The CrateDB Data Challenge

Raspberry Pi 3 Ultimate Starter KitCrate are big fans of data. Big data, small data, open data. We want to see what you can do using the CrateDB, oodles of data, and the limitless power of your imagination.

Luckily for our happy hackers, a SQL database shouldn’t be too hard to integrate into most projects, letting us focus on judging entries that use CrateDB to build creative, compelling projects around interesting data. Libraries are available for Java, Python, Ruby, Go, etc. so choose your flavor.

We’ve put together some demo applications here to get you started! And you can also look for Jessica at the event to ask any questions.

As a prize we’ll be giving away awesome Raspberry Pi Ultimate Starter Kits

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The Natural History Open Data Challenge

Setting the World’s Natural History Data Free

lysandra-coridon-butterflies-two-columnThe Natural History Museum in London is embarking on an epic journey to digitise 80 million specimens from one of the world’s most important natural history collections – documenting 4.5 billion years of life, the Earth and the solar system. Almost all animal, plant, mineral and fossil groups are represented.

Digitising the Museum’s collection will give the global scientific community access to unrivalled historical, geographic and taxonomic specimen data gathered in the last 250 years. We are committed to open access, open science, and open data.

nhm-data-portal-first-steps-toward-the-graphoflife-6-638Over the next five years we plan to digitise a quarter of the Museum’s specimens by establishing high-throughput digital capture workflows for all major collection types.

We have created an online Data Portal giving everyone in the world access to the specimen and lot-level data, and will develop flexible informatics and visualisation tools to analyse the data.

In our workshop on Friday the 25th at 15:30, on the Side Stage in the main building, we will be introducing you to our Data Portal and our open APIs. We will describe some of the digitisation challenges we face, and our desire to make this not only an indispensable source of data for researchers & scientists world wide, but also a source of information and knowledge for the amateur, the student, and the curious.

We will be showcasing our iCollections database in particular, and looking at what we can learn from it:

  • Do people collect specimens on nice days?
  • What was the collector who collected from the most distinct localities?
  • What can we learn about the collectors?
  • Are most specimens collected in rural areas? On a stroll through national parks?

Find out more about the Digital Collections Programme, and check out the Data Portal on GitHub.

 

The Natural History Open Data Challenge

We invite you to take a closer look at our iCollections data in particular, but feel free to explore of course!

At the moment the Data Portal is designed with fellow scientists in mind, but this information should be accessible for anyone, from school child to educator, from the curious to the amateur expert – from anywhere in the world.

  • How can this data be visualised in more interesting ways?
  • How can we make the interface more attractive to different audiences? 
  • What other queries can you think of?
  • Using the Data Portal APIs – what creative applications can come out of this data-set?
  • What other APIs would you be interested in seeing developed?
  • How can this data truly go mobile?

With thanks to our Sponsor

synthesysThis session and Hackathon Challenge are supported by the EC-funded SYNTHESYS project, which encompasses a wide range of natural history collections across all of Europe.

SYNTHESYS is Hackathon Sponsor of OTA16

We’re thrilled to announce that SYNTHESYS is sponsoring the Over the Air Hackathon this year, as well as running the Natural History Open Data Challenge.

synthesys

SYNTHESYS is an EC-funded project, of which the Natural History Museum in London is one of the 20 members, to create an integrated European infrastructure for natural history collections. It’s activities include funding short research visits to selected natural history collections and herbaria within Europe, developing virtual collections improve the quality of and increase access to digital collections and data within natural history institutions by developing virtual collections.

nhm-data-portal-first-steps-toward-the-graphoflife-6-638The Natural History Museum in London is committed to open access and open science, and has launched the Data Portal to make its research and collections datasets available online. It allows anyone to explore, download and reuse the data for their own research.

Our natural history collection is one of the most important in the world, documenting 4.5 billion years of life, the Earth and the solar system. Almost all animal, plant, mineral and fossil groups are represented – and we’re inviting you to get involved!

To find out more, come join our Workshop Session on Friday at 15:30 in the Marquee, watch our Lightning Talk at 19:00 in the Main Hall, and enter our Hackathon Challenge!

Google is Friday Lunch Sponsor of OTA16

Google_Developers_logoWe’re thrilled to announce that the lovely team over at Google are sponsoring Over the Air for the third time in a row, check and taking care of Friday Lunch!

Rupert Whitehead, cialis Developer Relations Programs manager, generic told us

“We’re happy to partner with Over the Air and look forward to seeing more successful mobile developers on Android, iOS and the web. Check out Google’s guidelines for multi-screen development with Web Fundamentals, explore developing for the physical web and find more great resources here.”

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google+ is the social layer that brings together all of Google’s products to make sharing easier and more nuanced. Find out how developers can tap into this platform at: https://developers.google.com/+/ Google’s cloud platform offers incredible scale and performance using the same infrastructure as the rest of Google which makes it a great fit for mobile developers. Find out more at: https://developers.google.com/cloud/

Sigfox is Saturday Lunch Sponsor of OTA16

sigfoxWe are thrilled to announce that Sigfox is sponsoring Saturday Lunch at Over the Air. Sigfox is a communication solution that enables real world objects to have a voice, thanks to our dedicated IoT network. Sigfox enables developers to retrieve data from sensors and objects via simple and easy to use cloud service (Callbacks and REST API).

Sigfox provides an inexpensive, reliable and low power solution for the Internet of Things. It works give makers, developers and startups the power to connect their projects from the physical world up to the digital. Find out more at http://makers.sigfox.com

“At Sigfox, we’re makers through and through – Over the Air 2016 embodies everything that is the maker spirit and we’re excited to see all of the awesome projects and workshops taking place this year. We’re bringing along some Sigfox enabled Dev Kits for makers to ‘bring their ideas to life’, so visit our workshop to get started connecting your projects! Look out for us across the weekend and come chat to us about your projects, ideas or anything else!” – Alex Bucknall, Developer Evangelist at Sigfox

decoded:Legal is Bean Bag Sponsor of OTA16

Hacking & Bean BagsWith huge thanks to decoded:Legal, doctor OTA16 can haz Bean Bags!

decoded:Legal is a specialist English law firm, helping Internet, telecoms, technology and healthcare start-ups and businesses achieve their commercial goals, and navigate often complex regulatory environments.

“We help clients, from small start-ups to huge companies, do cool things with technology across a wide range of industries, including Internet and communications services, drones, 3D printing, and a whole range of apps and services.You can find us on the conventional web (https://decodedlegal.com) and on TOR (expvqqiv2z5ekf47.onion).”

 

decodedLegal

Twitter is Coffee & Tea Sponsor of OTA16

Twitter_logo_blueWe’re pleased to let you know that the 8th edition of Over the Air will be fully caffeinated, thanks to the sponsorship of the lovely team over at Twitter.  Find out more about their tools for Devs here: https://dev.twitter.com/

The @TwitterDev team is once again pleased to partner with OTA. Twitter was born on mobile, and we know what it takes to design, release, and grow a great mobile app. Fabric was crafted with both power and ease-of-use in mind – it’s our modular mobile platform which makes it easy for developers to build the best apps. Fabric combines the services of Crashlytics, MoPub, Twitter and others to address some of the most common and pervasive challenges that all apptwitt developers face: stability, distribution, revenue and identity.

A big thank-you to Nexmo & Mozilla

As many of you know, we had originally scheduled OTA16 for this coming Friday and Saturday. These past few days the weather has been stunning, which would have made for a fabulous OTA16, in the spirit of our first year at Bletchley Park – which was gorgeous weather. But with thunder-showers forecast for all day tomorrow, I think we might have gotten lucky on this one!

As it turned out, events transpired against us, and we had to move the dates back to later in the year – namely, the 25th & 26th of November (space heater order for the Marquees- check!).

Upon biting the bullet to make this move, we promptly (finally!!) opened up registration, which is ticking along very nicely, and it’s already shaping up to be a great turnout.

But it’s not just you, our community of participants, who are moving with us to this new date. We also owe a HUGE thank-you to our first sponsors of OTA16 – Nexmo and Mozilla – for moving with us, and continuing to support us as we gear up for the event in November.

Phil Leggetter of Nexmo tells us:

We’re really looking forward to being involved in Over the Air 2016. OTA aligns with our ethos to work with existing communities, and our drive to innovate.

We believe that the strong mutual relationships we build by working with others enables us to help developer communities, and capture highly valuable feedback from innovators and builders. This gives the Developer Relations team at Nexmo the opportunity to ensure that our products – such as the recently released Voice API – offer a great developer experience and solve real problems.

We can’t wait for the 25th of November; the talks, the hacks and most importantly, the people. See you there.

GitHub is sponsoring Free Tickets to OTA16

OctocatWe’re thrilled to announce that GitHub is supporting the provision of Free Tickets to Over the Air 2016.

The lovely people at GitHub are keen to help us lower the barriers to attendance by ensuring that we can continue to offer free tickets to students, freelancers, job-seekers, and anyone else whose budget is tight. GitHub is all about supporting diversity in tech, and want to be part of encouraging people from historically underrepresented communities to attend!

GitHub is how people build software. Millions of individuals and organizations around the world use GitHub to discover, share, and contribute to software—from games and experiments to popular frameworks and leading applications. Together, we’re defining how software is built today.”

During the event, GitHub will be offering ALL PARTICIPANTS  a 1-month personal subscription to provide you with private repositories for the duration of the event. Keep an eye out for some great prizes as well – namely, a 1-year personal subscription with unlimited private repositories!

Find out more here: https://github.com/about

Follow the team at: @GitHub

On Diversity at OTA

As more and more companies become aware of the issues of diversity of representation within the technology industry, we occasionally get asked where we stand on this issue as Event organisers.

Well, we care about it very much, and make a concerted effort each year to reach out to communities of people who are typically under-represented at technology events, especially Hack Days. It’s one of the reasons that we have always worked hard to keep the event free to attend – we know that financial barriers also play a role in this.

We are quite proud of our consistent gender balance at our events, which has ranged from 30% to 50% female amongst both participants and speakers (check out the 2015 speakers list on Lanyrd). Exactly half of our Keynote speakers over the years have been female as well.

To ensure that our event remains a welcoming and positive place for all, we explicitly support the Hack Code of Conduct and the Diversity Charter.

But we are not resting on our laurels, and care about other areas of diversity as well. Technology events are rightly challenged on their record in welcoming and giving the stage to people of colour, people of different faiths, people with physical mobility challenges, and people in the LGBT community.

Help us spread the word!

When community groups form along these lines it is quite simple to reach out with an invitation – but we know that we could be doing better at spreading the message more widely. As we prepare to open up this year’s registration, please share your suggestions with us about how we can reach new people who might not otherwise know about Over the Air.

Recommend a Speaker

Know somebody who is involved in an innovative / inspiring line of work and a great speaker, who isn’t getting the stage time they deserve? Then encourage them to submit a workshop proposal or Lightning Talk proposal (while getting them on our radar as well) – or better yet, recommend them to us as a potential Keynote speaker.

Younger participants also welcome

It’s worth mentioning that we make the event accessible to younger people as well, not only inviting students and recent graduates to join us as participants, but also offering ‘Coding for Kids’ workshops on the Saturday morning. Last year for example, Coder Dojo London ran a highly successful BBC Micro:bit workshop for kids on Saturday, which was the first public event of it’s kind, and Microsoft ran a BBC Micro:bit training session for parents, ‘Coding for Kids’ volunteers, and enthusiasts the day before. (N.B. that children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at the event)

Sponsoring Diversity

We are still looking for Sponsors for this year’s event – if your company is passionate about supporting diversity in tech, then OTA16 is a great opportunity to keep those financial barriers down and add your voice to the welcome call. Specific opportunities include sponsoring this year’s Coder Dojo workshop, sponsoring the Lightning Talks that feature a diverse range of speakers, and sponsoring the venue, which is fully wheelchair accessible. Get in touch with margaret at overtheair dot org to find out more.