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This hackathon produced great ideas, amazing apps and some exhausted developers

55 large pizzas, 380+ energy drinks, 86 developers and 48 hours of coding. The HERE Hackathon Istanbul challenged coders and young entrepreneurs to develop location-based solutions to address the mobility and smart city needs of Turkey.

How would you use the HERE SDK to reduce road congestion and enable greener, cheaper transit solutions? How would you apply location data to create new business services for consumers? Can you invent an engaging game that integrates with the HERE location platform?

Those were some of the questions asked of the 86 hackathon engineers and developers in Istanbul in late October. The weekend-long event kicked off with a welcoming event and dinner on Friday evening. At 10PM that night, the coders were briefed, and the lights turned green for 36 straight hours of coding and ideation.


By 10AM on Sunday, all the apps were complete. Breakfast, and importantly coffee, were served, as the teams began assembling their presentations. Each team was required to pitch their and ideas to evaluation jury made up of 8 judges from 6 different companies. Final projects were judged on criteria such as originality, effectiveness, completeness of the solution, use of the HERE APIs, and presentation.

Three apps and their teams were named for the top spots:

toGo – Rainbow Five

The group created a personal activity assistant named toGo. The app utilizes real-time location data to provide a custom view of the events and activities available to visiting travelers. Unscheduled events like hikes and places to see are captured via crowd-sourcing from other users. Meanwhile, scheduled events like concerts and restaurant hours are gathered from local businesses that provide open data.

Rainbow Five was awarded first prize, and was comprised of Ali Catatape, Ege Caglar, Can Jozef, Oktay Comu, and Kadri Türker. Ali Catatape spoke to us about how the app developed.

“When your schedule's crammed with activity after activity, you have to really look for free time to exploit, and that's what our app aims to make easier. Ege came up with our initial concept, which would recommend things to do for people on long layovers in Istanbul. After that, it was just a matter of expanding the app’s scope.”


Community Cam - Sedat Ozturk & Sadik Ekin Ozbay

The cost of building, maintaining, and deploying capture cars for high definition mapping can be expensive. Faced with that expense, companies are face challenges in regularly mapping every location in the world. Community Cam is the solution for underserved areas, and faster updates.

Developers Sedat and Sadik created a model where communities can use smartphones to submit high definition pictures of places and roads. By utilizing multiple photographs from different angles, pictures can be transformed into 3D street models. To take it one step further, the duo created a business model for rewarding users who contribute data.

Easy Fix - Eyup Kes, Mehdi Safar, and Sinan Argun

Our cities have problems: potholes, broken traffic signs, pollution and more. Many local governments have yet to embrace a modern means of allowing citizens to report issues that need attention. Further, they may not have the personnel needed to manage all the inputs they’re getting.

Easy Fix is location based social platform that enables residents to photograph and report poor conditions in their communities. That data is collated into reports and analytics that are then provided to governments and local businesses. As problems are solved, those same businesses can governments can report status changes back to the users, who are rewarded with civic points on the platform.


Thank you to all participants!

It was a privilege to host the event in Istanbul, and we thank all the young developers, hackers, entrepreneurs and evangelists for joining HERE at the event. To start building your own apps using HERE location data, sign up for our developer program.  Keep coding, and keep bringing your ideas to life!


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