This weekend will be the CityCampSF 2011 Hackathon, designed engage public sector software developers with open data from government sources. A few weeks ago, we sponsored the Hack4Reno Hackathon, which turned out astounding results. Participants created all kinds of apps based off of open government data, from finding your local polling place to photographic graffiti reporting. Now, these apps are going to be made available online for anyone to use. The idea inspired us so much that we had to do it again. This time, we’re not just sponsoring it; we’re teaming up with CityCampSF to host it at our headquarters here in San Francisco.
At least fifty software developers from all over the Bay area, will be showing up this Saturday to develop open government data applications and compete for cash prizes. Being a tech savvy event, remote participation is also available. The prize categories are as follows:
- $1,000 - Best demonstration app to reveal true impacts of clear cutting in the Sierra Nevadas (read more)
- $1,000 - Best SF 'open ethics' application (read more)
- $500 – Best Open Meetings App using the Granicus Open Platform API (read more)
- $500 – Best Legislative Data Search App using the Granicus Search API (read more)
- $500 – Best use of the Tropo Platform to enhance communication with government and public officials (read more)
- $500 – Scratch Your Itch – Open Innovation Award (read more)
Additional challenges can be found and suggested here.
So, really, what is this all about? This is exactly who we are, when you get down to it. This is all about improving government and society as a whole via opening data to the public. The more we can demonstrate that open data is a technological advancement and a gateway to vast *positive* opportunity rather than a hindrance, the better off we become as a nation. Just ask Angie Blevins, the City Clerk of Columbus, OH: the idea of opening data up to the public had everyone afraid that it would create a deluge of public inquiry and negative scrutiny, but, in fact, the exact opposite occurred when they did so.
Ultimately, this hackathon is part of a broader policy movement across the country to embrace open data. In fact, California Senator Leland Yee has drafted a bill to ensure all electronic public records follow a structured data format.
“As digital and mobile citizen services become increasingly important, it’s essential that we provide a link between government data and innovation – structured formats empower us to do this. The more open and accessible our data is, the easier it is for us to reach our constituents, address community issues, and hold public agencies accountable,” said Senator Yee.
If you’re a developer, I hope you’ll join in and win. Both virtual and corporeal participants should contact Adriel Hampton. Here are the event specifics:
December 10, 2011 at 12:00 PM - December 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM
600 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Google map and directions
If you’re not participating, stay tuned and we’ll be posting the results next week.
For more information, check out our press release on the event here!