Bristol API Hackathon 3

Saturday saw the UrbanThings team head west for Bristol API Hackathon 3. Hosted at Just Eat’s Bristol HQ, the Connecting Bristol event was a sell-out with dozens of eager developers arriving for a day of hacking.

October’s challenge was how to ‘Travel Bristol (on a budget)’, and our eager coders spent the day combining both concepts while the Just Eat Tech team provided pizza after pizza – a solid must have for any developer… but thankfully the beer fridge wasn’t opened until the afternoon!

We were also treated to some futuristic gadgets, including a robot on wheels and a Microsoft HoloLens – see judge Suzanne Wilson trying it out below. 🙂

At the end of the day, each team presented their solutions to a packed crowd, and the pitches were judged by representatives from UrbanThings and Connecting Bristol.

We had some fantastic presentations, including a highly commended one from Team Street Art who developed a creative way to encourage walking round the city by planning journeys via street art. This was achieved by mashing up geotagged photos from the Flickr API with journey planning from Google and the Bristol API.

Saturday’s winners were Peter Bridger, Andy MacLean, Luke Parry and Daniel Williams of This Is Zone with their innovative solution for analysing people’s commutes and suggesting ways to save money. The winning solution used data from the Bristol API, including our journey planning endpoints, and the team also presented a skillfully designed prototype app.

As well as winning £100 on the day, This Is Zone are now in with a chance of winning a £1000 digital workshop with leading creative agency Big Mallet.

Thank you to Just Eat Tech for hosting and feeding us all, and keep watching this space for details of the next hackathon.

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UrbanThings: A TfL Hackathon winner

After an exciting and busy week of hacking, Friday the 30th of September saw TfL’s Data in Motion Hackathon draw to a close. Teams were invited to present their ideas to a panel that consisted of representatives from TfL, Geovation and Amazon Web Services.

We are pleased to reveal that UrbanThings was named as one of the winners. After a tense period of deliberation, the judges reviewed the entries and were particularly impressed by our Top Secret Idea™ (shhhh). As a nice bonus, we were also awarded some pretty cool prizes to take away.

It was really useful to spend a solid week generating ideas from the new datasets TfL provided, and we are looking forward to developing our idea directly with TfL as they seek to maximise transport capacity throughout the capital.

Watch this virtual space for the next big thing!

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Transport for London Hackathon Week

This week sees the UrbanThings team hacking their way to a potential new transport solution for TfL. The Data in Motion event was launched on Friday the 23rd of September at Amazon’s Holborn headquarters with talks from TfL, Amazon Web Services, Geovation and King’s College London.

Friday’s launch invited developers, digital start-ups and anyone with a passion for data, to build an application to help manage capacity on London’s transport network.

TfL’s challenge for UrbanThings is:

• Understanding the capacity of the transportation networks in real time
• Detecting incidents and their impact on network capacity in real time
• Visualising the state of the networks and predicting how they will look into the near future

Launch event speakers included TfL’s Rikesh Shah on open data, Alan Bristow on roads and Lucy Fish on network capacity. Plus Kris Burtwistle from Amazon Web Services, Alex Wrottesley from Geovation, and a talk on air pollution by Andrew Grieve of King’s College Environmental Research Group.
The UrbanThings team has been reviewing the data, and distilling our ideas into a clear concept that we’re looking forward to presenting to the judges later this week at Amazon’s Holborn office. Fingers crossed we can (hopefully) wow the judges!

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Infographic, header image and group Q&A image courtesy of Transport for London

API Hackathon 3: Travel Bristol (on a Budget)

The next Bristol API Hackathon date will be Saturday 8th October and UrbanThings are excited to be visiting Just Eat’s Bristol HQ with Connecting Bristol.

October’s event is going to be focused on ideas for innovative solutions for getting around Bristol while saving money – hopefully a useful one for cash-conscious students! Our development and platform team will be on hand to provide technical tips and we look forward to hearing all your ideas. The day’s most innovative solution wins £100 – plus the chance to win a £1000 digital workshop with leading creative agency Big Mallet.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite – book now to secure your free place.

TripChecker launches in Sydney

G’day! UrbanThings are proud to announce that our hit transport app TripChecker is now live in Sydney. To celebrate the launch, we are giving Sydneysiders the chance to win an entire year’s worth of free travel around the Harbour City!

One lucky winner will get their entire year’s Opal card bill paid for by the folks behind Sydney’s newest and awesomest travel app – and if you don’t believe us, you can check out the small print here. Bonza!

For a chance to win this fantastic prize, just keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds and retweet or share one of our special competition messages. You can enter once per message so do retweet and share as many times as you like for another chance to win! 🙂

And for bonus points, download TripChecker today so you can see what all the fuss is about!


Download TripChecker now for live travel times for ferries, trains, light rail and buses in Sydney and loads of other places. From Newcastle to Sydney to Wollongong and back again, TripChecker is the world’s free, take-anywhere transit companion!


Photo by David Iliff – License CC-BY-SA 3.0

Bristol API Challenge winners launch ‘Tiny Tours’ app

Back in January, the UrbanThings team travelled to Bristol to help run the first Bristol API Hackathon with Connecting Bristol. The day’s brief was to produce an innovative solution to a transport-related problem, and after careful consideration, the day’s worthy winners were Blue Sparrow Apps.

After celebrating their win, Blue Sparrow continued to develop their idea, and sixth months later have launched their free Tiny Tours app on Android and iOS.

Launched just in time for the summer holidays, Tiny Tours targets parents and children in the Bristol area, helping them find places to go and experiences to enjoy as a family.  Excitingly for us, it uses the UrbanThings Bristol API to power its journey planning suggestions, displaying easy-to-use public transport routes that take you and your family on a quick and easy day out.


UrbanThings CEO Carl Partridge praised the app, saying: “it’s very rewarding to see this app being brought to fruition, and we hope it will encourage other Bristol developers to sign up to the next event in the autumn.”

Congratulations to James, Laura and Ryan at Blue Sparrow, we look forward to seeing how the app grows and we will certainly showcase it at a future Hackathon!