Take the AQ+ Challenges

Take the AQ+ Challenges

Through the Air Quality+ project (AQ+), Sheffield City Council and its partners are making their air quality and related data available to the public, and supporting a hack for people to use the data to make something interesting, informative, insightful or just fun.

Date: Monday evenings, 23 March, 30 March, 13 April, 6pm – 9pm*
Venue: The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield S1 4FW
Tickets: Free to take part
Awards: £250 per challenge

* Can’t make them all – no problem. Join us when you can, and don’t forget the Show & Tell / Awards on 20 April.

Input Data – Output Hacks

The AQ+ data includes monitoring feeds from dozens of sensor stations and diffusion tubes across the city (some of which are near real-time), as well as data relating to causes and effects of air pollution, such as industrial permits, environmental monitoring, health outcomes and more.  You can also combine with other datasets if it helps improve the air quality insights your hack reveals.

We’re not prescriptive about how you use the data to get people engaged with what’s happening to the air in their city, or the format of your hack.  You could use it to prototype new apps, games or products; generate new visualisations, soundscapes or other cultural objects; or design improved civic policies or campaigns.

Challenges and Prizes

We’ll be awarding prizes for hacks that meet the following key air quality and open data challenges:

  • Best visualisation – the AQ+ project is seeding a display station network across Sheffield, providing an opportunity to present air quality open data in visually inspiring ways to the broader public directly in community venues they use. This prize is awarded for the most engaging interactive visualisation of AQ+ data, designed to be experienced on the network of data visualisation stations.
  • Most viable product – awarded for the hack that has the most potential to become a sustainable data-driven product, service or campaign to improve or promote better air quality.
  • Best policy insight – for the hack with the most useful insights for those who are involved in air quality related policy development, and want to make better use of the data to inform their policy recommendations for government and businesses.
  • Best personal insight – most useful hack to inspire individuals to be and behave more air aware.

Getting ahead

Got an idea and want some extra time or support to hit the ground running? Join us in the final co-design workshop on 13 March (lunch included) to discover more about the data and explore sustainability models and user experiences that can give your hack the winning edge.

Stay tuned for our quickstart guide to the data and some key user personas to get you up and running.

On the day

All the usual tools and comforts you’d expect at a hackday will be provided, so all you need to bring is your laptop or other preferred technology (digital or analog) for creating things.

Show & Tell and Awards  – 20 April

On 20 April, we’re inviting all participants in the Hack & Play Experimental Series back to join us on 20 April for the Air Quality+ Show & Tell and Awards, where we’ll announce the winners of the challenge prizes. If you haven’t been able to take part but want to see what has been going on, you are also welcome. Pre-register your place here.

Who can hack?

There’s no restriction – open data is open to anyone. Data skills are helpful, but not necessary – the best hacks tend to come from teams that combine different talents and perspectives. While the core air quality monitoring datasets are of Sheffield, you also don’t need to be a city native to take part.

What are you waiting for?

Register Already! 23 March, 30 March, 13 April,

Awards and Show & Tell: 20 April.