Chicago: City of Big Data and National Day of Civic Hacking

For National Day of Civic Hacking, Chicago will play host to three separate events. The first is the ChicagoMigraHack, a hackathon focused on the problem of immigration. The second event will be a youth focused hackathon at the Adler Planetarium. And finally, there will be an assortment of different civic hacking activities at Hack for Chicago hosted at the entrepreneurial coworking space 1871. They’ll also be a Civic Hacking 101 class streamed nationally to help orient people who are new to civic hacking.

To say that Chicago does a lot of civic hacking events would be an understatement. For the last year, civic minded web developers, data scientists, designers, and community organizers have gathered at 1871 each Tuesday for the Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. Recently, the Chicago Police Department hosted a hackathon at Google Chicago in order to find creative ways to use the new ClearPath API. Part of the reason for all this activity is that the City of Chicago has released a ton of open data that helps fuel civic app development: 931 datasets and counting.

So, for National Day of Civic Hacking it only made sense to have multiple events. These events were helped to be put together by a variety of partners including the Smart Chicago Collaborative, Institute of Justice & Journalism, Adler Planetarium, Cibola, The MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Minkva Challenge, Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, Hive Chicago, Free Spirit Media, Knight Lab, Open City Apps, and the City of Chicago.

While hackathons are great for organizing around civic issues and getting together to solve problems using technology, they aren’t the best method for actually building civic apps. That’s why we’re encouraging participants to continue the ideas that start at National Day of Civic Hacking by attending the weekly OpenGov Hack Nights. (You can see a list of hack nights in your area by visiting the Code for America Brigade website.)

To find out more about the National Day of Civic Hacking in Chicago, you can check out details of each event here. To find out more about National Day of Civic Hacking events in your area, visit the Hack for Change website.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.

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