Coding da Vinci Niedersachsen 2020: The Prize-giving Ceremony

A total of 10 projects presented their fantastic results from the past 14 hackathon weeks in front of an audience of about 250 at the closing event of Coding da Vinci Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) 2020 on 29th January 2021. Around 40 cultural institutions from Lower Saxony had made their data sets available at the kick-off on 24th and 25th October 2020 and inspired the participants to translate their creative ideas on these into new projects.

The prize-giving ceremony took place online and was streamed live on YouTube in full. You can access the stream here:

The winners

With their impressive results, the project teams have demonstrated once again what potential there is in open cultural data. A jury of five, made up of experts from different sectors of the open, cultural and technical scene, faced a considerable challenge in choosing the winning teams. 

The prizes in the different categories were given to the following projects:

  • The prize in the category “Funniest hack”, presented by Wolf-Tilo Balke: Appsolutly Old (from ‘03:30:31 in the stream). The smartphone application makes posters, newspaper advertisements and “flyers” from the last 70 to 100 years suitable for social media and shows with a great love of detail how the same information would “come across” nowadays. In this way, users can get to know the difference between old and new ways of mass communication in a fun way.
  • The prize in the category “Most useful”, presented by Ina Blümel: Maschinenlerner (Machine learner) (from ‘03:36:04 in the stream). This project concerns the communication of programming knowledge around machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • The prize in the category “Best design”, presented by Mareike König: FabSeal (from ‘03:41:14 in the stream). Historic seals can be made here with the 3D printer and pressed into sealing wax in original quality.

The 4th winner was decided by the public via online voting, in which over 220 people took part:

  • The prize in the category “Everybody's darling”, presented by Tabea Golgath: Herzog VR August (from ‘03:46:27 in the stream). The virtual reality application for passing though the Augusteerhalle of the Herzog August Bibliothek (Library) in Wolfenbüttel makes it possible to scroll through richly-illustrated medieval scripts, which are hardly accessible to anybody in the real world.

All of the teams which were involved in the Coding da Vinci Niedersachsen 2020 hackathon have the opportunity to subsequently apply for a Coding da Vinci grant.

All information about this is summarised and accessible here: 

The four winning projects / Image licence left-hand side: CC BY-SA 4.0. Right-hand side: CC BY-SA 3.0.
The four winning projects / Image licence left-hand side: CC BY-SA 4.0. Right-hand side: CC BY-SA 3.0.

Chances, Challenges and Necessities with Open Cultural Data, - Keynote by Ellen Euler

In her keynote “Gemeinsam den digitalen Kulturraum der Zukunft gestalten” (“Designing the Digital Cultural Area of the Future Together”) (from ‘02:59:57 in the stream), Prof. Dr. jur. Ellen Euler LL.M. (FH Potsdam) spoke about the significance of open cultural data from a scientific point of view. In her presentation she highlighted the chances and challenges that lie in the availability of cultural data. Furthermore, she focused on the necessities – also from a legal perspective – which are required so that the broadest possible dissemination and a great use of data can be achieved.

The presentation slides of the keynote will be available shortly on the Coding da Vinci page.

Thanks, goodbye and see you again in Schleswig-Holstein

We would like to thank all participants for their great efforts, their ideas, the implementations and the successful presentation!

Our thank go to all of the persons involved in Coding da Vinci Niedersachsen 2020:

The jury, made up of the members:

  • Dr. Tabea Golgath, (Stiftung Niedersachsen)
  • Antje Theise, (Universitätsbibliothek Rostock)
  • Wolf-Tilo Balke, (TU Braunschweig)
  • Dr. Mareike König (Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris)
  • Prof. Dr. Ina Blümel, (Hochschule Hannover und Open Science Lab der TIB Hannover)

and a big thank you in particular to 

  • the cultural institutions in Lower Saxony, which prepared their data sets for the hackathon and made them available and
  • all of the project teams who developed these very exciting projects tirelessly and with great passion over a period of 14 weeks!

By the way: we will already be continuing in April with Coding da Vinci Schleswig-Holstein 2021!


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Funded from the “Kultur Digital“ programme of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation)


Founded by the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek (German Digital Library), digis Forschungs- und Kompetenzzentrum Digitalisierung Berlin (Research and Competence Centre for Digitisation in Berlin), Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and Wikimedia Deutschland