Participants will have 36 hours (November 2-3) to develop an open source solution using Earth observation data based on a challenge announced at the start of the hackathon.


The challenges, co-designed by various indigenous and under-respresented youth communities from around the world, will be announced at the start of the hackathon.


All participants will gain exposure and promotion from some of the biggest organisations and companies in the industry. The winning team will also be interviewed by the GEO Secretariat, GEO BON, Geoscience Australia and all submissions will be featured on the GEO website.


What’s a hackathon?

A hackathon is a hardware and software marathon! At (G)EOHack19, you will have 36 hours to work towards solving a pressing societal challenge co-designed by various indigenous and under-represented youth communities using EO data.

How will the judging work?

Each entry will be evaluated by a jury of experts on the following criteria:

  • Societal Value: Is the solution culturally relevant?
  • Originality/Novelty: Has it been tried or done before? Creativity in the use of free EO data and open source tools
  • Feasibility / Sustainability: Does the idea have a realistic chance of being implemented?
  • Usability and user interface: Is the proposed application user-friendly and adjustable to the ICT constraints of the local community?
  • Progress made during the hack: Is the solution a conceptual idea,prototype, or functioning application?

The quality of the code will not be judged in order to allow participants to focus on creating innovative applications.

Who can attend?

Anyone interested in experimenting and exploring with Earth Observation data is welcome! From artists to engineers, students, curious makers and more, all are welcome and invited!

Is this event free?

Yes! Just remember to register in advance. Registration will open on October 7th. Participants will be responsible for funding and arranging their own travel and visas.

How can I get to Australia’s NCI ?

The NCI is located at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. Participants attending in person can access the NCI easily from Canberra. More information about logistics will be available here.

If I attend in person, what should I bring?

Bring your confirmation email and your passport or other national ID for entrance. You’ll also need your laptop and charger for hacking. Refreshments and a light lunch and dinner will be provided.

Will there be workshops and mentors available throughout the hack at Australia’s NCI?

Yes!There will be a workshop on drones as well as on Open Data Cubes, DevOps and SandBox. Throughout the hack there will be mentors available from the NCI and Geoscience Australia.

Can I sleep at Australia’s NCI ?

Unfortunately, no. We encourage all hackers to find accommodation in Canberra well in advance. Hackers will be allowed to stay on site until 10pm.

I will be participating remotely. How can I join?

Connection instructions for remote participation will be sent prior to the event.

I am a solo hacker can I still participate?

Of course! One week before the start of the event, you will be automatically added to a Slack channel,where you will be able to meet other participants, brainstorm and form teams. If you are participating in person at the NCI, you will be able to join/form a team during the ice-breaker session held at the start of the hack.


What tools can I use?

Any programming language and any solution will be accepted, as long as it is open source.

What will I have to deliver?

At the end of the challenge, every team will be asked to present a 2 minute video, uploaded to YouTube, explaining their application, together with a short description of the solution. If you have a code,you will be asked to share your final output code in GitHub.


Where will the hackathon take place?

The hackathon will be hosted online as well as at Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) in Canberra Australia, the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK, United States and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany. Registration for the hacks in Germany and Alaska is being organised by the hosting institutions.

Please note that spaces for the hack at the NCI in Canberra Australia are limited, so please ensure that you sign up early, as registration to attend in person will be on a first come first serve basis and will close once we fill up.

What's the event schedule?

The event will start at 10:00 (GMT+10,Canberra) on November 2, 2019, and end at 21:00 on November 3, 2019 (subject to minor revisions), as part of GEO Week. The results will be posted the following week and the winners will be announced during GEO Week.

Contact: For more information, please contact Diana Mastracci at



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