Transportation Data Challenge - Lincoln, 2017

Transportation Data Challenge in Lincoln is associated with the MBDH All-Hands meeting.


Use the hashtag #tdcLincoln to talk about it and share ideas/pictures/feedback.


Traffic deaths across the United States increased 14% over the last two years. In 2016, nearly 6,000 pedestrians died – the highest number in more than two decades. Data science collaboration has the potential to reverse this trend – this Challenge aims to do just that.

What is the Challenge?

At Lincoln the National Transportation Data Challenge is a hackathon to build and strengthen collaborative data science projects that advance transportation safety. Students will work in teams in a open and creative thinking format. Mentors will be available to consult with teams and share best practices for data hacking! Travel support and prizes will be sponsored by the Midwest Big Data Hub

Hackathon Focus Areas

Bike/Pedestrian Safety

How might we improve bike/pedestrian safety in our communities?

Category Chair Robert Hoffer, Chief Technology Officer, Satori (

Robert Hoffer is a serial entrepreneur and inventor of several products in the computer and internet industry. As founder of Query Labs he developed one of the first Web based Yellow and White Page directory services products, which launched at Yahoo as Robert co-founded ActiveBuddy which launched SmarterChild - the first commercial instant messaging bot. Robert has several patents in the field of instant messaging. He currently not only advises companies in their technology strategies but continues to develop and innovate in the tech space. His focus will be on the application of streaming data aggregation uniquely relevant to private/public transportation data sets towards implementable life-saving interventions.

Weather/Emergency Response

Category Chair Amy Unruh, Developer relations, Google

Amy Unruh is a developer programs engineer for the Google Cloud Platform, with a focus on machine learning and data analytics as well as other Cloud Platform technologies. Amy has an academic background in CS/AI and has also worked at several startups, done industrial R&D, and published a book on App Engine. Amy’s focus during the challenge will be on leveraging the latest utility in open source and donated computing resources (including DataScience Platform, TensorFlow, Big Query, Satori, and other big data tools) to address hypotheses leading towards life saving interventions from the vast streaming and archival data, such as Waze and weather, available for municipalities.

Hackathon format

Teams of participants (up to 4) will hack available datasets to produce meaningful insights along the two thematic areas listed above. The projects should demonstrate data-driven decision making with meaningful insights for social and technological impact. Mentors will be available onsite to help brainstorm project ideas and suggest ways to accomplish tangible outcomes. There are no other restrictions on project types and their outcomes. Got creativity?

Available Datasets

Coming soon!


Activity Time Location
Bus Pickup @ Hilton Omaha 8:00 a.m. Hilton Omaha
Registration and Breakfast 9:00 - 9:30 a.m Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln
Form teams and setup projects 9:30 - 10:30 a.m Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln
Lunch 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln
Keep hacking… 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln
Project Demonstrations and Prizes 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln
Bus Pickup @ Lincoln 5:00 p.m Nebraska Transportation Center - Lincoln


Bus Pickup Details


Note: The hotel is in Omaha, but the Hackathon is in Lincoln. A bus service will be provided between Hilton Omaha and the event in Lincoln.

For phone reservations, use the group code BDM.
Click here for online reservations, and select Attendee from the drop down menu.

Hilton Omaha Google Maps Link:

Upcoming Community Events

Washington DC (Nov 9) Save the Date for the Challenge Finale Event, featuring the projects, outputs, and outcomes of the Challenge