'Data Jam' Session Used to Create Innovative Apps, Websites

Updated: 02/22/2014 5:50 PM
Created: 02/22/2014 2:48 PM
By: Kate Renner

You may have heard of poetry jams, but what about data jams?

Some innovative Minnesotans are using statistics and data to create leading-edge technology during the Capitol Code Open Data Jam.

The group met at the CoCo working space in Minneapolis on Saturday morning.

Raymond Finzel used the time to brain-storm ways to make reservations to the BWCA easier depending on a camper's skill level.

"Just showing people whether or not their route is aggressive or easy, and that would take into account things like topography changes, a steep climb up to next lake, how long the portages were," said Finzel.

He says he can do it by gathering the right data from the DNR.

"We're looking at lake map layer data from the DNR, as well as their topography data," said Finzel.

The Capitol Code Open Data Jam was all about compiling data to make life more convenient. uses GPS data from every Metro Transits bus to communicate wait times at the bus stop in real time.

Some of the open data OMGTransit compiled together to create their app came from Metro Transit, Car2Go, NiceRide, Amtrack and soon the U of M commuter bus.

The website that launched in June, tells a commuter how many ways there are to get around town without the use of a car.

"We'd have bikes, cars, buses and everything right at your fingertips on a map. So there's no reason to miss the bus now? No there isn't you should make it every time," said Kadrmas.

And if all goes as planned for the Boundary Waters group there should be no reason to have a bad camping trip.

"Give people a sense of whether their trip is going to be hectic where they'll be packing up and moving to the next place every day, going 10 -20 miles, or just going to be canoeing along and fishing a little bit," said Finzel.

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