Let There Be Light: Code for Seattle Civic Hack Night
By Athlan Lathan
Here at Socrata, few things excite us more than seeing the smartest people in a community come together to use data to create apps that could improve public life. To kick of 2014, Code for Seattle hosted their first Civic Hack Night at the Socrata headquarters.
Code for Seattle, a Code for America brigade, is a group of developers, designers, data geeks, leaders, and idea-makers who help Seattle government and civic organizations adopt open web technologies. Put more simply, Code for Seattle is a group of citizen activists who seek to improve their community using data. The group currently has 20 members, from a range of backgrounds and interests, who enjoy collaborating on civic projects.
The night’s big presentation came from Jerry Frost, the creator of the Android app Streetlight Seattle Reporter. This app allows citizens to report outages to Seattle City Light. “Seattle City Light maintains 84,000 streetlights,” explains Frost. “That’s a lot, but to report a streetlight outage to them you currently need to connect to their ASP desktop webpage. It is not mobile. With the Android StreetlightSeattleReporter app, you can report a streetlight issue to them when you see it, while you are on the go.” View the details of this app on GitHub.
Curious about what else Code for Seattle is working on? Check out their wiki.
Code for Seattle looks forward to more hack nights and meetups in 2014. Weekly meetings are currently held every Wednesday from 5:45-9:00 p.m. If you are a Seattle-area local who is interested in getting involved in the open data movement and civic technology activism, follow this link to join up.
“A lot of fun, intelligent people attend the Code for Seattle meetings. The people there freely give helpful suggestions on how projects should proceed,” says Frost.