d like to know that you’re taking part, so feel free to drop us a mail telling us who you are, how many of you are participating in which challenges, and whether or not others are welcome to join you. We encourage you to use geosocial media (Tweets, Flickr images, …) to document your participation and activities, using the hash tags #Energic and #Datathon.

Some useful information about running datathons events can be found at:

Contact information

For the Energic Datathon challenge:

Current datathon challenges (click to open pdf in new tab)

Datathon – Tourist mobility in smart cities

Datathon – VGI Analysis with Linked Data

Datathon – VGI Discovery with Linked Data

Datathon -Telecommunications

Datathon – Transport and Mobility