Written by Karsten Wiertz

This year, two of our EAGLE students had the opportunity to participate at the Copernicus Hackathon 2018 in Darmstadt. In the Hackathon, participants formed small groups, chose a task and had 24 hours to work on it with the technical support of mentors. The theme of this years’ hackathon was to solve one of three questions in the context of smart cities/urban planning with focus on traffic.

The teams could choose one of the following challenges:

  • Help to prevent critical infrastructure like railway networks and highways from fire hotspots
  • Monitor and help to improve air quality for bicycle speedways in Hesse
  • Track changes in transport infrastructure (road and railway network) based on OpenSource data

Team RoadEO at work on the Hackathon. From left to right: Sebastian, Louis, Jan, Karsten

Our two EAGLEs teamed up with two other participants and chose the challenge of tracking infrastructure changes. With their team, they came up with the name “RoadEO” (temporary name during the hackathon) and focused on the detection of changes related to newly built roads at different locations around the globe. As part of their task, they had to use open-source data and chose to start working primarily with Sentinel-2 data. In their business idea, they developed two main products, urban development and progress tracking. This provides investment-or insurance companies, local governments, construction companies, and many more with valuable information on the progress of infrastructure and the influence on the value of property. After just 24 hours of intensive work the teams had to present their results as demo-pitches in front of the other teams and got feedback and questions from the audience.

RoadEO presenting at the demo-pitches

As part of the Hackathon, all participants had the chance to attend the INTERGEO 2018 in Frankfurt and pitch their business case live at the ESA booth on the trade fair. They were also invited to attend the “Open Day together with Bundesamt für Kartographie” with the topic of Open (geo-) data. Finally, on Wednesday, the 17.10.2018, all teams had to pitch in front of a jury and visitors of the trade fair. The jury evaluated the ideas based on different criteria and, after some time of waiting in excitement, presented their results. At last, we can proudly announce that the winning team of the Copernicus Hackathon 2018 is team RoadEO, which two of our EAGLE students, Karsten and Louis were part of.

Pitches live at INTERGEO 2018 Frankfurt

Winning Team RoadEO with part of the jury and two 2016 EAGLE students: Karsten (third from the right) and Louis (center)