INSPIRE Knowledge Base

OSS4SDG Hackathon


You are cordially invited by the United Nations - Office of Information and Communication Technologies (OICT) and the Directorate-General for Informatics of European Commission (DG DIGIT) to participate in the “Open Source Software 4 Sustainable Development Goals (OSS4SDG): SDG# 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities” Hackathon, which will take place from 3 to 31 October. This second innovation competition of the OSS4SDG initiative is launched in partnerships with the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project and aims at tackling challenges related to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities. Other European Commission DGs are involved in the Hackathon, including DG ESTAT, DG CNECT and DG JRC.

For the last decades, the world has been experiencing the largest wave of urban growth in history. At this pace, it is expected that by 2050 around 6.5 billion people — two-thirds of all humanity — will be living in urban areas. Much of this growth has led to a boom in mega-cities, bringing new opportunities and access to diverse goods and services available to its citizens. However, this exponential growth in the population has also triggered social, economic and environmental challenges. Cities have become home to high concentrations of poverty, causing inequality, and resulting in wealthy communities coexisting (separately) alongside from slums and informal settlements. 

To monitor these complex urbanization process and facilitate sustainable growth, the United Nations and the European Union Commission have implemented diverse Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and other mapping technologies such as OpenStreetMap. This has proved to effectively illustrate surface areas (through maps and diagrams) and help to evaluate progress on the SDGs agenda to create a better world. To this end, the EC and the UN effort at democratizing access to open data and cartographic techniques that individuals and governments can use to better understand the work being done by both organizations towards achieving sustainability. 

The Hackathon includes 7 challenges and participants can submit a solution to any of them. The winners will receive a total prize of 10 thousand euros. The JRC INSPIRE team (contact: Marco Minghini) is involved in the organization and mentoring of Challenge #2 – Development of apps based on OSM data, focused on developing scientific and technical applications where OSM data is combined with other data (including authoritative data). Datasets shall belong to the categories of high-value datasets, as defined in the upcoming implementing regulation.

All information, including instructions to participate as well as evaluation criteria, are available at the Hackathon page at

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