Oceans of data hackathon

Greenpeace is organising the 'Oceans of data' hackathon at their warehouse in Amsterdam-Noord from 28 tot 30 November 2014, where Bert Spaan, software developer at Waag will be mentoring en judging participants.

Why hack for the oceans?
Letting science and common sense determine how many fish we can catch instead of allowing greedy industries and politicians to decide would end overfishing overnight! Well, maybe not overnight, but a lot faster than we are now. Overfishing is the most obvious example of the worst kind of management of our natural resources. The experts already know there are too many boats chasing too few fish. Even the world’s favourite fish – tuna – is at risk.

The fishermen know it too, but rather than slow down, the majority of fishing companies are still netting and hooking faster than the fish can reproduce and we are already driving entire populations to collapse. Once one stock is gone the boats simply move on to the next one. Modern technology has given us the capability to explore the ocean far more than ever before, but it has also equipped massive boats to search out fish stocks in the far reaches and depths of the oceans that, until now, nature had kept off limits. There is an imbalance. We are slowly exploring and learning about our oceans, while at the same time as the rate of exploitation accelerates, meaning that we may be destroying species before they have been discovered and described. So how can we bring back the balance?

Bert Spaan is a software developer and GIS specialist, working mainly on open data related projects. Bert's interactive map of all buildings in The Netherlands gained international coverage in 2013, he is also the organiser of Maptime, a workshop evening at Waag on (digital) cartographic.


Greenpeace, de Smederij, NDSM-werf, Amsterdam