Civio hosts #FlashHacks event in Madrid

On March 15th, Civio hosted a #FlashHacks event in Madrid to , a data scraping extract & liberate data to feed the Map The Banks project, an Open Corporates initiative we have partnered with. 

The aim was to release data from financial institutions and pass them to open formats, giving developers and coders an opportunity to work together in contributing open data.  “It was really a kind of experiment, this event”, says David Cabo, Civio’s director.“We were very impressed of the technical skills of all of the 12 participants. Most were Ruby on Rails professional coders not previously engaged with civic tech but familiar with web scraping, so it went very nicely.”

The afternoon started with a brief presentation about the relevancy of mapping, understanding corporate networks and the most frequent obstacles to gather company data in Spain. Participants were surprised to learn about the opacity of Spain’s company registries, the main data sources for company information and the formats used to publish it. David gave some examples based on our fruit of labour: Civio’s own projects, from public contracting data (¿Quién cobra la obra?) to mapping public-private connections and relationships (Quién Manda – Who Rules).

Overall, we think the session was quite brief,  only 3.5 hours and the next time we’ll certainly do it for 5 or 6 hours. Despite being a shorter #FlashHack, the participants quickly got the basics of Turbot and accepted missions related to three data sources: Bank of Spain, the CNMV (the regulatory body of the Spanish Stock Market) and the Directorate General for Insurance and Pensions, in varying levels of difficulty. By the end of the event, the participants had one bot submitted in Turbot and one still in development. This bot was still in progress during the weekend: 

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.37.37 

We all enjoyed the experience and format and will repeat it again for sure, adding other profiles as analysts, researchers, journalists and graphic designers. And thanks to MediaLab-Prado for hosting us in a great venue.


We leave some snapshots of the session. Until next time! 

David, Raúl, Miguel Ángel and Javier (Civio’s attendees to the 1st FlashHacks Madrid)

See the storify