Public transport innovations brought to life - the best of Lamia Flow hackathon with HSL

We at Lamia hosted Lamia Flow hackathon in cooperation with HSL this past weekend. Now, looking back, what an insightful and fun event it was! The different projects utilized the HSL open data to create a variety of different initiatives and applications - all for better, more transparent and more predictable public transport.

As the clock hit noon on Saturday the 28th of September, an eager crowd filled up the Lamia office. It was time to start Lamia Flow hackathon public transport hackathon in cooperation with HSL. We were happy to host such an international and multi-talent hackathon with participants from over 10 different countries not to mention the various profiles from designers to front-end wizards and from back-end developers to data scientists. Putting this talent together expectations were high!

Lamia Flow hackathon: Saturday breakfastLamia Flow hackathon: participant waiting to get started

We began the event with a short introduction from HSL's Sami Räsänen, highlighting how much different kinds of open data HSL provides and what kind of projects HSL has on-going.

Sami Räsänen presenting HSL open data at Lamia Flow hackathon

From there our hackathon project leads took over and before long we had 10 teams working on a variety of public transport dilemmas.

Lamia Flow hackathon: The Passenger project planning a passenger simulation modelLamia Flow hackathon: Team SysTik from Aalto University working on city bike applicationLamia Flow hackathon: investigating the HSL maps

Here are some of the project problems the teams worked on:

  • How can you know how far and to which station you can get to with a 30min city bike?
  • How can you estimate whether there are bikes available on a city bike station and whether they're broken or not?
  • How can we estimate tram traffic on any single vehicle in real-time?
  • Could we combine data about general services to public transport data to create a service to estimate different Helsinki region areas, based on e.g. easiness of public transport and proximity to schools?
  • Could we create a virtual passenger to simulate different passenger scenarios?
  • How can we visualize the landscape and provide visual clues around bus stops beyond 2D maps or street views to help you navigate on foot?

Lamia Flow hackathon: Team Tram Jam workingLAmia Flow hackathon: team Bike Helsinki working

The hackathon began at noon on Saturday and continued long into the night. With a couple of hours sleep in between the teams came back on Sunday to present their projects. At that point it was clear that there were many brilliant projects and choosing a winner might be hard. In the spirit of openness, we decided that we will choose the winner by vote so that all our hard-working hackathon participants could have a fair say in the result.

Even though the teams had been working for the past 24h, the enthusiasm and energy in each project presentation was at maximum. It was such a pleasure to see the hard work coming together!

Team 30min station presenting at Lamia Flow hackathonTeam Know your neighborhood presenting at Lamia Flow hackathon

The winning project done by four talented students from Aalto University was about city bikes. The solution let you see how long bikes will last on any given station and also estimated the number of broken bikes on the station. The team even managed to test their application early on Sunday morning and it worked! A big congrats to the winning team!

Team SysTik won Lamia Flow hackathon with their city bike availibility application

We can proudly say that together we made public transport better with new ideas and applications!

Interested to learn more about the projects? The project presentations were recorded, see video here >>