NDoCH 2015: It’s Never Too Late to Hack

June 2, 2015 3:00 pm PDT | Data Apps & Visualization, Open Data
Photo: Wikimedia

“Two heads are better than one.” This philosophy drives most civic hacking events, where like-minded hackers join together for a few days of vigorous coding to solve real problems and build tools that are revolutionary.  In 2012, The National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH) was born to accomplish both of those goals. Now, technologists, developers, designers, and government representatives assemble every year under one common mission: to improve their communities.

Last year 123 total events were held in more than 100 cities across the nation. Civic hackers had the ability to bring their innovative ideas to life. Projects from last year included:

  • HappyGov: Users map 311 service requests and rate which issues matter most
  • VolunteerHub: Non-profits advertise, approve, and coordinate volunteers
  • AdoptMe: Would-be pet owners search available animals in shelters

Make a Change in 2015

NDoCH is gearing up to give hackers another stab at app creation in 2015. On June 6th, hackers across the country will attend events to prototype, code, and use open data to improve civic problems. Socrata will be in attendance in dozens of cities across the country, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Find the hacking event nearest you, grab a team, and dive into a challenge to fix a civic problem that resonates with you. Some of the 2015 challenges include:

  • Health Impact of Climate Change: How is climate change affecting citizens’ health? With a greater access to climate information, develop a combination of relevant datasets to help people make informed decisions about their health. Hashtags: #NASA, #NOAA #climatechange
  • Mapping America: What problems are your neighbors facing? Collect the most influential data for the issues your neighbors come across. Define a way to share this data on a map and properly exhibit where these problems are occurring most in your neighborhood. Hashtags: #mapgive, #sotmus

So, should you go to a civic hackathon? As hackers and data evangelists ourselves, we encourage you to sign up for the event nearest you and bring your talents to a team. After all, who knows better what problems matter most? You don’t need to be technical; all that’s required is passion about a civic problem in your city that needs a solution. Or, it’s not too late to register your own event.

If you’re hosting or attending an event and need help locating open data or making use of the Socrata Open Data APIs, we’re here to lend a hand. Socrata will be helping out with dozens of events across the country: you can track us down in person or send questions on IRC or Stack Overflow. See more ways to get support from Socrata during the NDoCH.

Can’t join the party? Follow the events happening around the globe with the hashtag #hackforachange and catch the influential apps coming from the fourth annual National Day of Civic Hacking.


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