Avatar of g7morris posted July 25 2012
on g7morris

iOSDevCamp Appsterdam 2012

Civ Orbis wins “Best App from a Satellite Location” at the iOSDevCamp 2012.

A hard fought victory for the Civ Orbis team consisting of Nelson Ferraz, Kris Markel, Robert Shepherd and Thomas Adelaar.

“We wrote this app from scratch in less than 48 hours, during the iOS
Dev Camp in Amsterdam. I’d like to thank the Appsterdam team for the
organization of the event and all the support they provided during the
weekend. I’d also like to invite anyone interested in this idea to
join this open source project, and contribute with code, art,
knowledge or ideas.”
-Nelson Ferraz, Civ Orbis Team

“This was my first iOSDevCamp and I had an absolute blast. The idea of building an app in a weekend seemed outrageous at the beginning, but we all managed to pull it off. It helped that everyone I met was really cool (especially the organizers!) and the venue was well suited for collaborating with small teams. I can’t wait until the next one!”
-Kris Markel, Civ Orbis Team

The Jury was united in its opinion:

“We chose Civ Orbis because we liked the concept a lot: a map application that allows you to travel in time right at the spot where you are. We also loved the open character, integrating public data. Another plus was the fact that it promotes culture and history, of which we have a lot in Europe. And finally, the app itself is lovely, nice animations with great design. We hope that winning the iOSDevCamp stimulates Nelson and Kris to finish the app and ship it.”

What is iOSDevCamp?

iOSDevCamp is an annual not-for-profit gathering held in San Jose, CA (USA) to develop applications for iOS, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, using both the native SDK and web standards

iOSDevCamp Amsterdam, graciously hosted by BounceSpace and emceed by Dirk de Kok (CEO of Mobtest), attracted over 50 local attendees for competition from Friday July 20th to Sunday the 22nd. The winner of the event was then selected to compete for the “Best App from a Satellite Location” against the iOSDevCamp Satellite of Sydney, Australia held at the same time.

From presenting the idea, getting enough audience votes, pulling together a talented team of strangers, coding nonstop to surviving on a full weekend of pizza; Civ Orbis beat out three other local teams and ultimately the international competitor, the iOSDevCamp Satellite of Sydney, Australia.

Civ Orbis representing the satellite iOSDevcamp Amsterdam in the iOSDevCamp 2012 hackathon won the honor of “Best App from a Satellite Location.” This award and its prizes given by iOSDevCamp in San Jose, CA were sponsored by Push.io.

Even though not all of the teams won, everyone went home feeling energized, with a sense of camaraderie, and new friends. It is the hope of Appsterdam that this event inspires all attendees to continue with the further development of these apps, honing their craft of appmaking and to have a closer connection within the appmaking community.

What is Civ Orbis?

Nelson Ferraz’s explanation of the project:
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was a catholic cleric and topo-geographer that
lived in Cologne. From 1572 to 1617 he edited the Civitates orbis
terrarum, which contains dozens of maps of cities from all around the

This mashup of techniques from the 16th and 21th centuries allows the
user to find his position in the old maps while he walks on the
streets of cities like Amsterdam, Brugges and Cologne.

Kris Markel also explains:
App Description:
Civis Orbis will allow you to experience the cities of Europe as they existed in the 16th century. Using maps from the Civitates orbis terrarium, you’ll be able to explore and learn about Amsterdam, Cologne, and Brugge, with more cities on the way. As you visit each landmark in the cities and learn interesting historical facts, you be able to check in, share the experience with your friends, and see what others have posted. You also be able to select tours tailored to your interests in each city, so you’ll be sure to hit the highlights you want to see.

After hashing out the initial direction of the application with the full team, building the app came down to just Nelson and me, and neither of us are designers by trade. Nelson really stepped up to the plate and created the production assets we needed to provide the level of polish we wanted the app to have.

Staying focused was also key. We initially had a rather large feature list, but we pared it down to the bare minimum so we knew we would have something that was demo-worthy by Sunday afternoon. We actually wrapped up with about an hour to spare, so Nelson pushed for “just two more screens”. I was quite reluctant, but Nelson insisted and we actually pulled it off. I’m glad he pushed for it.

Check out the Teams and their Code on Github!

Civ Orbis (1st Place & Winner)
Nelson Ferraz, Kris Markel, Robert Shepherd and Thomas Adelaar

Beer Buddies (2nd Place)
Wybren van der Zee, Paul Wagener, Gyorgy Varadi and Marco Pizzichemi

Blues Buddies (3rd Place)
Valentina Rao, Ian Murray, Jerke van den Braak, David Kousemaker, David Pitts, Nadjib Amar and Sijmen Mulder

Samuel Colak, Francesco Mattia, Oskar Smith and Wesley De Groot

The Jury

Dirk-Jan Huizingh, CEO Peperzaken
Jelle Prins, Founder Moop.me
Mike Lee, Mayor of Appsterdam
Dirk de Kok, CEO Mobtest

Appsterdam would like to thank:

  • The generous sponsors listed below for their help with providing drinks, snack, lunches and dinners for the teams, volunteers and attendees.
  • The satellite Sydney iOSDevCamp teams for rising to the challenge, making it a fun time full of light trash talk, Google Hangouts and more. We look forward to next year.
  • The brave teams of Civ Orbis, Beer Buddies, Blues Buddies and iGive who had the guts to submit ideas, withstand long hours, debugging code and stressful decisions.
  • The formidable jury of Mike Lee, Dirk de Kok, Dirk-Jan Huizingh and Jelle Prins

The Sponsors

Peperzaken Logo
AIM Logo     Bouncespace Logo



All pictures can be found on Flickr using “appsterdam” as the query or search tag.


All tweets from this event can be found using: #iosdevcampams & #iosdevcamp