HackMTL – the Hack is a Wrap!

 

Lots of people on the streets for HackMTL (OK, it was for F1 week-end…)

 

First a BIG thanks to my co-organizers: Sarah-Jane (@SarahJaneMorris) and Jonathan (@jonas_ll).

Second an even BIGGER thanks to all the sponsors, see pic at end of post, and to see more official HackMTL photos, including the winners and their prizes visit Flickr here.

It has been a couple days now getting over the HackMTL hangover, but boy was it worth it! We are humbled by the level of participation, from our hosts at Cossette, to the hackers and especially our panel of judges. We had just over 70 total participants with 16 applications completed in just a single day.  And of course a few extra apps that needed just a little more tweaking to be completed – we will see these apps next time.

Of course organizing a hackathon requires a lot of planning, energy dashed with patience, a kick ass team (which we have) and incredible sponsors (who support our community) and most importantly YOU. So we are glad YOU made it out. Hopefully learned a few things, meet new people and started thinking about your next idea, app, team, company, start-up, whatever!

 

HackMTL was a full house. We took a new angle on the location for this hack, and partnered with Cossette, Canada’s leading ad agency with HQ here in Montreal, and their offices were perfect! We had killer Wi-Fi, lots of room to move around, couches to relax and a kitchen (there was a beer fridge!). It also didn’t hurt that it was right around the corner from Crescent Street and the crazy F1 party that was in the city this weekend. We could not have asked for a better location.

 

We started the day with all the API providers giving a 3 minute presentation about their API and showcasing examples of what has previously been built using their respective APIs.

 

Our API providers for HackMTL included: Atomic Reach, CakeMail, Context.IO, FreshBooks, Primus, Rdio, SendGrid, Shopify, StatusNet, TinEye, Wajam and YellowAPI.

And of course we thank Montreal Ouvert, Quebec Ouvert and OpenNorth and the entire open data community for their gracious support. The following organizations supplied their data for the hack: Société de Transport de Laval, Société de Transport de Montréal, CommunAuto and Ville de Montreal. Believe that Open Data was showcased very well at this hack with 5 apps leveraging the power of these open data sets.

Our HackMTL schedule was pretty aggressive as it was a single day hackathon, so once all the API providers gave us their API low downs, we pretty much grabbed a spot for the day and started working.

 

As of 10:30am it was off to the races for everyone! 7 hours to the finish line and having to focus for the bragging rights and all those prizes. And those hours fly by so quickly. Especially when to be eligible for any prizes, your application needs to be completed and ready to demonstrated to the judges. HackMTL had an awesome line up of prizes and at this HackDays event prizes included cash as well as API sponsored prizes:

HackMTL Official Prizes – all cash prizes (because cash is king)

  • 1st Prize: $1,000
  • 2nd Prize: $750
  • 3rd Prize: $500
  • OpenData: $300

Company Sponsored Prizes (typically best use of a company’s API)

  • Cossette (best social integration for a large brand): 2 days/nights whitewater rafting trip
  • Atomic Reach: Kobo e-reader
  • Context.IO: $100
  • Freshbooks: $200
  • Shopify: $500 Apple Gift Certificate
  • Rdio: Free premium subscription, 1 x one year and 3 x three months
  • YellowAPI: Jawbone Jambox ($200)
  • Primus: PrimusCloud Server account with 4GB’s of RAM and 200GB’s of Disk free for 6 months
  • Communauto: Communauto pass for heavily discounted car rentals in Montreal
  • CakeMail: 3 months free of API services for up to 25K emails/month
  • SendGrid: Sphero, an amazing plastic ball you drive with iOS or Android device
  • OneAPI: Amazon gift certificate ($100)

The catch of course was that the developed application had to be completed or at least be in a state where its features could be demonstrated to the judges. Our HackMTL judges including (from left to right);

  • JS Cournoyer: Real Ventures & FounderFuel
  • Carl Mercier: Serial Entreprenuer
  • Phil Gauvin: co-founder MatchFWD
  • Malik Yacoubi: VP Mobile Cossette
  • Paul Ryan: CTO Yellow Media Inc.

 

At the end of the day 16 applications were completed for HackMTL, in order of presentation they were:

  1. Leagues - @mart_coul
  2. BibMTL -
  3. CakePusher -
  4. SocialLunch -
  5. Buscast.me - @MatthieuHoule @MobileSam @helmaataoui @WaikeiTse
  6. Bloop – @_hristine
  7. Fitness – @soroush731
  8. YellowCaller – @mgamble
  9. Feed.me - @devsoftweb
  10. STM Live – @edouardlabbe & @dorukvardar
  11. Nest - @alexbfree & @lrojas
  12. Montreal Metro AR -
  13. Wajam Places – the Wajam Team
  14. Jazzify-  @radhouani@marekweb
  15. RandomHaiku – @SwiftAlphaOne
  16. HomeSafe -

And DRUM ROLL, the HackMTL winners were:

1st placeJazzify

2nd placeBloop

3rd placeNest (website coming soon)

Open Data winner: STM Live

 

But of course these were not the only HackMTL winners. Additional winners were selected by the API providers for the best use of a specific API and these include:

  • Jazzify  for best use of Rdio API
  • Nest for best use of the SendGrid API
  • STM Live for Best Transportation App from Communauto
  • CakePusher for best use of the YellowAPI
  • CakePusher for best Big Brand integration from Cossette
  • Leagues for best mobile app from International Start-up Festival

Thanks for our awesome sponsors for making HackMTL possible. And a big shout out to my peeps YellowAPI for being the lead sponsor and throwing their weight behind this event. To Cossette for again being a very gracious host. Finally to ContextIO for the continued support of HackDays.ca, the developer community and specifically this Montreal event.

 

13 Jun 2012, 3:47pm
APIs HackMTL HackMTL Judges HackMTL sponsor
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HackMTL Second Edition = HackMTL#2

 

HackMTL#2 is “LOCAL+SOCIAL” — a theme, we will post more on next week. We have aligned many of the APIs with LOCAL and SOCIAL flavour, from email to search to music to transit schedules, you have all you need to make your apps “local in flavour” and “social by design”. Stay tuned next week.

 


LOCAL+SOCIAL hack

presented by HackDays with

YellowAPI and ContextIO

 

YellowAPI.comcontext.io

 

We just wrapped up HackVan and HackTO#2 in the last two months and are now 4 short weeks away from HackMTL#2. In just under a month we are having the mother of all hacks in Montreal — there will be tons of prizes, a cool venue, amazing tech rock stars and of course YOU — yeah you! YOU as in reading this post. YOU as in signing up right now and bringing your skills to the hack.

Each and every hack, we have been blown away by the support of the community, and HackMTL#2 will be no different. We have tried very hard to bring as much local flavour to the event as possible and are excited to have 5 Montreal APIs, 3 from Toronto and even 2 USA-based APIs sponsoring the event. We also have the comittment of Cossette, offering up a killer downtown venue. Finally, we are pleased to have the support of then Open Data communities in Montreal with Montreal Ouvert and Open North along with some amazing public data sets from the STL, STM, Bixi, Communauto and Ville de Montreal.

So, we are back with the second edition of HackMTL and this one promises to be bigger than our first HackMTL where we had 50 developers. We have an awesome line up of APIs, developers, sponsors and support from our tech, startup and open data communities and can’t wait for June 9th.

 

Event details:

  • Who: Everyone! hackers, coders, architects, designers, dreamers…
  • What: HackMTL#2. An all day hackathon
  • When: Saturday June 9th, 2012 from 9 AM to 8 PM
  • Where: Cossette HQ, 2100 Drummond, Montréal, QC, H3G 1X1
  • Registration is now open. So grab a ticket and plot your world domination!

This time around we are opening up tickets as well for the evening presentations, so if you are not interested in building an app and hacking away with us, you can still drop by and check out the awesome applications built and meet your dev community.

We will be keeping the same crazy schedule as our previous hackathons , with pretty much the same set up. There will be:

  • Awesome APIs and developers who will be supporting the APIs you will be working with
  • API introductions, presentations and workshops for you get up to speed on the APIs you will be working with
  • Food and drink all day long – you won’t have to worry about a thing!
  • Fantastic prizes from our sponsors, API providers and start-ups
  • Amazing opportunity for you to meet your startup community and other talented developers

 

SCHEDULE

  • 9:00 – Breakfast and intros: Meet your HackDays organizers & all the developers, get acquainted with the space
  • 9:30 – API presentations: learn about the APIs available. Each API provider will have 5 minutes to introduce their API, discuss its salient features and get you excited about using it.
  • 10:15 – Open Planning: come up with hacking idea and build a team. This is a white board exercise: if you have an idea that you would like to work on, just put its name down on the white board; if you are looking to build a team, identify yourself to other developers with the skill sets that you need. If you are looking for ideas, identify yourself to other developers as well.
  • 10:30 – Hacking setup and start. You claim a little spot with your team or by yourself and start working on your project. All the API providers will be available the entire day to provide support.
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 1:00 – Continue hacking – help yourself to all the snacks you need!
  • 5:30 – Application presentation – 3 minutes for each presenter! Beers!
  • 7:00 – Judging and prizes
  • 7:30 – After party celebration at a nearby pub (to be announced!

Would you like to help us make this hackathon the best Montreal hackathon ever? Get involved!

We are looking for:

  • People: we are looking for all those who are digitally savvy, whether a coder, a designer, a marketer or good with biz models, we are looking for all manner of hacker and entrepreneur
  • APIs: does your company have an awesome API? Tell us about it, and let’s get you on board
  • Sponsorships: nothing would be possible without the awesome support of our community and our sponsors. You can help us by becoming a sponsor for the hackathon or the pre or post hackathon party. We would love to speak with you about sponsorships, so please get in touch!
  • Volunteers: can’t code but want to help, reach out and get in touch, register, some and support the community

Getting in touch: Got an idea to discuss? A suggestion? Would like to see a particular API included? Drop us a note!

 

PRIZES

There will be tons of prizes at HackMTL#2. First we will have the HackDays official prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. And we want to remind all hackers that to be eligible to win these prizes we are looking for NEW and ORIGINAL ideas, not the same ones from past hacks.  We will be doing a blog post in the coming days highlighting some of the amazing things built over the last two years, so be creative.

Official HackMTL#2 Prizes:

  • First place: $1,000
  • Second place: $750
  • Third place: $500
Un-official HackMTL#2 prizes:
  • Open Data: $300 (best use of MTL-based open data set)

For HackMTL#2, we will be introducing company sponsored prizes. These will be prizes for the best use of a company’s specific API. Stay tuned for our announcement in the coming days! Some of the prizes in the past have been CN Tower Edge Walk, a ride in a Piper Cub stunt plane, annual subscriptions to GitHub and of course all the Apple gift cards you can win!

 

Thank You to our Sponsors

We would like to thank our first (and repeat) sponsors without whom nothing is possible: Thank you YellowAPIFreshbooksTinEyeContextIO, Shopify, and AtomicReach


Today we also welcome our awesome venue sponsor, Cossette. As well a host of new new API sponsors, without whom we would not have the local and social APIs to make this event possible: STL, STMSendGrid, CakeMail, Wajam, Status.net, Primus and Rdio.

 

Follow HackDays on Twitter: @HackDaysCAN

 

Atomic Reach is a “Pretty Awesome Sponsor”

Atomic Reach

 

Atomic Reach is a social content platform used by brands to boost traffic and drive user engagement. AtomicReach is a Toronto based start-up  looking to tackle one of the top 5 growth areas in digital that is content marketing. Think putting your blog and outreach on steroids by leveraging the same limited resources every company has today in it’s “social team.”

Their platform features an easy-to-use workflow that lets brands and publishers manage and select the content they want to publish.  They build customized communities – that they call “tribes” – featuring  bloggers who contribute their high-quality content. Their publishing apps enable brands and publishers to quickly distribute content to the most popular reader destinations, regardless of media platform.

Their open API is now available We are excited to welcome Atomic Reach as a “Pretty Awesome Sponsor”.  In addition to being sponsors they will be coming bearing gifts (swag & prizes) and look forward to seeing how Toronto’s brightest can leverage their API. One of Atomic Reach’s internal project includes an iPad app called the “Observer” (to be soon available on the App store). The app pulls the images from the content feeds of a brand.

 

Atomic Reach will also be offering a special ATOMIC prize for anyone with the best use of the Atomic API. Watch for their announcement at HackTO on Saturday. You can follow Atomic on Twitter , Facebook & Pinterest. Atomic’s Bradley Silver (CEO), Len Covello (Co-founder) and Dan Shreim (Lead Developer) will all be on hand at HackTO.

12 Apr 2012, 1:28pm
APIs HackTO HackTO Sponsor
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FreshBooks APIs at HackTO

FreshBooks is one of the founding companies behind HackDays — we’ve been sponsoring and helping organize these great events across Canada since Day One.

The FreshBooks API supplies everything you need to start building billing and time management services into your HackDay apps with ease. Your app can log time, enter expenses, send out invoices and get you paid. You can even use FreshBooks as your application’s internal billing system! You will need to create a FreshBooks system for your application to use, so start with that if you haven’t already done so.

WEBHOOKS

FreshBooks also supplies extensive webhooks you can use so that FreshBooks can send your app a POST request whenever something happens. There are dozens of events that can trigger webhook requests, so your app can supply a rich interface to FreshBooks functions.

HELP

There are also more than a dozen helper libraries available, so whatever language you want to work in — Ruby, Python, PHP, JavaScript and more — you’ll find the functions you need, easily at hand.

Our website provides all the information you need to use our API, and we’ll have a cheerful API consultant on hand at HackTO to handle all your questions and concerns about the FreshBooks API.

PRIZE

FreshBooks is also offering a $500 CASH PRIZE for the best use of the FreshBooks API at HackTO. Fire up your brains and find a clever use for invoicing!

Looking forward to seeing all the great applications that get built at HackTO!

12 Apr 2012, 12:22pm
APIs Uncategorized
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TinEye APIs for HackTO

The original mastermind behind HackDays is Leila Boujnane, CEO of Idée. Their main product is the TinEye reverse image search engine.

TinEye is providing 2 APIs to HackTO: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar). These two APIs are image recognition based APIs which allow searching by images.

MobileEngine

MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc.

Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit or family pets!

The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch an a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackTO.

MobileEngine is delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed.

All responses from the API will have these keys:

  • status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
  • method: the method that was called
  • result: list of results for the method
  • error: list of errors from the API

The main methods for MobileEngine are:

  • add: Used to populate your collection. There is one collection for everyone so please use a prefix with your images if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
  • search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
  • list: Lists the images in your collection

Here is a sample call you can make from a browser: http://mobileengine.tineye.com/hackdays/rest/count/?pretty=true

MulticolorEngine

MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. TinEye will be providing two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:

To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab: http://labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr/

MulticolorEngine is also delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format.

The main methods are:

  • color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
  • extract_image_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.

MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really need to – it is still in beta!

Here is a sample call:
http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/rest/color_search/?colors[0]=255,112,223

You can view and display your collection and query images using URLs listed in the API. E.g. http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/collection/?filepath=100227747.jpg

Looking forward to what you guys will be building with the MulticolorEngine!

Support

Questions or problems? Please read the FAQs below to see if your question has already been answered or find a person wearing a TinEye t-shirt!

FAQs

Do I need to provide my IP?

No, the Hackdays APIs do not have IP filtering enabled.

How do I display images?

The search methods will return filepaths. This is an color search from the Flickr MulticolorEngine collection:

{
    "status": "ok",
    "method": "color_search",
    "result": [
        {
            "score": "96.2",
            "filepath": "1434516289.jpg"
        }
    ],
    "error": []
}

To view that image, take the filepath and append it to this URL:

http://<ServerURL>/collection/?filepath=/path/folder/match.jpg

so for the search above it will look like:
http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/collection/?filepath=1434516289.jpg

Is it possible to have a private database?

Everyone is using the same pool of uploaded images, so to distinguish yours
you will need to prefix your images and when sorting out results filter based on the prefix.

For example, prefix images with “team1-” and then only display the images
prefixed with “team1-” when you get the search results.

How do I populate the API with my images?

There is no quick way to add a lot of images to populate the image db.

If you have only a couple of images to upload, you can use the explorers:
http://mobileengine.tineye.com/hackdays/_static/fancy_explorer.html
http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays/_static/fancy_explorer.html
http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/_static/fancy_explorer.html

If you have access to a UNIX terminal and curl you can write a script
to generate a curl command like:

curl http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays/add/
-F "images[0]=myimage1.jpg" -F "filepaths[0]=team1/myimage1.jpg"
-F "images[1]=myimage2.jpg" -F "filepaths[1]=team1/myimage2.jpg"
-F "images[2]=myimage3.jpg" -F "filepaths[2]=team1/myimage3.jpg"
...

to upload a lot of images at once.

Otherwise, you will need to write a POST HTTP request that calls the API add
method to add the images. There are code samples in Classic ASP, .NET, Java, Python and Ruby
available at:
http://mobileengine.tineye.com/hackdays/sample_code.html

What image formats do the APIs accept?

The APIs support JPEGs, PNGs and GIF images.

11 Apr 2012, 5:31pm
APIs HackTO
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HackTO APIs

Just in case you have not been staying in the loop: HackTO is this weekend on Saturday April 14. Registration is still open but will certainly close very shortly, so if you have been hesitating to get your ticket, this is your last chance!

The API line up for HackTO is looking great! So to get you started in thinking about the application(s) you will be building on Saturday, here is the API line up in alphabetical order. Enjoy and come prepared! There will be a couple of additions in the coming days, so check back often and as always, at HackTO you are not limited to only using the provided APIs. You can build your application with any APIs you wish to use, provided you use at least one of the HackTO APIs.

Atomic Reach

Atomic Reach is a social content platform that helps brands looking to leverage content marketing to drive engagement, brand awareness and sales conversions. As a social publishing platform, Atomic Reach lets users leverage content from multiple contributors and use it to build more engaging web sites. Content creators can use Atomic Reach to distribute their content to a variety of places. Their API lets developers create their own applications to integrate with and extend the Atomic Reach platform.

context.io

Context.IO is leading a new wave of innovation on email. Conversations, collaboration and document exchange happens in email on a daily basis. Context.IO provides a unique email API that makes it easy for application developers to retrieve that information and leverage it in applications such as CRM, document management, collaboration and project management. Check out Context.io API documentation and examples before Saturday!

Context.IO API documentation: http://context.io/docs/latest
Get a free Context.IO API key: http://context.io/#signup
API Explorer: https://console.context.io/#explore
Context.IO on GitHub: https://github.com/ContextIO

 

FreshBooks is an online invoicing service with a few goals in mind: easy & fast record keeping, simple billing, and safe data.  It’s no wonder they have over 3.5 million clients! With this kind of client base, FreshBooks opened up their API to 3rd party developers to create their Add-on Store, where developers can create and promote applications that integrate directly with FreshBooks clients’ accounts.

The FreshBooks API site gives a brief overview of the service before it goes into more detail about authentication, application-specific billing, webhooks, and their various endpoints. They also provide links to API libraries published by other developers in Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and others, making connecting to the API a snap.  The Sample Code page also helps quite a bit, with examples for authentication, plugins, third-party apps, and their own internal integration code as well.  FreshBooks uses OAuth for authentication, similar to other modern API platforms, and has full documentation and examples to get you set up.

Examples of applications that have been built with the FreshBooks API can be seen on their add-on community page, and include project management, customer management, accounting, expense, time tracking, lead generation, marketing, payment gateway, productivity, and eCommerce software packages.  FreshBooks also maintains a developer blog, tips page, and google group for fielding any API / development questions.

 

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts 20,000+ online stores used by millions of users around the world.

The Shopify API is implemented as JSON or XML over HTTP using all four verbs (GET/POST/PUT/DELETE). Each resource, like Order, Product, or Collection, has its own URL and is manipulated in isolation. In other words, the API follows the REST principles as much as possible.

If you are wondering about what kind of applications you could develop using the Shopify API, well wonder no more, Joey DeVilla who will be providing support for the Shopify API on Saturday is giving you a head start with his blog post!

 

soundcloudSoundCloud provides a platform for content creators to share audio content on the web. SoundCloud currently has over 10k registered applications using their API with about 300 promoted and accessible applications in their app gallery. Visit the gallery for some inspiration and to see what other developers have built with the SoundCloud API.

There are over 10 million users of SoundCloud, a huge number of whom contribute content. You can become familiar with the SoundCloud API ahead of Saturday by reviewing their documentation and available SDKs.

The SoundCloud API is built with the design principles of REST in mind, exposing SoundCloud resources like tracks, sets and users which can be accessed and manipulated using the HTTP methods GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. SoundCloud aims to provide all features which are available on SoundCloud.com itself through the API as well. And the SoundCloud team even has a developer manifesto! Bravo!

TinEye is providing 2 APIs: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar). These two APIs are image recognition based APIs which allow searching by images.

MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc. Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit or family pets!

The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackTO. Get in touch.

MobileEngine is delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed. All responses from the API will have these keys:

  • status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
  • method: the method that was called
  • result: list of results for the method
  • error: list of errors from the API

The main methods for MobileEngine are:

  • add: Used to populate your collection. There is one collection for everyone so please use a prefix with your images if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
  • search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
  • list: Lists the images in your collection

Full documentation for the API will be provided at the start of HackTO.

MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. TinEye will be providing a two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:

  • A read-only API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/) pre-populated and loaded with 3 million Creative Commons Flickr images. You will not be able to add or delete images from this collection.
  • A blank r/w API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays/) that you can load up with any images you like

(These links are not live but will be the day of HackTO!) To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab.

MulticolorEngine is also delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. The main methods are:

  • color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
  • extract_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.

MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really need to – it is still in beta!

TrendSpottr is a real-time viral content discovery service that identifies the most timely and trending information for any topic or keyword. Trendspottr core technology analyzes real-time data streams such as Twitter and Facebook and spots emerging trends at their earliest acceleration point — hours or days before they have become “popular” and reached mainstream awareness. TrendSpottr serves as an early warning system and is being used today by leading news agencies and media companies, social marketing platforms and social media users to identify emerging news, events and issues that have high viral potential. TrendSpottr is available as a free-to-use service at http://trendspottr.com and as a partner application on the HootSuite platform.

The TrendSpottr search API allows you to query the TrendSpottr service to request current top trending information from twitter or Facebook for a given search parameter or twitter list specification and retrieve the results in JSON or JSONP format. Results include currently trending URLs, hashtags, sources and phrases. There is a full description of the API, including documentation and a sample PHP file, available .

 

twilio

Twilio, the cloud communications company, is reinventing telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications. Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages, and IP voice communications into their web, mobile, and traditional phone applications.

While HackREGINA featured a fun voice-to-search and search-to-voice interface, I imagine we’ll see a lot more clever integrations like this at HackTO. Interested in what sort of other projects have been built with Twilio? Check out their project gallery.

You can find all the details on Twilio’s API from their quickstart page.

 

WordPress.com just released a RESTful API that lets you interact, explore, and create great content with the millions of blogs and users on the WordPress.com network. Using OAuth-based authentication, you can access or create posts and comments or Follow and Like on behalf of users. Use the Freshly Pressed endpoint to access the best content, handpicked daily, being created across the network.”

To get inspired, check out some example applications (latest example is the Windows 8 app): http://en.support.wordpress.com/apps/

This API will be fully presented by Mo Jangda who is a veteran of our hackathons and a HackTO previous winner!

The Yellow Pages API seems pretty basic – 4 endpoints, a handful of options which makes a great API to start working with. But don’t let that fool you! The depth of their dataset if pretty awesome. The YellowAPI provides 4 basic endpoints for developers – FindBusiness, GetBusinessDetails, FindDealer, and GetTypeAhead.  It starts off as a pretty standard business look-up tool and from there, you get access to all of the rich, curated data from the Yellow Pages dataset, including phone numbers, business categories, product information, videos, photos, business logos and much more.

Combine the above with rich documentation and you get an awesome API!  Using their “I/O Docs”, you can easily test out calls to the API from the browser, seeing exactly what your query should look like and what the resulting XML or JSON will be.  Extremely helpful to developers! In addition, YellowAPI offers a handful of SDKs for quick integration:  iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Visit the App Gallery to get an idea of some of the rolled out applications and to start planning your app development!

 

HackVAN API Sponsors

Now that we’ve unveiled all the API sponsors, here are details and quick links on all of the participating APIs. The goal of the day is to build an application from scratch that you can demo to our panel of judges at the end of the day. You must include at least one of the APIs listed below – yes, bonus points for including more of them. You can, of course, use additional APIs, frameworks, or what have you.

Some things to think about and setup ahead of time include a code repo (e.g. Bitbucket, Github), server space (localhost demos are fine, too), design (maybe just use Bootstrap), and even domain names (the winning team at HackREGINA also found a great domain for their project, MoveTo.me.

Yellow Pages

YellowAPI is providing their Places API, including their new interactive I/O Docs so you can interact with and test live calls in your browser.

HackDays YellowAPI Blog post »

Freshbooks

The starting point for all FreshBooks API info is http://developers.freshbooks.com/. FreshBooks has a lot of different objects such as invoices, billing, time tracking CRM info around people, and more.

HackDays FreshBooks Blog post »

Idée / TinEye

TinEye/Idée is providing 2 APIs to HackRegina: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar).

Check out the following client-side javascript based UI that developers using the multicolorengine may find handy. They show a simple but nice UI for exploring an image collection using color:

HackDays TinEye Blog post »

iQmetrix XQ

This is the launch event for iQmetrix’s XQ Interactive Retail API. The iQ team sells client apps for wireless retail that run on top of this API. The main focus of the API is dealing with Products, making it easy to create Playlists and store image & video assets.

The XQ API has a new developer portal that has all the documentation.

iQmetrix will also be bringing a Kinect and a touch screen for those that want to incorporate some live hardware into their apps.

HackDays iQmetrix Blog post »

HootSuite

HootSuite is providing two APIs plus their SDK for the HackVAN event. The HootSuite SDK is for building apps that plugin to HootSuite and the Engagement API allows for the drafting, scheduling, and posting of messages across social networks. The Geo Analytics API will have more details at the event, and head over to the main HootSuite Developers site to get started.

HackDays HootSuite Blog post »

Shopify

Shopify’s ecommerce platform actually has a full app store for selling Shopify API powered solutions. You can get started on their developer wiki and then refer to the API docs for full method details. The Shopify Partners page even has a video showing how to build and deploy a Shopify App in 8 minutes!

HackDays Shopify Blog post »

Twilio

Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages, and IP voice communications into their web, mobile, and traditional phone applications.

Get going on the Twilio API quickstart page.

HackDays Twilio Blog post »

PhoneGap

PhoneGap makes it easy to use web-based technologies to build and deploy mobile apps.

PhoneGap also gives access to device APIs that your standard browser does not have: accelerometer, contacts, device file system, camera and compass. Complement your HackVAN project by using PhoneGap and take it to the next level with additional device APIs.

See http://docs.phonegap.com/ for everything you need to get started with PhoneGap

HackDays PhoneGap Blog post »

We also want to thank all of our non-API sponsors as well:

  • Party Sponsor: Unbounce is picking up drinks at The Electric Owl on Friday. They power a fantastic landing page platform and they’re hiring.
  • Venue Sponsor: A Thinking Ape are letting us use their awesome offices in Gastown. Special thanks to Sonia for all her help in pulling things together.
  • Community Sponsor: Microsoft is a great community sponsor for both Vancouver & Regina, and are also including an extra prize of a Samsung Focus Windows Phone.

YellowAPI deserves special mention as the HackDays champion sponsor. They usually have some extra swag for teams at the events as well – API Fan Boy / Girl t-shirts and gift certificates for best usage of the YellowAPI.

21 Mar 2012, 6:03pm
APIs HackVAN
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HackREGINA APIs Announced!

Here’s the complete list of APIs available at HackREGINA this Saturday, March 17th!

iQmetrix Software’s XQ API - XQ Interactive Retail transforms the in-store experience with applications that engage, educate and guide shoppers through the process of buying a mobile device.  XQ draws customers in, keeps them engaged and facilitates the sales process for staff. By offering shoppers compelling and user friendly in-store apps that deliver information to identify the device and price they want, XQ truly creates the ultimate customer experience.  The XQ API provides endpoints for managing and accessing content and analytics.  The API documentation can be accessed at developers.iqmetrix.com

GB Internet Solutions’ GasBuddy API - GasBuddy.com is the leading source for local gas price information for North America.  The GasBuddy API will allow you to search local gas prices by geo location, city, zip code or postal code.  There will also be access to detailed station information.  The API is implemented using HTTP and JSON.  Documentation and examples will be provided at the event.

Yellow Pages Group’s YellowAPIYellow Pages Group is Canada’s largest directory publisher. The YellowAPI powered by the Yellow Pages Group provides access to a large database of Canadian business content and allows direct streaming of local search content including video, photos, ad thumbs and more. Get geo-localized listings for map overlays and proximity search. The API allows anyone to build their own applications and mashups by providing dynamic local business data. Get documentation for the YPG API.

FreshBooks APIFreshBooks supplies online billing services, allowing freelancers and small businesses manage their cashflow and get paid faster. The FreshBooks API allows 3rd party developers to expand and build on the FreshBooks platform. Access FreshBooks account data using HTTP and XML to create web and desktop applications that integrate with a FreshBooks account. The API documentation is online and implementation examples are a plenty!

Idee Inc’s TinEye APIIdée, the good folks who brought you TinEye – the greatest reverse image search engine ever! – will be providing access to their multicolor search called Piximilar. You won’t be seeing the documentation for this API until you show up on Saturday. But you can certainly start dreaming about the multicolor applications you can be creating. The API basically allows you to index images and make them searchable using colors. Very much like the multicolor lab where you get to search 10 million creative commons Flickr images by color!

Idée, will also be providing access to a second API: PixMatch. PixMatch can basically be thought about as your private TinEye! Given an image to look for PixMatch locates identical or modified images within or between large image collections. This is the API to use if you wish to launch a mobile application where you take a photograph of say a wine bottle label and get back information about that wine. This is exactly what Snooth does using the PixMatch API. Again access to the API and documentation will be provided at HackVAN.

City of Regina’s Open Data API- The City of Regina is pleased to provide a number of data sets for developers to explore and use for HackRegina. This data should provide the opportunity to create applications limited only by an imagination. The City’s data sets will provide location and descriptive information for the City of Regina’s geographic features, recreation, schools, roads, landuse, political and community boundaries. The data sets will be available for download in various formats for use as tabular or spatial information.  More information about the City of Regina Open Data API can be found on their website.  HackRegina is the City of Regina’s first opportunity to sponsor a Hackfest. We envision our developer community creating useful and innovative applications that our citizens and visitors will appreciate.

12 Mar 2012, 5:11pm
APIs HackRegina
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Featured API – FreshBooks

 

FreshBooks is an online invoicing service with a few goals in mind: easy & fast record keeping, simple billing, and safe data.  It’s no wonder they have over 3.5 million clients! With this kind of client base, FreshBooks opened up their API to 3rd party developers to create their Add-on Store, where developers can create and promote applications that integrate directly with FreshBooks clients’ accounts.

The FreshBooks API site gives a brief overview of the service before it goes into more detail about authentication, application-specific billing, webhooks, and their various endpoints. They also provide links to API libraries published by other developers in Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and others, making connecting to the API a snap.  The Sample Code page also helps quite a bit, with examples for authentication, plugins, third-party apps, and their own internal integration code as well.  FreshBooks uses OAuth for authentication, similar to other modern API platforms, and has full documentation and examples to get you set up.

Examples of applications that have been built with the FreshBooks API can be seen on their add-on community page, and include project management, customer management, accounting, expense, time tracking, lead generation, marketing, payment gateway, productivity, and eCommerce software packages.  FreshBooks also maintains a developer blog, tips page, and google group for fielding any API / development questions.

Corey from FreshBooks is one of the founding members of HackDays, and FreshBooks’ API has been at hackdays since the beginning.  Their API will be a sponsor at HackREGINA, HackVan, and HackTO this year.

Featured API – City of Regina

 

 

The City of Regina is pleased to provide a number of data sets for developers to explore and use for HackREGINA. This data should provide the opportunity to create applications limited only by an imagination.

The City’s data sets will provide location and descriptive information for the City of Regina’s geographic features, recreation, schools, roads, land use, political and community boundaries. The data sets will be available for download in various formats for use as tabular or spatial information.

As of February 27th, developers are able to navigate to http://www.regina.ca/residents/open-government/data/ and browse a collection of data sets available.  The site also features a full query builder, data visualizations, a user feedback system, and code samples.  The code samples detail everything from how to simply query the data from the API, to examples of using the data in maps and graphs.  The samples also demonstrate several platforms, including ASP.NET, Silverlight, Flex, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

HackRegina is the City of Regina’s first opportunity to sponsor a Hackathon. We envision our developer community creating useful and innovative applications that our citizens and visitors will appreciate.

27 Feb 2012, 5:31pm
APIs HackRegina
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  • HackREGINA Location Sponsor

    Innovation Place - Innovation Place is home to approximately 40 clients in six buildings, employing more than 1,600 people.

  • HackREGINA Event Sponsors

    iQmetrix Software - At iQmetrix, we create great experiences for retailers, their employees, and the end consumer.

    GB Internet Solutions - We’re proud parents to GasBuddy.com and OpenStoreLoyalty.com, and while we don’t like to play favorites, the GasBuddy app has over 30 million downloads!

  • HackREGINA Community Sponsors

    YellowAPI - Our curated local search API is built off of the strength of the Yellow Pages database of over 1.5 million geo-localized business listings and associated rich content.

    Canadian Youth Business Foundation - Are you an aspiring young entrepreneur, aged 18 to 39, with a solid business idea? Are you looking for the financial support and expert advice that will help you bring your great business idea to life? The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) can help.

  • HackREGINA API Sponsors

    eHealth Saskatchewan - eHealth Saskatchewan employees and consultants are committed to making a difference for Saskatchewan residents by supporting health care providers through making important clinical information available electronically.

    Cashtie - InComm’s new Cashtie API opens up access to retailers point of sale (POS) systems, allowing any approved developer to sell online goods to consumers at these high value retail locations—opening up the possibility for web and mobile applications to accept cash payments for virtual goods, services and utilities at top retailers.

    Twilio - Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software.

    Wit - Wit allows you to build a Siri-like speech interface for you app in 5 min! It's an API that turns speech or text into JSON.

    Windows Azure - Add a cloud backend to your apps in minutes, enabling your apps to reach every user on every platform. With support for popular languages and open REST APIs, you’ll be ready to integrate Windows Azure into your apps in minutes. Use any of Windows Azure’s APIs to complete your hacks. You’ll need to activate a FREE trial or your MSDN Windows Azure benefits prior to using Windows Azure.

  • Header Image by hyfen/flickr