Open Cultural Data Hackathon 2017
Program | Get involved | Swiss Cultural Data | Cultural Data Worldwide | Earlier Editions

3rd Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon

Our third Open Cultural Data Hackathon took place on 15-16 September 2017 at the University of Lausanne, in cooperation with the Laboratoire de cultures et humanités digitales, BCU Lausanne, and further partners and sponsors.

The workshop programme started already on 14 September in the afternoon.

The hackathon was preceded by several pre-events in spring 2017:

In addition, a workshop dedicated to the Open Cultural Data Hackathon was held at the Public Domain Event in Basel (24 April 2017).

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  • Facebook (Swiss Cultural Data Hackathon)
  • Twitter (Hashtag: #GLAMhack2017)

Share your data in view of the next Open Cultural Data Hackathon

You may own yourself cultural data that you are ready to share. Please look at these infosheets (German / French) on how to share data. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact

Informations aux médias / Media Inquiries

Des Informations aux médias en français peuvent être téléchargées ici.

For media inquiries, please contact:

  • Frédéric Noyer, f.noyer(at) (French)
  • Martin Grandjean, martin.grandjean(at) (French)
  • Beat Estermann, beat.estermann(at) (German/French/English)

Documentation of earlier events is available here.

University of Lausanne, “Genopode” building. Photo by Rama, CC BY-SA 3.0 France, via Wikimedia Commons

Hackathon Projects

Hackathon Programme / Registration

The hackathon programme consisted of:

  • Three longer workshops/meetups on Thursday, 14 September, afternoon, i.e. before the official start of the hackathon
  • a main hackathon track with a plenary session at the beginning and at the end of the event and self-organized group work in between
  • a side programme with workshops on various topics, aimed at the transmission of skills and know-how related to the (re-)use of heritage data
  • possibilities for participants to re-fuel and refresh themselves in a flexible manner
  • a project presentation session on Saturday night, open to the public, followed by an apéro riche for hackathon participants and guests

The descriptions of the Thursday workshops and meet-ups are provided below. The detailed description of the other workshops will follow in the course of the summer.

Thursday, 14 September 2017
13:30 - 14:00 Welcome Desk: Arrival of workshop participants
14:00 - 18:00 Workshops / GLAM + Wikidata Meet-up
19:00 - 21:00 Dinner at the Lausanne Youth Hostel
Friday, 15 September 2017
9:00 Welcome Desk opens
10:00 - 11:30 Opening Message, Official Start of the Hackathon
Pitching of project ideas
Creation of groups
Work in groups             
12:30 - 14:30 Lunch (Genopode Building)
Work in groups Workshops
19:00 - 21:00 Dinner (Unithèque Building)
Work in groups
24:00 End of day 1
Saturday, 16 September 2017
9:00 Work in groups Workshops
12:30 - 14:30 Lunch (Unithèque Building)
Work in groups Workshops
16:30 - 17:30 Preparation of project presentations
17:30 - 19:30 Closing address / Project presentations
19:30 - 21:30 Stand-up dinner (Unithèque Building)

Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon 2016 at the Basel University Library. Photo by M. Schwendener, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


On Thursday afternoon, two longer workshops / meet-ups will take place:

Thursday, 14 September

14:00 - 18:00 Auditoire B OpenRefine Hands-on Workshop
Frédéric Noyer (Docuteam GmbH)

  • Introduction to OpenRefine
  • Hands-on exercises with cultural data
  • unconference-style sessions to discuss specific topics
14:00 - 18:00 Room 2020 Wikidata + GLAM Gathering
Sandra Fauconnier; Beat Estermann (Bern University of Applied Sciences)

Target audience: Experienced members of the Wikidata + GLAM Community as well as people who are new to either Wikidata or GLAM. Participants unfamiliar with Wikidata are encouraged to watch Asaf’s Gentle Introduction to Wikidata ahead of the gathering.

  1. Round of introduction
  2. Short introduction into Wikidata
  3. Short input presentations by experienced members of the Wikidata + GLAM Community presenting some of their past and current projects
  4. Structured discussion on “Wikidata + GLAM: Where do we stand? What’s next?”, possibly with inputs from the Wikimania session on the same topic.
  5. Participants who are new to Wikidata + GLAM present their project ideas
  6. Common brainstorming around the project ideas, coaching by experienced community members (to be continued on demand during the two days of the hackathon)

  7. Etherpad

During the hackathon, participants have the possibility to attend several workshops aimed at the transmission of skills and know-how related to the (re-)use of heritage data.

Friday, 15 September

14:30 - 15:20 School of Data
Oleg Lavrovsky, School of Data
Data, data, everywhere! And yet... When is the last time data made a difference in your life? Have you taken the time today to think through the implications of all this machine-usable information to your self-confidence, critical faculties and overall success as a human being? When has art last inspired you to get creative with Taylor Swift? Together with the global School of Data network, we are putting together keyboards and brains to spread the idea of data literacy, to work for better data, to have more fun at hackathons! Join us for a round of Advanced Data & Dragons that aims to help you become more Adventurous, Benign and Correlational in your projects.
15:30 - 16:20 Citation Indexes and Bibliometrics
Giovanni Colavizza, Digital Humanities Lab, EPFL
Citation indexes are an important component in scientific research. Tools like Google Scholar help researchers find literature, and data from citation indexes such as the Web of Science and Scopus are increasingly used for the evaluation of research impact. We will introduce the topic by discussing the history and objectives of the discipline of bibliometrics, and the current players in the citation index business. We will then discuss (and experiment with) two more recent developments: the efforts to make citation data openly available (WikiCite, Open Citations) and examples of projects which indexed the humanities literature (Linked Books), currently poorly covered by commercial citation indexes. If time allows, we will experiment with the analysis of a citation network using Gephi.
16:30 - 17:20 Wikidata Tutorial
Sandra Fauconnier, Wikimedia Foundation
A 50 minutes Wikidata tutorial to get you up to speed with editing Wikidata, and basic querying with Wikidata’s SPARQL engine. Participants are expected to already have a basic understanding of what Wikidata is, for instance by reading the Wikidata introduction and by exploring Wikidata items a bit.
17:30 - 18:20 Wikidata Query Service Tutorial
Lucas Werkmeister, Wikimedia Deutschland
A 50 minutes tutorial going into more detail on the Wikidata Query Service, the primary portal for advanced queries against Wikidata’s data. Participants will learn about the SPARQL query language and become familiar with Wikidata’s RDF export format.

Saturday, 16 September

10:30 - 11:20 Jupyter Notebooks : un puissant outil d'analyse de données, mais pas que.
Jan Krause, EPFL Bibliothèque
Venez découvrir Jupyter:
  • Langages supportés: plus de 50. Dont Python, R, Julia, Octave, Ruby, Scala.
  • Traitement de données: nombreuses extensions disponibles, p.ex. Numpy (analyse numérique), Pandas (analyse statistique), Bokeh (représentation), Scikit Learn (machine learning).
  • Interactivité: le code est interprété en live, des widgets permettent d’interagir avec vos applications
  • Documentation et partage: texte riche (markdown), code et outputs sont réunis en un notebook. Un grand atout pour le partage, la réutilisation et la reproductibilité scientifique.
  • Export: les notebooks sont exportables en divers formats: Présentation animée, Markdown, HTML, LaTeX, PDF entre autres.
  • Open source et libre
11:30 - 12:20 Linked Data On Speed (Introduction to Linked Open Data) and online LD archival metadata (project aLOD)
Adrian Gschwend (Zazuko) & Frédéric Noyer (Docuteam GmbH)
In this workshop we will see how the advent of the World Wide Web has led to an exponential growth of the Internet and what was needed to make it happen. On the way there we will discover that we can do the same thing with Linked Open Data. Towards the end we will swallow the red pill and dive into some SPARQL magic. Practical example will be demonstrated based on the project aLOD that aim to put RDF archival metadata coming from several swiss archives.
14:30 - 15:20 Ensuring the Sustainability of the Open Cultural Data Hackathon
Beat Estermann, OpenGLAM CH; Michael Gasser, ETH Library
Together with the workshop participants we would like to reflect on the future orientation of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon and on the development of the community around it. Apart from the continuous strive to improve the long-term impact of the hackathon, there are several recent developments that should be taken into account in our reflections:
  • Raising the necessary funds for the national hackathon has become increasingly difficult and resource intensive. As a consequence, we have decided to launch a Friends of OpenGLAM Network that should help secure the long term financial support of the event through regular contributions from data providers and other interested parties.
  • This year we have seen the emergence of locally organized cultural data hackathons, like the Zurich Archival Hackday or the Geneva Library hackathon – a development we strongly welcome, but which also raises the question of how to articulate local/regional and national events in the future.
  • Hackathons provide an excellent basis to create and develop prototypes of innovative solutions based on the data sets available. What would it take to build on these initial results and develop them into sustainable applications beyond the limited time frame of a hackathon?
  • In cooperation with the Swiss Federal Archives, which runs the open data project of the Swiss Confederation, we have started to integrate our list of open datasets into the portal. This is a step towards the consolidation of our activities. Improvements to the portal from the view of the OpenGLAM community and further steps to make use of synergies may follow.
  • Next year's hackathon will be hosted by the Swiss National Museum. This is a good occasion to intensify our efforts of reaching out to museums and to think about how to cooperate with other organizations working at the intersection of museums, data, and co-creation, such as Museomix.
15:30 - 16:20 Historical Statistics of Switzerland 2.0
Matthieu Leimgruber, University of Zurich; Dominique Feyer, TTREE Lausanne
This session will present the ongoing revision of the Historical Statistics of Switzerland Online. We will briefly recount the shaping of this dataset, resulting from decades of research and data collection at the University of Zurich and first published in an analog form before being transferred online. We will also present the challenges encountered during the overhaul of the HSSO dataset and in the attempt of making it more user-friendly. Feedback from participants on the current revision and proposals for the future development of the dataset will be at the center of this session.

Media Coverage

Coverage of the hackathon and the pre-events in the media and on blogs:

Pre-event in Geneva:

Pre-event in Zürich (Archival Hackday):



The event was organized by the OpenGLAM CH Working Group of the association, with contributions from:

Organization Committee
Oleg Lavrovsky
Frédéric Noyer, co-lead programme committee
Oliver Waddell, lead datasets team
Radu Suciu, co-organiser Geneva hackdays / Basel University Library
Lionel Walter, co-lead programme committee, co-organiser Geneva hackdays / Bern University of Applied Sciences, E-Government Institute
Beat Estermann, project coordinator
Isabelle Lucas, lead logistics & communications
Enrico Natale
Jan Baumann
Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne
Jeanette Frey (Director BCUL)
Ramona Fritschi
Université de Lausanne, Laboratoire de cultures et humanités digitales (LADHUL)
Dominique Vinck (Director LADHUL)
Martin Grandjean, pre-event Digital Humanities, Lausanne
Marianna Schismenou

If you have questions to the organization committee, please contact us here:

Sponsors / Supporting Organizations