Those who think that culture and technology do not belong together may be won over by this hackathon. Since 2014, developers and designers have met in Germany for Coding Da Vinci, a 10-week hackathon centred around finding out new uses for publicly-accessible cultural data. And there are no boundaries when it comes to the creative possibilities of new uses for such data,whether through apps, services, games, or visualisations.
In 2014, sixteen cultural institutions from Germany offered their data for use at the hackathon. Such data had previously been very difficult to access. Over the following 10 weeks, the 150 participants collected their project ideas, with 17 making it into the shortlist. Among the winners were the developers of the app zzZwitscherwecker, which uses bird sounds from the archive of the Natural History Museum instead of annoying alarm bells to wake its users. The alarm can only be turned off when the user selects the correct bird species from a selection of four.
The goals of the hackathon are to form a stronger link between culture and technology, as well as support cultural institutions with their data preparation and provision. As we have shown in our previous case study on Europeana, more and more public institutions such as museums and libraries are digitising their collections. In cooperation with developers, the aim is now to find possibilities of using such examples of digital production creatively.