Today I attended the launch of the TU Delft API. My colleagues organised a hackathon for students, employees and companies to introduce the API and how it works. During the hackathon the participants got a couple of presentations, but most time was spend coding with the new API. Off course there was plenty of drinks, sweets and pizza.
The published data is open data. It is public, free of any copyrights, published by means of open standards, is computer readable and can be (re-)used freely by anybody.
Not all data is publically available, because of privacy limitation. For this we have also implemented an oAuth authentication and autorisation. The oAuth is provided by Surfnet.
Result of the hackathon
At the end of the hackathon the participants could pitch their results. In ideas that were pitched.
There were different pitches that related to the API for workplaces availability:
- work places app: to find a work place around the campus
- the guys from Calendar 42 went one step further to estimation on how busy a building is.
- Maurits did another step and tried to estimated the best place to study, based on the number of students at a faculty, the number of available computers, historical data of the availability and most import how long these work places will stay available.
Another popular API was around study results, study progress and course selections:
- study progress app that provides you with a graphical view of your study progress and should give you options to limit your delays via the smart view.
- Online Course Advisor: advise which courses to follow, based on your current program, user interests, course popularity and the schedule of the course.
- S-Elective: skill-based study guide. This is helps you to select elective courses based on your interests and skills and after you complete the course gives the possibility to post the new skill to LinkedIn.
- The students from Feedback Fruits pitched squeese: less time, more credit. They searched for courses that have the best ratio between ECTS and contact hours.
There were also two pitches that presented apps that combined the information of different APIs together:
- Smartboard: provide information that you need every day in one app: study progress, course announcements and day schedule.
- The other was an iPhone app that presented in a very nice way building information, faculties, grades, progress and course schedules.
The last pitch won the hackathon and they got a nice price. It was also my personal favourite, because it was a good idea and it also looked very slick. Below are some pictures of the event.
The API is a very good step for the TU Delft and the hackathon was a great event to start students to use it. In the next months the API will be further improved and new API will be added. A hackathon is also a great way to find bugs in the API and errors in the data. So my recommendation would be to organise more hackathons.
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