Mark your calendars: on July 29th, from 10am to 6pm, we will host a hack day in San Diego at the Ansir Innovation Center as part of the nationwide 1.USA.gov Hack Day.
Why this hack day will be awesome
The 1.USA.gov Hack Day is designed to encourage coders, entrepreneurs, and curious citizens to come together and explore the data created by 1.USA.gov and discover new ways to use it. This is a great opportunity to meet other San Diegans interested in using technology to solve the world’s problems. You will get to work with a rich set of open government data and come up with ideas for applications that can help people get the government information they need most.
Why 1.USA.gov is awesome
We helped create 1.USA.gov as part of our work on USA.gov’s social media strategies. 1.USA.gov is a URL shortening service provided by USA.gov and bitly. Whenever anyone uses bitly or a service that uses bitly’s API (such as Tweetdeck) to shorten a .gov or .mil URL, they receive a 1.USA.gov URL in return.
This is significant for many reasons, but here are two big ones:
- 1.USA.gov lets anyone create short .gov URLs. That’s pretty remarkable. Part of the rationale for creating 1.USA.gov was that normal short URLs were too opaque—a normal short URL doesn’t tell you anything about where it will take you when you click on it. USA.gov wanted to make it easy for people to know when a short URL was going to direct them to trustworthy government information. bitly’s broad reach made it easy for us to make this happen.
- Because of the broad reach of 1.USA.gov, the service produces a huge amount of data that shows what people find interesting across the entire government. Most people don’t realize that most government websites are run on different servers, which use different analytics software, and are managed by different people. This makes it essentially impossible to know what government content is most popular at any given moment. Until now, no one has ever had such a broad view of how government information is being shared and viewed.
Why 1.USA.gov data is awesome
bitly provides a real-time feed of data created every time someone clicks on a 1.USA.gov URL. Among other things, the data includes information about the user’s browser, what city they’re in, and what time they clicked. No personal information that can be used to track users is shared.
The video below shows all of the clicks on 1.USA.gov URLs in the United States throughout the month of June, where clicks from mobile devices are shown in green and clicks from non-mobile devices are shown in red:
Get started with the data now!
You can access the 1.USA.gov data and find documentation on USA.gov’s developers page right now.
You can use the 1.USA.gov data to create tools that show what government information is being shared and clicked on in San Diego. You could use it to identify trends in how government information moves as it is shared around the world. You could use it to spot emerging news stories by tracking which URLs are growing in popularity.
Keep in touch
We will be sharing more information about the hack day and the 1.USA.gov data over the coming weeks, so follow us on Twitter for more information as the date approaches!