W4P – First Pilot Successful

Open Knowledge Belgium has set up a first version of the W4P template and found the perfect project owners to try asking for what they needed. From 11 April to 11 May, the Spitsgids project had just 1 month to collect their resources. See the project page on:

The project:

Spitsgids (rough translation: ‘rush hour guide’) is an Open Source Dataset that iRail and TreinTramBus want to make, together with the digital research centre ‘iMinds’, to predict the occupancy of trains in Belgium. iRail has been keeping up with the query logs of train travellers for years and is now looking into using those to predict how busy your train is. The final goal? To have an open dataset that Android, iOS and any other train application or platform can use to build a train occupancy feature that lets commuters proactively know when their train is too full.

Imagine wrapping up at work and getting a notification that your train is probably going to be very full and you will not have a seat for the next hour. Maybe if you knew, then you would wait and take the next one that could be 50% less occupied. With Spitsgids they want to achieve this new way of commuting. And when a train is not full like predicted, people on the train can let others know so that the dataset can be modified and people can still jump on the train.

The project owners:

iRail is a working group of Open Knowledge Belgium vzw with an independent agenda and completely run by volunteers. Their mission is to open up public transport data and make creative things with it, to help the daily commuter in their travels.

They hosted this crowdsourcing campaign together with TreinTramBus, an organisation defending travellers and daily commuters needs by researching sustainable mobility and being a voice towards governments regarding public transportation.

The crowdsourcing goal:

They needed 2 things (though you can ask for 4 types of crowdsourcing means on W4P), money and coaches. Money-wise they needed €4.000 to fund a student to build the open dataset during the summer. The project ‘Open Summer of Code’ ( enables companies, governments and organisations to hire students to build an Open Source idea in just 4 weeks time. The students are recruited, selected, guided during the build and learn to create real applications. In addition to money for a technical student to work on Spitsgids, they also needed 2 communication experts to provide input on how to spread this tool across all public transport tools and applications.

The result:

In 30 days, Spitsgids has collected € 4.185 (more than the original request) by 121 supporters. Of those 121 supporters, 14 applied to be a communication coach/expert to help them with the setup and communication model.

Not bad for a first project on W4P, and a first campaign for iRail and Trein Tram Bus. More news on other pilots coming up soon.