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Data in the City - An Overview

‘Data in the City’, a 2-day Hackathon was organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and held from Aug 23 - 25, 2013, in partnership with UP Singapore. Attracting over 150 participants, the hackathon brought together urban planners, architects, sustainability experts, technologists, researchers, developers and designers to co-create new prototypes to help Singapore become a more livable, competitive and sustainable city.

The hackathon, along with a series of workshops leading up to the weekend focussed on tackling some of the core issues of urban planning including Optimized Mobility, Social & Public Safety, Smart Buildings and People.

In just 48 hours, 18 original prototypes were created and showcased to our panel of judges who picked 5 winning teams for further development of their ideas. What’s more, the five winning prototypes are getting fast-tracked into the Apps4SG Challenge which closes on 1 Oct.

Check back in to view all the winning presentations and pitches - coming soon! 

More photos from the hackathon



Singapore is one of the most well-planned and efficient cities in the world. However, with the population projected to increase to 6.9 million residents by 2030, the city’s infrastructure will need to continually improve. Thus, the Apps4SG competition was launched in April 2013 to look for innovative apps that help improve the way we live, study, work and play in Singapore. One of the activities under the competition is the ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon which brings together the private and public sector to co-create new innovations to drive growth in a more efficient and responsive manner.

Fri, 23rd Aug - Sun, 25th Aug 2013
Venue: JFDI.Asia, 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #05-16, Singapore 139951


Why You Should Attend

'Data in the City' Hackathon is the hackathon about coding, designing and prototyping for a responsive, sustainable city. Developers, designers, data scientists, sustainability experts, researchers, students and concerned citizens are invited to learn, play, share ideas, network, and get inspired.

If you want to learn the ins and outs of making Singapore a responsive and sustainable city, 'Data in the City' Hackathon is the place to be!


Multiple workshops leading up to the weekend hackathon will dive into the issues surrounding urban planning and the data and technology that is driving it.  Our content workshops will feature experts in transportation, sustainability, urban planning, big data and technology.  The technical workshop will dive into the exclusive datasets and APIs that are available through the UP Data Sandbox, including government and private sector data on traffic, transport, energy usage, and public safety and cleanliness, along with a showcase of the latest technology.  Training workshops by some of our technology and data partners may also follow the workshops.


Meet passionate technology pros and sustainable cities experts.  Mingle with government policy makers, corporate innovators and community activists.  Find new connections and friends and maybe grab some drinks later!


Find partners, swap ideas, discover opportunities and create the next big thing. You may just end up starting your own business from this weekend!

Get rewarded

We have some exciting rewards coming your way - watch this space for news!

Sign up now!

This event is free, but we require a $15 deposit in order to prevent overbooking. Deposits are refunded in full upon check-in at the hackathon.










Optimized Mobility

Singapore is a small island with a growing population. To keep up with this growth and become a remain a liveable city, Singapore needs to have a broad range of options for getting around that are flexible and responsive.  Individuals also need to be empowered to choose sustainable transportation means and encouraged to use lower-impact methods.

Participants will be challenged to improve mobility in Singapore in several ways:

  • • Optimizing various transportation systems by distributing commuters among different routes and reducing waiting times and traffic as a result

  • • Creating tools to enable intelligent transport that incorporates human-generated data.

  • • Empowering individuals to use flexible transport like ride-sharing and providing better access for the disabled and those in need.

  • • Encouraging individuals to be creative about mobility including incorporating recreational activities such as biking into their commutes.

Social & Public Safety

Cities are more efficient and livable when the people, private sector and government work together to address challenges.  Public safety, cleanliness and hygiene are critical issues in Singapore that can be addressed through improved data and collaboration.

Participants are challenged to create solutions that make Singapore a safer and cleaner city by:

  • • Improving the process of data collection and feedback on safety and cleanliness by harnessing the power of crowdsourcing.

  • • Making safety and cleanliness data, such as local incidents of petty thefts and other disturbances.more accessible to citizens.

  • • Combining and interpreting data in novel ways to enable individuals, the private sector and government to be proactive about improving safety and cleanliness.

Smart Buildings

Smart buildings leverage technology to adapt and be responsive to their environment in order to be more efficient and enrich the residents’ experience. Smart Buildings can be equipped to provide energy management systems, digital communication services and video surveillance services to enable information exchange between these systems. increasing productivity and energy conservation as a result. Participants will be challenged to create prototypes that improve the experience of those working and living in smart buildings:

  • • Developing responsive services that adapt to the arrival and departure of their visitors and tenants

  • • Collaborations with stakeholders including retailers, taxis and other service providers based on their visitor and tenants’ habits and external factors like weather

  • • Turning buildings into information hubs that provide useful, interactive information including weather, traffic, health alerts and trending media topics


It is important that citizens are given the tools to be the best that they can be. It is also important that citizens stay connected to their past and find ways to tangibly record and conserve these intangible assets. Participants are challenged to create prototypes that :

    • • Provide location-based services helping both citizens and tourists learn about the history around them and hear stories of the past

    • • Improve access to all of the resources in the National Library Board network for the visually impaired, elderly and other groups

    • • Create meaningful ways of visualizing Singaporean culture and the memories of its people

    • • Summarises different types of services that can be obtained from the different ministries, Voluntary Welfare Organisations,Family Service Centres etc.

    • • Locates the nearest family-friendly businesses and determine a way to get there via public transport.

    • • Allow consumers to find social enterprises (SEs) in Singapore. The app can recommend the list of nearby SE goods or services (e.g. F&B, retail) depending on the needs of the consumers and also facilitate users’ interaction (e.g. via ratings). The app can also feature SE-related events and news updates.

For more examples and ideas, visit - http://data.gov.sg/apps4sg/ideas.aspx



Ms. Jacqueline Poh

Ms Jacqueline Poh has served in the Administrative Service for over 14 years. In her position as Managing Director for IDA, Ms Poh will be leading IDA’s policy and regulatory functions. These include developing infocomm policy and telecommunications regulations, guiding the strategic Government Chief Information Office (GCIO) function and developing information security.

Prior to her appointment in IDA, Ms Poh was Divisional Director for Workplace Policy and Strategy in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), where she oversaw policies related to foreign worker management, occupational safety and health, labour relations and employment standards, human trafficking and the re-employment of older workers. She has also served in the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Defence.



James Kang

James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (Government Chief Information Office, GCIO), oversees strategic initiatives to harness infocomm technology to plan, develop, and implement the next generation of government. The GCIO manages Whole-of-Government programs in the nation’s eGov2015 Masterplan and the ICT operation in 50 government agencies.

Mr Kang started his career in 1984 at the then National Computer Board. From 1988 he spent 9 years in various Director positions at Singapore Network Services Pte Ltd, where he successfully led the successful implementation of TradeNet, the world’s first nation-wide integrated network linking government agencies and over 20,000 companies. Mr Kang also served as the Regional Managing Director for Asia in two international companies, Trustmarque and Sterling Commerce, offering Internet ecommerce solutions. In 2002, he joined NTUC Income insurance as Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice-president of Customer & Technology Divisions, before joining IDA in 2008.

Andres Sevtsuk

Andres Sevtsuk is an Assistant Professor in Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of technology and Design. He leads the City Form Lab at SUTD, which investigates urban form and its influence on the social, economic and environmental performance of cities using state of the art spatial analysis tools. Andres joined SUTD in 2011 from MIT, where he spent the previous seven years, initially as a student and then as a lecturer in Architecture and Urban Studies & Planning. He holds an SMArchS in architecture and urbanism, and a PhD in urban design and planning from MIT and completed his earlier studies at L'École d'Architecture de la Ville & des Territoires in France. Andres has worked as an architect, urban designer, consultant and researcher in Europe, United States and now in Singapore. He has published a number of articles and book chapters and presented his work at various international events, including TEDx and the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Anandan Karunakaran

Anandan Karunakaran is Vice President, Urban Planning & Design at Surbana Urban Planning Group. He believes in creating sustainable habitats through implementable urban strategie. With extensive experience in formulating collaborative urban initiatives integrating core opportunities and challenges to achieve social, economic, and environmental goals, he is recognised as an expert in Urban Planning Decision Support Systems.


Aen Tan

Aen's principles are rooted usefulness and thoughtfulness. He sees design as a fundamentally altruistic activity and thinks designers should be working towards the betterment of the human condition. He has a more than a decade of experience and has creating and marketing products with the likes of Viki, Indian Premier League, Anideo and Shashi Tharoor. Today Aen is the go-to co-founder and leads product innovation for the various startups he's engaged with.


Andreas Schlegel

Andreas Schlegel (b.1975, Germany) currently lives and works in Singapore. He coordinates the Media Lab at Lasalle College of the Arts and is interested in creating artifacts, tools and interfaces where technology meets every day life situations. His work is concerned with emerging and open source technologies for creating audio, visual or physical output using computational and generative processes.


Professor Kees Christiaanse

Kees Christiaanse studied architecture and urban planning at the TU Delft.

From 1980 till 1989 he worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture

(OMA) in Rotterdam, becoming a partner in 1983.

In 1989 Kees Christiaanse founded his own office Kees Christiaanse

Architects & Planners (KCAP) in Rotterdam, a firm for architecture, urban

design and urban planning, which has established itself as one of the leading

international practices in the fields of architecture and urbanism. It expanded

to Shanghai and Zurich in 2002.

Kees Christiaanse taught architecture and urban planning at the Technical

University of Berlin from 1996 until 2003. He then went on to become a

Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich),

where he continues to serve and was appointed the Programme Leader of the

Future Cities Laboratory, ETH Zurich’s first research centre outside of

Switzerland. He is also the Module Leader of the Urban Design Strategies

and Resources research module.

Among his many accolades was his appointment to be the curator of the

International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) entitled “Open City.

Designing Coexistence”.

Next to his work as an architect, Kees focuses on urban assignments in

complex situations and guiding urban processes. He is a consultant to several

airports and expert in the development of university campuses and in the

revitalisation of former industrial, railway and harbour areas.


Heri Sim

Heri graduated from the Singapore Management University with a major in Strategic Management and Information Systems Management. He has called Singapore home since a young age, where he discovered programming and robotics in school. In his free time, he enjoys tinkering with his 3D printer and robots. Before Surepark, he has worked on projects in the Petrochemical, Medical-care, telecommunication industries, and the government sector as a solutions architect. He enjoys studying new web frameworks and experimental languages. When he is not playing with all his new Kickstarter gadgets, he enjoys travel and photography.



Apps4SG is looking for the brightest and most creative minds in Singapore to help improve the way we live, study, work and play. The best apps (web-based or mobile applications) that make use of government data will win attractive cash prizes. The Apps4SG Competition is organized by the Ministry of Finance, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, and the Singapore Land Authority.

Launched in April 2013, the Challenge requires participants to develop innovative apps using government data from data.gov.sg and OneMap, the government’s geospatial portal with 62 thematic layers and 35 location-based services from 34 government agencies.

One of the activities under the Challenge is the ‘Data in the City' Hackathon. Participants have the chance to form teams and get mentorship during the 'Data in the City' hackathon, and enter their prototypes in the Apps4SG Challenge. What’s more, winning teams from the ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon will be fast-tracked to the final rounds of the Challenge and stand to win some amazing prizes.

Learn more about the Apps4SG competition and how to take part here.


JFDI.Asia operates the longest-running, most successful seed accelerator program in South East Asia. It takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days, with greater than 60% success raising an average S$650,000 per team. They offer S$15k net cash investment, S$150,000 worth of rigorous mentoring and technical and other vendor perks valued at S$300,000 plus working space for the duration of the program in exchange for an equity stake in your start-up.


JFDI 100-Day Bootcamp

Teams that participate in the ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon will be evaluated by JFDI Asia and could be invited to interview for their 100-day bootcamp. The bootcamp is an intensive program that provides funding, work space and rigorous mentoring in order to take teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days. Only teams who are able to commit full-time to building their prototype will be eligible. Get more details about their evaluation process by reviewing their Frog Score.

Over 300 teams have applied for this August session. If you are ready to commit full-time to your start-up, don't miss this chance to stand out and get noticed!



More than 150 participants came together at JFDI over the weekend of Aug 23 -25 representing organizations such as Singapore MIT Alliance of Research and Technology, SAP, Barclays, Arup and more. Using an array of data sets from data.gov.sg, NEA, HDB, URA, etc., participants formed teams and built prototypes to make Singapore a better place to live, work and play in – all in just 48 hours!

Winning teams from the 'Data in the City' Hackathon will go on to compete in the Apps4SG competition and get a chance to be part of JFDI.Asia's 100-day bootcamp.

Check back in for updates on all the amazing prototypes that were created at the hackathon.



The Technical Workshop for the 'Data in the City' Hackathon was held on Tuesday, 20 Aug at JFDI Asia. More than 100 participants gathered at JFDI for our workshop featuring urban planning experts, hackathon alumni, new technologies and data - all focussed on making the smarter cities of the future.

Professor Kees Christiaanse from Future Cities Lab opened the workshop with his keynote address followed by our panel of experts who showcased the latest research, technology and data we can use to create urban solutions. Check out all the presentations from the workshop here.


Date/Time: 23th August 2013, 6pm to 6:50pm

Venue: JFDI Asia, 71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #05-16, 139951

Fee: Free - dinner and drinks provided

SAP is running a free HANA One and Visual Intelligence workshop right before the hackathon. Speakers from SAP will demonstrate how their database and analytics solution can analyse the data available in UP Singapore’s data sandbox. Using your own Windows, Linux, or Mac computers, get started with HANA One or Visual Intelligence in under 30 minutes.

Participants are invited to stay for Friday night and the rest of the hackathon



Friday, 23 Aug 2013

Time: 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Venue: JFDI Asia,  71 Ayer Rajah Crescent, #05-16, Singapore 139951

The event will open with a keynote presentation and talks by subject matter experts to inspire participants ahead of the weekend. To frame their thinking, we give them an overview of the weekend themes and some inspiration for solutions. Participants are then invited to pitch their ideas to the group, form teams and finalise what they would be working on for the weekend.


      • - Welcome

      • - Keynote Presentations

      • - Introduction to the Themes

      • - Idea Pitches and Team Formation


Saturday, 24 Aug 2013

Time: 9:00am – 7:00pm

Teams will work together on their ideas all day. We will kick-off with some great TechTalks to give teams helpful hints and then will have mentors clinics in the afternoon.

  • - Morning TechTalks on App Design & Visualization

  • - Afternoon Mentoring


Sunday, 25 Aug 2013

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm


9:30am - 11:30pm: Presentation Clinics

12pm – 1.30pm: Buffet lunch

2pm – 3pm: Team presentations

3pm – 3.30pm: Judges' deliberations

3.30pm: Winners announced and celebrations.

Apps4SG Competition

The winning teams at ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon will be fast-tracked to the final rounds of the Apps4SG competition, which is looking for prototypes that help improve the way we live, study, work and play in Singapore. All apps submitted to the Apps4SG competition will be eligible to win a cash prize of up to $10,000 and be considered for seed-funding for further development.

JFDI 100-Day Bootcamp

Teams that participate in the ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon will be evaluated by JFDI Asia and could be invited to interview for their 100-day bootcamp, the longest-running, most successful seed accelerator program in South East Asia. Learn more here.

Suntec Singapore Visualization 

Teams that create the most innovative data visualizations will be invited to display them on Suntec Conference & Exhibition Center’s ‘BIG PICTURE’. Three stories high and 60 meters wide, the BIG PICTURE is the largest HD LED screen in the world. This is a chance for Mathematicians, Data Visualizers & Creative Teams to have their work displayed to the thousands of conference goers, office workers and shoppers that pass through Suntec Singapore every day.

Clean & Green Prize

The current solid waste management strategies have succeeded in steadily improving the overall waste recycling rate from 40% in 2000 to 60% in 2012. However, surveys show that there is a gap between awareness of recycling and translating it into actual practice, and there is room for improvement for household recycling. Residents are also uncertain of how to recycle and what can or cannot be recycled. Hence, there is a need to make information on recycling more readily available whilst generating more interest in recycling and encouraging residents to actively participate in recycling.

Prototypes that successfully activate household recycling and help encourage awareness on this issue will stand to win Samsung Galaxy tabs and a chance to get support to further develop their idea under the Call for Ideas fund.

Hackathon Winners

In addition to getting fast-tracked into the final round of Apps4SG, winning teams will receive devices and cash prizes. The top 5 teams teams will receive $500 each in cash and the top 2 teams will receive Samsung Galaxy Tabs. The judging criteria for the hackathon is below.

Judging Criteria

Impact (40%)

      • • Does it address the needs or solve a pertinent problem faced by the target segment(s)?
      • • Is it an opportunity in a new market? If yes, how is it so?

Optimized Mobility

      • • Is the solution responsive to supply & demand from commuters?
      • • Does it reduce congestion challenges such as traffic jams, long waiting times and overcrowding?
      • • Does it empower consumers to make better choices based on cost, sustainability and convenience?

Social & Public Safety

      • • Is it convenient for citizens to get relevant safety information and be able to contribute new data?
      • • Does it provide new insights for citizens and government, previously unavailable?
      • • Is there a platform for dialogue between citizens and government agencies?
      • • Does it make government services smoother and more efficient?

Smart Buildings

      • • How responsive is the service to changing conditions and how does it improve convenience?
      • • Does it track movements and habits of tenants and facilitate their activities?
      • • Does it empower retailers, F&B outlets and other surrounding businesses to better serve their customers?


    • • Does it give citizens easier access to public resources on Singapore's culture and heritage?
    • • Does it encourage Singaporeans to stay connected to their past and create interesting ways to visualize this?


Viability & Scalability (20%)

    • • Is there a large enough addressable market?
    • • Can it generate excitement and buzz, such that the idea takes off?
    • • What is the potential scale of the idea?
    • • Is it logistically and technically feasible?
    • • Is the idea sustainable in the future?
    • • How does it engage the user long enough for good habits to form?

Innovativeness (20%)

    • • How unusual is the idea, or its execution?
    • • How does it compare to what is currently existing in the market?
    • • How does it make use of and/or generate data?

Overall team impression & Presentation quality (20%)

  • • What is the overall impression of the team, their idea, energy, skillset and ability to execute the idea?
  • • How effectively was the idea presented?

JFDI Challenge - Winner #1

Team Sing City

Crowd-sourced Urban Town Planning - Sing City is an app that accesses Open Data to enable citizens to identify the gaps of amenities/businesses in their neighbourhood and at the same time, make an effort to fill that gap. Check out Sing City's presentation here and their pitch video here.

JFDI Challenge - Winner #2

Team BUSotted

BUSotted is an application for a Heritage map that shows nearby useful tourist information like hotels, parks, and public transport spider maps. It is a simplified google maps for a person who has not been to singapore and does not know what to search for. Check out BUSotted's presentation here and their pitch video here.

Runner Up

Team Connecting People With Organisations

Centralized feedback system linking Citizens to Government agencies. Check out their pitch video here

Runner Up

Team Point A View

Point-a-View,is developing a mobile application to help young Singaporeans connect with their heritage through pictures, personal stories and conversations by combining voice-enabled technology with SMP. Check out Point a View's presentation here and their pitch video here.

NEA Challenge - Winner

Team Recycle It

Recycle It makes recycling fun and easy by using Smart Bins. Smart Bins Identify registered users by EZ-link card number, weigh recyclables collected; tag collections to users and alert recycling company when bin is filled, damaged etc. Check out Recycle IT's presentation here and their pitch video here.


Aggregating sensor data from mobile phones + using dynamic machine learning to help people avoid congestion and make better public transport decisions. Check out FC's presentation here

Price Index Monitoring

Geo Spatial price index monitoring.

Real Time Intelligence

Correlating and visualizing real-time Traffic & Telco data for better traffic routing and crowd management.

Park Where

Create a system to price carpark rates dynamically based on demand and supply.

Social Cops

Social Cops turns citizen voice into a powerful resource by using crowdsourced data to empower decision makers to make quality, data driven decisions. It is a platform that enables geo-location tracking & reporting of accidents and crime. Check out Social Cops's presentation here

People the Power

Push notifications of crowd-sourced Crime hotspots and Traffic accident prone areas. Check out People the Power's presentation here

Save Our Butts!

Save our Butts is an app that allows users to report ashtray overload. The app will show your current location, and when you hit the report ashtray overload button, it activates your camera. After you take a photo of the ashtray, that location and time will be flagged and fed back to the NEA. Check out Save Our Butt's presentation here

People Bandwidth

Dynamic Internet bandwidth allocation based on location-based SingTel Phone & Data usage + Population density data.


Proactive city's vision is to create future cities that can anticipate and respond to dynamic situations with sensor fusions. Some examples include - transport systems preemtively adjusting to human and vehicular flows, responsive buildings and districts that self regulate their microclimates and reconfigurable spaces responding to the lifestyle of their city dwellers. Check out Proactive's presentation here

Car Pooling

App to share cabs and find cabs at remote areas

Check out Cab Pooling's prototype here.

Learning Car Key

Enriching the traditional books to social media & other digital resources

PAM (Pictures About Memories)

Visualizing location-based photos & stories

PT Aware

Crowdsourcing public transport waiting time (esp buses & MRT)

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