Measuring the Internet is a daunting task, and few others do it better than the RIPE Atlas team. Given the importance of those measurements, I’m proud to announce that Comcast is sponsoring a hackathon this Saturday and Sunday in Copenhagen, Denmark, to advance the critical work of RIPE Atlas.

The hackathon, which brings together technologists from across the Internet measurement community, will be the unofficial kickoff to the 72nd RIPE meeting.

In March 2014, Comcast sponsored the first RIPE Atlas hackathon that focused on data visualizations. This resulted in a wide range of interesting projects, so we’re quite excited to see what great work comes out of this event.

The focus for this hackathon is to develop new interfaces to RIPE Atlas commands or measurement data. Participants will collaborate and compete to develop creative new interfaces that make it easier and more interesting for RIPE Atlas users to interact with the system. This might include new dashboards of Atlas data (especially interesting to network operators like Comcast), integrations for existing monitoring systems, new GUIs or CLI tools, and whatever else the participants can dream up.

This is especially interesting to us as a network operator and long-time RIPE Atlas supporter. The Atlas platform is unique in that it has a large global network of homogenous measurement probes, the probes run measurements around the clock (not based on end user behavior), and they use Ethernet (so they are not influenced by often problematic WiFi connectivity). As a result, researchers and operators can draw more dependable conclusions from the data, which is of course openly available and non-proprietary.

All source code developed during the hackathon will be publicly licensed and available on GitHub from RIPE for everyone to use. In addition, the winning team's work will be presented at the Measurements, Analysis and Tools (MAT) Working Group session during the RIPE 72 Meeting.

We’re looking forward to seeing what kind of interesting and cool work is produced this weekend!