Hack Weekend at 10gen

Posted by Harry Wood on 6 December 2012 in English (English). Last updated on 10 July 2014.

As usual the run up to Christmas seems to be building up to a crescendo of chaos for me. But that’s the way we like it. Some of the Hack Weekend promotion was a little hurried/non-existant, but even so we did alright.

We had a lovely venue courtesy of 10gen the MongoDB company where Derick works. Our venue requirements are pretty simple, but this funky warehouse office in Shoreditch surpassed them. Thanks to 10gen for that, and to Derick for helping me run the event.

And we had pizza!

on flickr on flickr on flickr

I arranged for pizzas and other snacks courtesy of, the little transport open data company where I work. I wrote a post about this on the placr blog, and about some ideas for railway data hacking. One of my hacks for the weekend was to tweak the replication diff updating scripts to try to make this run robustly on the placr server. I’m not as expert at running download servers as the geofabrik guys. Hope it doesn’t become too much of a pain in the ass, and I hope that I and other developers will be able to chain some other railway ideas onto it.

Speaking of OSM railways data, we got chatting about TrainLord, which is pretty awesome use of this data. It’s a game. It’s not that easy to get started, but I will admit I found the idea of lording it over the East Coast mainline to be quite appealing, and so I’ve spent rather longer playing it that I should have done (which is probably what makes a good game) and unfortunately discussion lead to playing TrainLord instead of hacking at least some of the time!

But apart from that, there was some hacking going on (This list is also on the wiki page):

  • TomH worked on Notes (formerly known as OpenStreetBugs) and converting it OpenLayers -> Leaflet. See activity on github
  • Robert Scott showed us a tool he’s been building which process GPS traces and compares routes with those from OSRM to discover where streets seem missing or oneways are wrong (assuming it’s trace taken while driving) [UPDATE. It’s described on the wiki now]
  • Derick worked on his “year of edits” video animation, and made a MongoDB powered XAPI-like system to help power Tom Morris’ thing
  • Tom Morris worked on osmcheckin a foursquare-like checkin system for OSM POIS
  • Andy Allan worked on openstreetmap-carto a port of the OpenStreetMap ‘standard’ stylesheet into the more compactly elegant ‘carto’ stylesheet format.
  • Adrian nw3biz learned some OpenLayers markers tricks following my marker popups example
  • I made some improvements to XAPI URL Builder to make it output osmosis commands for data filtering, to offer an alternative to hitting XAPI.

I did that hack quite quickly, but spent the rest of the time being distracted by TrainLord, taking pictures of myself eating pizza, and watching nice previews of hacks other people were working on. A hack weekend really needs to involve people feeding ideas off eachother, and there was plenty of that going on. All in all, a pretty fun way to spend a weekend!

I hope to do it again soon. In fact we’ll probably get something together for January or February. If you know of a good venue, and/or a company who would like to sponsor the pizzas for this kind of event (or a different kind of event!) let me know.

Location: De Beauvoir Town, Dalston, London Borough of Hackney, London, Greater London, England, N1 4DA, United Kingdom

Comment from EdLoach on 6 December 2012 at 14:25

It can’t have been too chaotic if you managed to avoid biting the camera while holding a slice of pizza in front of your face…

Comment from Harry Wood on 6 December 2012 at 14:42

mmm. Camera flavoured pizza

Comment from smsm1 on 6 December 2012 at 15:20

I’ve fixed a few bits of data thanks to TrainLord.

Comment from robert on 6 December 2012 at 23:04

This was a good hack weekend.

Comment from malenki on 7 December 2012 at 14:17

For the tool of Robert Scott: is there a link where one can get it?

(Btw did I ask for such a thing on April 15th 2010 on the german mailing list. The response was quite reluctant:

Comment from Harry Wood on 10 July 2014 at 14:17

Hopelessly late response, but for the sake of anyone else wondering… yes malenki, it’s not set-up and described here:

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