belfast – ScraperWiki Extract tables from PDFs and scrape the web Tue, 09 Aug 2016 06:10:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 58264007 Belfast Hacks & Hackers – the video Mon, 13 Dec 2010 12:09:20 +0000 As we’ve previously reported, the Belfast Hacks and Hackers Hack Day in November was a great success with some brilliant projects emerging, and we’re thrilled to post this video, courtesy of the School of Media, Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster. Enjoy!

Hacks and Hackers Hack Day Belfast short film, by Eleaner Mulholland (Editor) and Sarah Gallagher (Interviewer)

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Belfast Hacks & Hackers: a roundup Wed, 08 Dec 2010 10:21:23 +0000 November was a hectic month so the blog posts have been a little tardy – apologies! After a full hacks and hackers day with the wonderful crowd in Lichfield #hhhlich we set off and sailed overnight to Belfast with a full force gale – force 11 to be precise!

The Titanic memorabilia available on board was a nostalgic touch, but we questioned the appropriateness of the shop’s choice, as the 20k ton ferry bobbed up and down like a cork and we were advised to stay in bed to avoid the worst effects of a rough crossing!

We received a rapturous welcome at the University of Ulster (Belfast Campus) from Milne Rowntree, our main host for the event. It was our first ever Saturday ‘Hacks and Hackers’ Hack day. The University was bright and modern with great facilities and it was wonderful to see how the city had been transformed by a big investment in infrastructure – three cheers and long may it continue in NI! Mr Cameron please keep your mitts off their money!

Francis Irving gave an introduction to ScraperWiki and the teams soon split off into their chosen projects. The choice of subjects varied and included:

Mr ‘No Vote’
This was the winning entry for the day and all about politics in Northern Ireland (surprise surprise!) and representation. Ivor Whitten (@iwhitten), Alan Meban (@alanbelfast), Matt Johnson (@cimota) and Rob Moore (@robsogc) set about gathering data and graphing the impact of people choosing not to vote and what this meant for representative democracy across Northern Ireland.

Money for Mention
Jo Briggs, Dee Harvey (@deeharvey), Julian Todd (@goatchurch) and Ian Walsh (@ianwalshireland) all worked on a project that examined the patterns within the NI Court System. This was all about how court case data appeared on a web site for a single week and the implications and difficulty of measuring the costs of cases as this information could not be captured or aggregated. The data was captured and will be maintained so it will be interesting to look at the findings over time. This project scooped the 2nd prize.

A Bit of Red Sky Thinking
Tony Rice (@ricetony), Philip Bradfield and Francis Irving (@frabcus) set about looking at the depth of one of Northern Ireland’s Property companies – Red Sky and its relationship with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Money (That’s What I Want)
Brian Pelan (@ckarkkent), Veronica Kelly (@veedles) and Declan McGrath (@theirishpenquin) decided to look at public and private sector pay in Northern Ireland.

The prize for the ScraperWiki mug was won by Declan McGrath, a hacker who had come from Dublin for the event!

Thank you to our judges Colm Murphy & Milne Rowntree, both from the University of Ulster and Damien Whinnery from Flagship Media. Also, a big thanks to our sponsors University of Ulster, Digital Circle and Guardian Platform.

Thanks to everyone who created additional posts which can be found here:

The Scraperwiki team would like to thank the McKeown family for all their hospitality in Belfast! Julian, Aidan and Francis at Belfast Lough and the Giants Causeway in Antrim:

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New event: Hacks and Hackers Hack Day Belfast (#hhhbel) Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:54:05 +0000 We’re pleased to announce another date on our Hacks and Hackers Hack Day tour. Today, the booking page goes live for our visit to Belfast: Saturday November 13th 2010, at the University of Ulster.

It’s a chance for web developers and designers to pair up with journalists and bloggers to produce a number of projects and stories based on public data. We’re using the tag ‘#hhhBel‘ to talk about this on Twitter.

It’s the latest confirmed date on the ScraperWiki tour: we’ll be going to Dublin on the 16th November, Manchester on Friday October 15th and Leeds on Thursday October 28th. We’re currently negotiating venues and dates in Cardiff and Glasgow.

What? Hacks and Hackers Hack Day Belfast

When? Saturday November 13th 2010 from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm

Where? At  the University of Ulster – room TBC (on Google Maps)

Who is it for? We hope to attract ‘hacks’ and ‘hackers’ from all different types of backgrounds: people from big media organisations, as well as individual online publishers and freelancers.

How much? Absolutely free, thanks to our sponsors, the School of Media, Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster and Guardian Open Platform.

Refreshments, lunch and evening snacks will be all be provided.

NB: We’re still seeking sponsors to get involved. If you think your organisation might be interested please contact aine [at] Or get in touch with any other questions!

What happens on the day? The aim is to show journalists how to use programming and design techniques to create online news stories and features; and vice versa, to show programmers how to find, develop, and polish stories and features. All sorts of data was scraped and played with at our past events: in Liverpool, projects included mashes of police, libraries and courts data. Birmingham saw lots of health-related projects, as well as scraping of political party donor and leisure centre information.

This four minute video from Liverpool gives you a flavour of the kind of projects that can be developed.

Armed with their laptops and WIFI, journalists and developers will be put into teams of around four to develop their ideas, with the aim of finishing final projects that can be published and shared publicly. Each team will then present their project to the whole group. Overall winners will receive a prize at the end of the day.

ScraperWiki’s Hacks and Hackers tour: where next? Mon, 06 Sep 2010 10:48:30 +0000 As we announced earlier this morning, our next Hacks and Hackers Hack Day for programmers, designers, bloggers and journalists will take place in Manchester on Thursday October 15th but more are in the pipeline.

We’ll be going to Leeds on Thursday October 28th and Dublin on Tuesday 16th November as part of the Innovation Dublin festival.

We’re currently negotiating venues and dates in CardiffBelfast and Glasgow.

Watch this space for more details. If you’re interested in getting involved or wish to offer sponsorship, please contact: judith [at]

For an idea of what a Hacks and Hackers Hack Day actually entails, please have a look at our coverage from Liverpool and Birmingham.

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