There are eight tracks in the Hack4FI – Hack your heritage hackathon that represent different ways to approach and work on open digital cultural heritage materials. The purpose of the tracks is to provide a starting point, theme and framing for participants. Ideas outside these tracks are naturally welcome as well and participants don’t need to confine their projects on only one track.

Each track has at least one coach who leads the process during the hackathon.


Time Machine

We, Helsinki City Museum, have a VR-based time machine on our first floor. Help us make it better!

Currently we have two sets of Oculus headsets running 360 degree video combined with old panoramic photos from Helsinki, but what could be the next step?

What opportunities and possibilities do technology and openly available photos, videos, artworks, and data offer for time travel applications?

Preferably the solution would use VR/AR-technologies, but it can be anything. It can be in the museum space, a mobile/pop-up solution, or something in the city space.

The Helsinki City Museum will rebuild the time machine in 2018 and the best ideas will be implemented into production.

More info:

Ground plan of the space:

Dataset 1: Over 43 000 photographs and digitised art and objects from the early 20th to the early 21st century in full resolution.
License: CC BY

Dataset 2: Signe Brander’s panoramic photos of Helsinki from the early 20th century in full resolution. Includes small hand drawn maps that show the place and orientation of the image.
License: CC BY

Contact person:
Aki Pohjankyrö, aki.pohjankyro[a], tel. 040 3347020


Dive into the media treasures of the 20th century!

The 20th century saw the birth of mass media, but how should the media history of Finland be presented?

The track invites you to explore open data on radio and tv programs and films. You can combine them with newspaper data, Wikidata, Wikimedia or images and sound. Find out how different subjects, people and phenomena have been presented in the Finnish media. Make a data visualisation, an app or a map – everything is possible!

Examples of data sets:

Yle data sets on tv and radio programs

National Audiovisiual Institute Kavi data sets on TV programs and films

Yle Api to access current program information etc.

Contact person:
Tuomas Nolvi (


Helsinki in the old days

Did you know that our municipalities are full of interesting data about the past decades?

The City of Helsinki archives a wide range of documents, maps, pictures, statistics, etc. for safekeeping. Nowadays, a good portion of these data resources are freely available as open data for anyone to use for their own purposes.

Now we invite you to create new, eye-opening and user-driven services which help us to see or understand the changes over the past decades or help us feel the spirit of certain moments from prior eras in Helsinki. We encourage you to utilize the open data on population, different phenomena, maps, orthophotographs and photos – it could be even better if you could combine and mash-up the city data with the data released by other public agencies like YLE.

Create a user-driven data visualisation, an app or a map about the change in Helsinki over the past decades or provide snapshots of certain moments in Helsinki from prior eras – your imagination is the only limit!

Examples of data sets regarding Helsinki and Helsinki Region:

You can find more open data at Helsinki Region Infoshare service

Contact person:
Tanja Lahti, City of Helsinki / Helsinki Region Infoshare (


What can you and we do with old portraits and photographs?

The Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities has released over 130 000 low resolution images with CC BY license via the Finna service ( These images include e.g. old prints, images of sceneries and people from the 19th century and the entire range of Finnish 20th century imagery. Many images date a hundred years back, whereas the most recent images represent the 21st century. The oldest portraits are from the 16th century and belong to the collections of the National Museum of Finland. Both portraits and photographs show monarchs, noblemen, artists as well as ordinary people.

The images feature history and ethnology, Finno-Ugric culture, maritime history, architecture and cultural landscapes. There are also images from around the world, as the comparative collections include the picture collection of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission and images taken by Finnish researchers around the world at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Picture Collections of the National Board of Antiquities have been maintained since the 1840s. It is the largest archive of historical images in Finland, more than 15 million images.

Unknown officer about 1918 (HK19671011:13); Hilda Käkikoski 1897 (HK19321130:1061-97): Brita Broms, painting by Johan Stålbom, 1772 (H91010:); Unveiling of the portrait of the Speaker of Parliament Väinö Hakkila, 1942 (HK19880106B:133)

Images: The National Board of Antiquities and the National Museum of Finland, CC BY

What would you like to create out of old pictures?

Visual recognition and machine learning has improved in recent years to the extent, that it would be interesting to see what you could do with these techniques and our images. Would it be a mobile solution, a game or something totally different? Could it be later developed so that we and others could use it to identify persons seen in images?

One solution, which would help us all, would be automatic descripting of images. Finto is a Finnish service for the publication and utilization of vocabularies, ontologies and classifications. It provides a user interface for browsing the vocabularies and open interfaces for utilizing them in other applications. and

Our exhibition, Public and Hidden Finland, will open in the National Museum of Finland in mid-June 2017. It will present the image/s of the Independent Finland, its sups and downs. How would you use our free images to tell your story or stories?

Open air dancing, 1930s (HK19681123:2182); Soviet ships, photograph taken on a plane, 1930s. Photo Aarne Pietinen (HK19670603:20481)

Images: The National Board of Antiquities and the National Museum of Finland, CC BY

Contact person:
Hannu Häkkinen, hannu.hakkinen[a], tel. 029533 6103


Our Land!

Our Land! invites you to edit old Finnish archive materials anew and make your own short films. What does Finland look like according to these old films?

What is your choice: a short film, an art video or a funny video comment? Let’s take a new look at the old archive films at Hack4fi.

You’ll find downloadable archive film packages, free music & sound effects and instructions in Finnish from
Please ask for English instructions & additional material packages from our presenter.
The short films will be published by YLE Areena web channel.


Wikidocumentaries with FINNA

FINNA connects with content from over 200 Finnish memory institutions. Wikidocumentaries will be a platform to pull together pictures, documents and data, arrange them, combine, correct, comment and collect – creating stories of people who lived and places where history happened. Help us take the project a step further and find out new ways to work with our collective memory!

We encourage you to produce either ideas, demos or sprints, whichever you find most interesting. Wikidocumentaries will also connect with content from large open projects Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata and OpenStreetMap, as well as media from partnering projects: Aikamatkaajat, Historical place names archive and many more.

Will you work with PLACE, CHANGE, STORIES or MOMENT – or all of them?

Contact person:
Susanna Ånäs,


Yle Beta Challenge 2017 –  a call for ideas that will build a better future

How can we enhance mutual understanding and appreciation and create hope for the future?

For the first time in the history of our country the majority of the Finns believes that the future will be worse than the present. During uncertain times, a mutual sense of solidarity is being tested and constructive compromises, let alone innovative solutions, have been difficult to find. What can we do to make the future seen in a positive light and worth waiting for? How could different opinions give rise to a constructive dialogue instead of tearing bickering?

Through the Yle Beta Challenge collaboration we are looking for ideas and concepts that will build hope for the future and mutual trust and appreciation in all areas of life.

What might the idea concepts be?

You tell us. We do not want to crop out any idea, so go for it!

Gather a team and develop your ideas during Hack4FI. In this track you can find new people and fresh ideas and have help to develop your ideas further together. Then drop your wildest concept into the #YleBeta Challenge – a call for ideas that will build a better future.

Please note, you can participate in Yle Beta Challenge competition even if you are not able to join the hackathon weekend. The winning team gets € 20,000 to further develop and prototype their idea concept.

Yle Beta Challenge 2017 is realized by Yle in cooperation with The City of Helsinki and Creative and Inclusive Finland.

More information about Yle Beta Challenge 2017:



Gustaf Mannerheim & Akseli Gallen-Kallela – Unconventional friends?

What does Gustaf Mannerheim have to do with Akseli Gallen-Kallela?

Datasets – Two birds with one stone!

The Gallen-Kallela Museum opens its photographs, archive material and artworks related to Gustaf Mannerheim, and The Mannerheim Museum opens images of Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s art works from the walls of the museum, former home of Gustaf Mannerheim.

Go philosophical
What do the datasets tell us about the friendship between Akseli Gallen-Kallela and Gustaf Mannerheim? Was the relationship strictly business or lavish dinner parties after another? Did the tone of the relationship change during the years?

Go technical
Gustaf Mannerheim from the front, from the back, from the sides. Could this be material for an animation, 3D or hologram Mannerheim? Could his handwriting become a font?

Go creative
… Or maybe a vogue video? Or a festive paper garland?

Go party
Could we recreate dinner parties from the numerous seating charts and see who was the crème de la crème in the life of Gustaf Mannerheim?

Go culinarist
What could be done with the menus of the dinner parties?

Go wild
Use the datasets for whatever comes to your mind!

More information:
Liisa Oikari (double agent of both museums)
Minna Turtiainen (head of collections of the Gallen-Kallela Museum)
Salla Tiainen (education & public programmes of the Gallen-Kallela Museum)