AeroVision News

Climate-smart city AeroVision Hackathon
Created by AV-algemeen on 11/13/2020 10:37:09 AM

Satellite data offers many still often unknown and unexplored possibilities to assess the state of the environment in cities. This is the result of an intensive online hackathon. AeroVision brought together six teams to use satellite data to work out the climate challenges of four different municipalities: summer heat, paving, air quality and the state of vegetation. The teams used data from the European Copernicus program, complemented by the high resolution satellite data from the Dutch government's Satellietdataportaal.

After an intensive week, each team presented a gripping pitch on how municipalities could make more use of geo-information and satellite data to measure and monitor the state of their city.

rom 7 to 13 October, AeroVision organized the "Climate-smart city Copernicus hackathathon" together with Copernicus. The theme of the online hackathon was "The State of Your City: Using satellite imagery to explore climate-smart city questions". For the 23 participants, the municipalities of Amersfoort, Zwolle, Velsen and Ghent (BE) presented interesting and relevant themes on air quality, the heat island effect, city vegetation and citizen science to make climate-smart cities a reality.

Six different teams worked with satellite data to create relevant products for the municipalities. Teams worked on relevant analyses, dashboards and conceptual platforms as products they delivered to the municipalities. In addition to working on the cases during the hackathon week, participants were also able to listen to interesting presentations given by various satellite data experts. The experts during this hackathon were Anniek Schouten of Overstory, specialists in AI-based tree detection; Lammert Kooistra with a presentation on earth observation data sources for smart-city applications and Gert-Jan Steeneveld who spoke about the heat island effect in Dutch cities - both academics from Wageningen University; and finally Valentijn Venus of Ramani, a company that aims to stimulate earth observation through an online platform. These experts were available online throughout the week for participants to answer questions and think along with them.

The results of the six teams were very inspiring and creative. Yet, the jury had to choose three winners:

The third place went to "Team One", which dealt with the heat island effect case of Ghent. Using satellite data, Team One developed a system to measure day and night temperatures, identify heat islands, and perform time series analyses at district level.

Second place went to the team "The Green Machine". They focused on the case of Amersfoort, in which the greening of the city was central. Using satellite images and publicly available data, this team developed and validated a system to automatically identify buildings suitable for green roofs (Figure 1).

The winner of the hackathon was Team Sinebus. This team explored possibilities regarding the combination of the SensHagen (Zwolle) citizen science project and satellite data. Specific attention was given to evaluating whether the air quality data measured by citizens can be used as ground truth for satellite data, whether the pilot can be scaled to the entire municipality by using satellite data, making predictions of future NO2 levels (Figure 2), and conceptualizing a mobile application to open these data to the public.

At the end of the week the winning teams received their prizes from the mayor of Amersfoort, Mr. Lucas Bolsius. All winning teams received a cash prize and the winners of the hackathon get the chance to participate in the Copernicus Accelerator – a 12 month customized coaching program – and an annual subscription to the Sentinel hub offered by Sinergise. In addition, all three winners will be able to present their results at the ICC Regio Schiphol Bevlogen conference.

AeroVision would like to thank all our case holders, experts and of course the participants for their input and effort, and for the successful week we realised together!