Use Open Data Sources To Find Transportation Solutions!


IMPORTANT:  Register first at

The Virginia Department of Transportation presents its third installment of the SmarterRoads Hackathon and Idea Jam series.

The two-day event will be held on Friday, August 17, through Saturday, August 18, 2018, at CoLab in the heart of Gandin Villiage. CoLab is Roanoke's premier co-working space that provides an infrastructure for Roanoke’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through programs, education, networking, mentorship and shared workspace.

We are seeking to attract a diverse group of developers, planners, futurists, big data lovers and problem solvers to help address Virginia's greatest transportation issues through the use of open data sets, including VDOT's SmarterRoads data portal. Your expertise is the key.


WEDNESDAY, August 15

SmarterRoads Hackathon Overview Webinar


FRIDAY, August 17
9 - 10 a.m.  Check-in & Breakfast
10-11:15 a.m. Welcome & Event Kick-Off
11:15 a.m.-Noon  "Lightning Pitches"
Noon - 7 p.m.  Happy Coding! / Networking Time 

SATURDAY, August 18
8:30 - 9 a.m.  Check-in & Breakfast
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Happy Coding! / Networking Time
2 p.m.  Submissions Due!!!
2:15 - 2:30 p.m.  Welcome from the Judges
2:30 - 4 p.m.  Team Presentations to Judges
4:30 - 5 p.m.  Awards Ceremony and Event Wrap Up
5:00 p.m.   Networking Reception Begins 

View full rules


We are looking for hackers, idea jammers, mentors and even folks simply interested in checking things out, to join our event.

To be considered for a prize you must be registered as a hacker/idea jammer. Participants under 18 will be allowed to particpate with teacher and parent consent. At least one team member must be present for the kick-off event and presentations. In-person team participation is strongly encouraged. Each team member must register for the event.  Prizes are expected to be split fairly among team members.

Participants must sign up for an account at the SmarterRoads Data Portal ( and agree to the terms of the site.


To create a valid Submission you will need to create a working proof of concept or prototype of a software application or a data visualization that uses, or illustrates use of, at least one feed from the SmarterRoads Data Portal.

Submissions must ONLY include data identified in the Data Discovery Document for the event. Participants must use legally licensed tools, preferably open source tools, to develop their submission.

During the SmaterRoads Hackathon, all participating members of your team need to read and agree to the Official Rules. Then, you must submit your Submission by providing:

  1. The name of the Submission
  2. A text description of the Submission and its features
  3. At least one image (screenshot) of the working Submission
  4. Participating team members (if applicable)
  5. A list of SmarterRoads and other data sets and/or APIs used in the Submission

In addition to the above, teams will have the option to submit the following to demonstrate their Submission:

  1. A link to a video posted on or that demonstrates the Submission’s functionality and features
  2. A website URL where the Submission can be accessed

All parts of the Submission must be entered at the same time on SmarterRoads Hackathon DevPost submission form. All Submissions must be received by no later than 2:00 p.m. on August 18, 2018.

How to enter


Space is limited and all participants (team members, mentors, observers, sponsors, etc.) must register to attend. 

Go to to register today!


Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in becoming a sponsor of this event and/or SmarterRoads Hackathon series? Let's talk! Click here for detailed information re: sponsorship opportunities.

Contact Virginia Lingham at or 804-601-0104 to support the event, the series, or with any questions. 


Murali Rao

Murali Rao
Chief Information Officer / Virginia Department of Transportation

Robert McAden

Robert McAden
President and CEO / Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council

Rachel Ruhlen

Rachel Ruhlen
Transportation Planner / Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission

Tracy Tynan

Tracy Tynan
Director of Unmanned Systems / Center for Innovative Technology

Ken Earnest

Ken Earnest
Acting State Traffic Engineer / Virginia Department of Transportation

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Achievement
    Provides convincing rationale for why this unique approach has the potential to work. Offers new and creative technology or process innovation solution.
  • Originality
    Developed a project that is unique, does not look like the others. Shows creativity that works, it is not just novel, but exciting and fresh.
  • Impact
    Demonstrates potential for widespread impact. Shows innovation is addressing the challenges identified or a clear need identified by the team. Feasible to partner with organizations to disseminate technology/process. High success for implementation.
  • Approach
    Brings cross-disciplinary expertise in technology approach, process development, business processes, and/or implementation approach. Uses a diverse set of data in visualization and/or application.
  • Polish and Presentation
    Demonstrates a refined concept that is easy to understand. Offers a clear and convincing presentation.