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Sacramento Joins Cities Around the World for International Open Data Day


On Saturday, February 23, hackers across the world united for International Open Data day. The 2013 Open Data Hackathon played host to gatherings of developers, coders, statisticians, data geeks, and other interested people who organized to write applications, promote open data ideas, create open data platforms, and discuss all things open data-related.

Each hackathon was encouraged to have either one demo (of a usable tool, gathered data, etc.), brainstorm, proposal, or anything that could be shared interactively with members of a hackathon in at least one other city.

The goal above all for these worldwide hackathons was to raise awareness around open data—possibilities for data, visualization ideas, as well as the various barriers and benefits to freeing government data for the public. Specifically, many events focused on how local, state, and national government could do more to release open data.

Dozens of hackers and open data advocates joined the internationla Hackathon in Sacramento. Attendees ranged from seasoned veteran coders to people with no developing or coding skills, but a dedication to figuring out how to make local and state government more transparent. Several innovative open-data projects came up during the brainstorm session of the hackathon, including ideas for the Sacramento wiki and creating an open-source law creation program that anybody could contribute to. Attendees joined teams for an all-day hackathon, from 10 am to 6 pm, to put their brains to work on different projects. At the end of the day, teams shared their projects locally and globally.

Sacramento’s hackathon was part of Code for Sacramento, a group inspired by Code for America. Code for America has been described as “Peace Corps for Geeks,” and they’re volunteers who use their skills to improve how local governments and community organizations conduct themselves online. Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka gave a TED talk on the importance of Code for America here

Hundreds of projects and ideas came from this year’s Open Data Day. See other cities’ work here

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