Toronto Hack Weekend March 2013

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Attendees at Toronto Hack Weekend 2013, photo by R. Weait

Come along to the Second Canadian Developer Weekend on 08 - 10 March 2013 in Toronto. It will be a smorgasbord of hard-core development, tutorials and social interaction!

Hack Weekend?

An OpenStreetMap "Hack Weekend" is a local event for technical work to improve OpenStreetMap. This may be development of the "core" components, the editors, or any other side projects and pet projects we fancy hacking on. OpenStreetMap has development tasks sprouting from it in all directions. There's work to do in almost any programming language, as well as tasks like documentation, and even some non-technical graphics design and translation tasks.

We mostly take a fairly unstructured free-form format. People turn up and start beavering away on something, or they turn up and see what they can help with. However we can also run more structured workshops if there is demand.

For the second year, our Hack HQ location is kindly provided by Ryerson University's Department of Geography and the Student Association of Geographic Analysis (SAGA). Thank you so much, Ryerson Professor Rinner and students, who are volunteering to help organize the event.


This event has now passed. It was held in March, 2013. Some results of the event are summarized below.

Sponsorship opportunities

Contact Richard if you would like to sponsor part of the event. Sponsorship opportunites include any of:

  • feeding the attendees
  • providing beverages for the attendees
  • sponsoring the travel and lodging for (a) visiting developer(s)
  • make a suggestion?


This event is part OSM social event, part technical workshop. The social events are open to the entire OpenStreetMap community.

Friday afternoon event

A series of public presentations and workshops is hosted by Ryerson University and targeted at Ryerson students and staff, and the broader community.

Ryerson University student, Michael Markieta, gave a "Consuming OpenStreetMap Data in Open Source GIS" workshop. He has kindly provided his presentation here for reference.

Social events

The Friday night Meet and Greet and the Saturday night dinner and Mappy Hour are open to the OpenStreetMap community at large. Mappers and users, App developers and curious newcomers, all are welcome to mix and mingle with the Hack Weekend attendees. We'll each have to pick up our own tab, of course.

Technical workshop

Saturday and Sunday at the Hack Weekend are set up for coding, compiling, theming and testing.

The goal is to allow more programmers and developers to feel comfortable contributing code, etc. to the core functions of OpenStreetMap. The Hack Weekend is intended for programmers, developers, documentation writers, designers, UI / UX experts, cartographers, and all those other skills that go into improving OpenStreetMap infrastructure.


"But, I don't contribute code to OpenStreetMap like those core developers. The Hack Weekend isn't for me ..."

It might be perfect for you. You don't contribute code to OSM yet, but do you want to? That's one of the long term goals. Allow you to get yourself comfortable enough to submit code.

A Hack Weekend is not the place to learn how to program, or to learn "what is a renderer?" A Hack Weekend is an ideal place to use your expertise with your favourite technical tools to make an improvement for the OpenStreetMap community.

You should:

  • know which tools you want to use
  • know how to use those tools
  • know which problem(s) you want to solve
  • know how your solution would fit in the OpenStreetMap world
  • bring your programming environment with you
  • be comfortable programming in a room with other programmers

If you have only a few of these items clear now, you should clarify more of them in the weeks leading up to the event. You might ask on the #osm irc if you want help with these questions.


Hack HQ

Hack HQ map

The event is hosted by Ryerson University's Department of Geography and the Student Association of Geographic Analysis (SAGA). We'll be in room POD-348 on the 3rd floor of the "Podium" building.

The street address is 380 Victoria Street (at Gerrard Street East). However, on the weekend you will have to enter through the Library building at 350 Victoria Street (at Gould Street) and find your way to POD-348, which is an inside room closer to the "Jorgenson Hall" side of the Podium building. You can use the elevators in the library building to get to the 3rd floor, and walk over to the Podium building.

Social events

Friday Meet & Greet, Saturday Dinner, and Mappy Hour will be held in Downtown Toronto at a private residence. Exact location TBA. RSVP early to ensure a spot.


A variety of accommodations are available near the venue.

Local mappers are also willing to offer billeting. For billeting please email for information Rw 15:36, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


It's a buffet-style event - come for the parts you want and leave the bits you don't.

Friday, March 8th
2pm to 3pm: Pizza & Introduction to OSM (presentation by Richard Weait), at HackHQ
3pm to 4pm: Using OSM data in open-source GIS (hands-on workshop by Michael Markieta), at HackHQ
4pm to 5pm: Contributing to OSM (presentation/workshop by Richard Weait), at HackHQ
6:30pm until closing: Pre-hackery Mappy Hour Meet and Greet, at C'est What? (pub)
Saturday, March 9th
9am to 5pm: Coding and chatting at HackHQ.
6pm until closing: Dinner and Mappy Hour at TBD.
Sunday, March 10th
10am to 5pm: More coding, subdued conversation at HackHQ.

Ideas for themes / targets

Programmer / developer projects

  • OSM Data Contributor statistics. - Richard
  • Ice Roads and Timmies: A Distinctly Canadian Rendering Style
  • A list of Top_Ten_Tasks for OSM developers
  • MapRoulette
  • Your projects / interests here

Tutorial / panel topics

  • Hot, Fresh Data - Why you care. Why you'll be hooked.
  • Introduction to the Rails Port
  • The OSM Tool Stack for Beginners
  • Working with MapBox/Carto
  • How (When, Why) to set up an OSM tile server
  • Linked Open Data integration to OSM
  • Working with historical data
  • How to implement user interface functionality on top of OSM
  • Your suggestion here ...

Who's coming?

If you plan on attending, put your name and OSM username here. Your early and accurate RSVP helps to control the cost of this event to the organizers!

Name Friday Afternoon Talks Friday Evening Meet&Greet Saturday Hack Saturday Dinner Saturday Mappy Hour Sunday Hack Interests/What you might want to work on
Richard Weait yes yes yes yes yes yes user statistics, custom rendering.
Undecided example yes no maybe late yes perl, indecision
Steve Singer maybe yes yes yes yes yes user statistics, ?.
Serge Wroclawski yes yes yes yes yes yes MapRoulette, Changemonger
Colin McGregor maybe yes yes yes yes yes custom projections
Heather Leson no no yes yes yes yes writing, testing
Martijn van Exel no maybe yes yes yes yes MapRoulette
Claus Rinner yes Maybe Maybe no no no OSM in research & education
Mihal Miu yes yes no maybe yes yes custom renderers, 3D renderers
add your details here