Asian Countries Receive Assistance From Local Hackers’ Creative Use of Open Data

September 13, 2016 Updated: October 8, 2018

The 2016 Asia Open Data Hackathon wrapped up successfully on Aug. 14 after two intense days of competition. Standing out at the event were six teams from Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia: The Urban Baker, Farmers Is Here, and Hello World won the Best Hackers Awards, while Pinky Power, Prowide, and Radya Playground won the Invincible Hackers Awards.

The Hackathon is held by the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs to promote open data. This year, it expanded its scope from last year’s event, which was held jointly by Taiwan and Thailand, to also include Indonesia. Joint sponsorship came from the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Thailand’s Electronic Government Agency, and Data Science Indonesia.

This year, the event featured three major themes: public services, agriculture, and arts and culture. Contestants competed to demonstrate the most innovative applications of open data.

“Through these international exchanges, not only can we learn creative ideas from other, we can also help governments understand the status of open data. We truly hope this event can help more people learn the benefits of using open data,” Mr. Jiunn-Shiow Lin, deputy director of the Industrial Development Bureau, said in opening remarks at the event.

All winning teams were given awards at the Asia Pacific Open Data Summit held in Thailand on Sept. 7.

Opening remarks by Jiunn-Shiow Lin, deputy director of the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Opening remarks by Jiunn-Shiow Lin, deputy director of the Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The Concepts of Pokemon Go and Internet of Things in Solving Real-Life Issues

Many of this year’s advances in science and technology involved hardware and technology. For instance: marrying augmented reality apps to cultural data can help foreigners get acquainted with landmarks like the Taipei 101 tower just by snapping a photo on their smartphones.

Another example, using the concept of the internet of things: a car’s impact sensors could automatically notify the police in the event of an accident, reducing medical delays and thus fatal injuries.

The Taiwanese hacker team, Urban Baker, took Pokemon Go and modified it to raise awareness about historical and cultural sites using open educational data from the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture. The information shows up in the interface while users catch their Pokemon. 

Creative Apps that Improve, Preserve, and Promote

Farmers Is Here, the Thai team that won the Best Hacker’s award, tackled the issue of market exploitation by intermediate wholesalers positioned between producers and sellers of agriculture goods. This team established a platform to connect farmers and customers by helping farmers better understand customer preferences and streamline future production. Consumers on the other hand would be able to more easily find food at reasonable prices.

Another agriculture-themed app by Thai team Prowide takes aim at the country’s 4,400 tons of annual oversupply. Farmers can see market prices for different types of produce, helping them adjust their own pricing. Consumers can also purchase produce from farmers directly, making it easier to predict demand and avoid excess production.

Indonesian team Hello World developed an app to encourage the preservation of national culture and artifacts. By implementing a point-based prize system, they provided an incentive for users to add and edit information about the country’s relics in a cooperative database. Radya Playground developed an app to track the behavior of museum visitors via their electronic admission tickets, allowing staff to adjust marketing activity accordingly.

Pinky Tower, the Taiwanese team that won the Invincible Hackers Award, came up with a way of converting Taiwanese power consumption statistics into a visual format that identifies usage by specific demographic characteristics. This can help the Taiwanese public sector with energy management.

Epoch Times Photo
International Hackathon Highlights the Benefits of Open Data.

The Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau will hold this competition every year. To join and for more information, please contact us via: