Hackathon: Creative Use of Complex Networks

January 9-10, 2016 ATÖLYE İstanbul, Bomonti


We build our networks!

Hackathon January 9-10, 2016
ATÖLYE İstanbul, Bomonti
Address: Merkez Mah. Silahşör Cad. Birahane Sok. No:1 Şişli, İstanbul Harita
Organized by: Graph Commons


Today, graph data, as a subcategory of big data, is used for variety of smart applications such as recommendation engines in e-commerce and social media services, fraud analysis in finance, routing optimization in transportation, investigation in security, citizen “identification” in smart cities, communication routing in telecommunication and so on.

Whereas network mapping, as a method for working with graph data, offers a common language, that is both visual and mathematical. This language can be applied to systems that may differ in their nature, appearance, or scope. Thus, we can begin studying a variety of complex systems and utilize graph data for new cases other than the typical ways of dealing with big data.

A network map is typically organized visually by a force-directed layout algorithm, where nodes find their position on the canvas through connecting forces, revealing the central actors, indirect links, organic clusters, structural holes, and outliers. However, such graph analysis metrics can be programmatically queried on a graph database in order to build graph-driven applications.

Creative Use of Complex Networks hackathon is focused on generating new types of graph data (see different graph examples) and developing creative graph-driven applications (see structured journalism hackathon).

Particularly, there will be two paths of work in the hackathon:

  1. Modeling networks for civic issues and generating graph data using variety of resources.

  2. Developing creative applications utilizing graph data.

On the one hand, participants will learn more on the network mapping and analysis methods, on the other hand, they will build reusable graph-driven applications.

Hackthon will run in three phases:

1. Network modeling and brain storming

Start brain storming with paper & pen drawing of network models. Discuss critical actors and relations in the field of interest. Address primary questions on the issues and decide on possible applications for solutions.

2. Application development

Depending on the work groups’s decision:

  • a) Create a data tool that generates graph data from various sources based on the network model decided on the previous session.

  • b) Create an application that utilizes an existing or a newly built graph data for its operations and interfaces.

Use Neo4j and Graph Commons (API) to build and query your graph data / network maps. You can use a familiar language or framework in Javascript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, .NET, HTML/CSS etc for your application prototypes.

Prototypes should work at the end of the first day for feedback. Use the feedbacks to refine your apps in the second day.

3. Presentations

Present your work at the end of the second day in a public presentations session. Discuss the network model on the issue at hand, its actual data metrics, and how it is utilized in your graph-driven application. Also mention your plan on further iterations.

Hackathon Application

Who should apply?

People who can program things (backend, frontend, data analysis, visualization, and others), and interested in developing creative and critical graph-data applications focused on civic issues.

What will you get?

  • Learn how to make network maps, how to analyze networks.
  • Develop creative and critical big data applications.
  • Expand your information architecture skills.
  • Use your programming skills on civic issues.
  • Meet likeminded graphistas.

Application form

Participation is free. Since we got limited space, you will be contacted regarding your participation, after you fill the form. Thanks!

Application Form

Hackathon Program

Mentors will help as much as possible during your work.

First day (January 9th Saturday)

09:30 - 10:00 Signup & Coffee

10:00 - 10:40 Introduction - Burak Arıkan

  • How to make network maps? Why is it important? (15min)
  • How to analyze networks? (15min)
  • Q&A (10min)

10:40 - 11:00 Graph Commons API - Ahmet Kızılay

11:00 - 12:00 Form working groups and brain storming

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 13:30 Neo4j / Cypher Presentation - Tuna Vargı

13:30 - 18:00 Development

18:00 - 19:00 First prototype reviews

Second Day (January 10th Sunday)

09:30 - 10:00 Coffee & chat

10:00 - 11:00 Prototype reviews

11:00 - 16:00 Refinement work

16:30 - 18:30 Public Presentations

Topics & Data Resources

Please visit the 2015 September Hackathon for a list of civic issues and resource links.


ATÖLYE Istanbul
Merkez Mah. Silahşör Cad. Birahane Sok. No:1 Şişli, İstanbul


All tools created in the hackathon belongs to its creators and expected to be licensed under a free and open source software license. The network maps or graphs created on Graph Commons belongs to its authors and licensed with Creative Commons International 4.0.

Hackathon Contact

https://graphcommons.com/slack – Chat, questions, diuscussions, finding people and forming working groups, sharing work, and links.

https://github.com/graphcommons – Graph Commons Github repository for ruby, python, php API wrappers. Also see the public issues for your feedback

workshop@graphcommons.com for your Hackathon questions.

https://graphcommons.com/contact – General contact.