‘Open Data Hackdays’ goes Tourism
“Different sectors and disciplines need to come together in order to bridge the silos. It’s about creating something new together.”– Martin Barth, CEO of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne
The Open Data “Tourism edition” Hackdays were the first of their kind for Opendata.ch: The students from HSLU’s ‘Applied Information and Data Science’ class took over the driving seat. They shaped this new Open Data Hackdays format according to their vision, with Opendata.ch at their side for support and guidance.
Tanja Schär, lead of the student organisation committee for the Hackdays, shares her perspective on the beginning of this new collaboration: “The exchange with the Opendata.ch team, who bring a lot of experience to the table, was highly valuable for us. For me it was a a pleasure to experience what can be achieved in practice within such a short time frame. When the Hackdays finally started – after several months of organisation – I was especially happy about the good vibe on location!”
Solving real challenges of tourism in Switzerland
The first Open Data Hackdays were all about tourism data and prioritised the concrete challenges of Swiss tourist offices. Rafael Enzler, founder of the tourism agency gutundgut observed: “The challenges presented at the kickoff of the Hackdays actually represented the key problems that the Swiss tourist offices experience in regards to data.”
One noticed that small tourism regions struggle to gather, analyse and use data, given the limited capacities they have. This causes a critical lack of insights about potential clients, visitors’ needs and optimisation potentials. Luckily, the Open Data Hackdays were here to help. The 12 projects that came to life during the two days are:
- Thur-Guide: A platform for automised individual travel guides in Thurgau.
- Tourist Forecasting: A prediction tool for tourist requests (visitors, calls and mails) in Arosa and Lenzerheide.
- Dashboard for GastroSuisse: Bringing the annual tourism data analysis from paper to the digital world in an interactive way.
- WLAN City Lucerne: An anylsis of the potential of open WLAN data in the City of Lucerne.
- WC-Guide goes Open Data: Integration of 5000 datasets on toilet locations by integrating them into OpenStreetMap and WikiData.
- Tourist Tax Control: A new approach to check the reported overnight stays in Flumserberg.
- Guest Card Lucerne: A concept for the expansion of data generation and data use of the Guest Card Lucerne.
- Open sourcing water fountains: Integration of the data on over 100 water fountains in Nidwalden into Wikimedia, WikiData and OpenStreetMap.
- Pedestrian volumes: Forecasting of pedestrians in any given location.
- Email Management System: A tool that recognises email queries and stores them in the appropriate folder.
- Event Dashboard: An individualised platform to discover touristic highlights in Thurgau.
- Tech Management Visit Lover: A tag-manager for the online platform of the start-up VisitLovers.
Hackers, students and Tourism experts coming together
Around 70 participants gathered to work on the proposed tourism challenges. Rafael Enzler was impressed by the interdisciplinary collaboration in the room: “The collaboration between the students, the Tourism practitioners and the Open Data community is unique and working out perfectly. In general, the passion one can feel in this room is amazing!”
What other’s wrote about the Hackdays
Here’s another report of the Hackdays by Oleg, board member of Opendata.ch and Hackdays enthusiast: https://forum.opendata.ch/t/29-30-11-open-data-hackdays-tourism/569/7
And here’s a publication on the Hackdays in Zentralplus: https://www.zentralplus.ch/36-stunden-am-computer-hacker-tuefteln-fuer-den-tourismus-1667265/