NC Open Data Hackshop

NC Open Data Hackshop Sep 11-12

Raleigh, NC – There is a new event on the calendar that looks to be a great event for open data in NC, the NC Open Data Hackshop. Waffle.io and the U.S. Census Bureau are teaming up to run this event. What is really cool is that the U.S. Census Bureau will be showing us how to access all of their great data through their CitySDK toolbox. Attendance is limited so sign up quickly!

What’s a Hackshop?

Throughout the course of the event, teams will follow a lightweight framework guided by Hackshop organizers that instills principles of running lean and maximizing limited resources (using elements of agile and lean startup principles). Teams will learn best practices for delivering a product from idea to prototype in less than 24 hours with the help of agile and lean experts.

NC Open Data Hackshop Details

  • What: 2 day event will focus on building apps and businesses using open data.
  • When: Friday, September 11, 2015 at 6:00 PM – Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: Rally Software / Agile University, Pilot Mill Building, 1101 Haynes St., Raleigh, NC 27604
  • Why: Learn how to solve problems in a more informed way using federal, state and local data.
  • Registration Site

NC Datapalooza Logo

NC DataPalooza Finale is September 21

Raleigh, NC – The six month long NC Datapalooza competition is coming to a close on September 21, 2015. The competition started on May 16th with a day-long TechJam. Teams from TechJam, teams from CityCamp NC and others entered into the competition. Last week there was a pitch day and 3 teams were selected for a 30 day sprint prior to the final pitch day on September 21st.

NC Datapalooza Finalists

  • Open 511 – Automate exchange of road closure information from government (and possibly individual reporters) back to navigation systems such as Waze and Google Maps.
  • Bernie Sez – The objective is to create more transparency in our judicial system.
  • Points of Note – Building off the CityCamp NC 2015 winning proposal.

Besides seeing the pitches and hearing from distinguished judges and panelists the event will also feature remarks from Rob Burns, CEO of Predictify.me and a Keynote Speaker – Lee Congdon, CIO at Red Hat.

NC Datapalooza Finale Details

  • What: Join us on September 21st for the third annual NC DataPalooza Finale!
  • Where: Red Hat Annex, 190 East Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • When: Monday, September 21, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Why: NC DataPalooza is a regional open-data competition that connects local entrepreneurs with relevant, clean data drawn from national, state, and local resources to develop applications and solutions that catalyze positive community and economic impact.
  • NC DataPalooza Website
  • NC Datapalooza Final Event Registration

Previous Articles on NC Datapalooza


Disclosure: Tech Tank Managing Partner Ian Henshaw is a member of the NC Datapalooza finalist team, Open511.

CityCamp NC Collage Picture

CityCamp NC Kicks Off on June 11

Raleigh NC – CityCamp NC, an event to bring citizens, government, businesses and academic communities together to openly innovate and improve life through technology. Focused on local municipalities, CityCamp is international unconference series. Registration is now open!  Students with a valid ID get in free but still need to register. Registered participants will be provided breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday. To get involved with CityCamp’s planning or volunteering opportunities, contact Chris Mathews or Jason Hibbets.

Register now as seating is limited!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 | Starting at 6:00 pm

CityCamp will be kicking things off at HQ Raleigh (310 South Harrington Street, Raleigh, NC 27601) with lightning talks and Taste of CityCampNC.

Friday, June 12, 2015 | Starting at 9:00 am

CityCamp will be switching venues to the Wake County Commons Building (4011 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610) for the unconference, GIS panel, and keynote. This years keynote speaker, Mark Headd, was one of the founding members of Code For America and is currently a Technical Evangelist for Accela, Inc.

Saturday, June 13, 2015 | Starting at 9:00 am

Held at the same venue as Friday’s unconference (the Wake County Commons Building), teams will be given the chance to work on their projects and presentations. Presentations will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 5:00 pm.
Anyone not participating on a team can join the hackathon and work on a number of projects for the community.

CityCamp NC Information

NC Datapalooza Logo

NC Datapalooza Kicks Off on May 16

Durham, NC – NC Datapalooza kicks off on May 16th with the NC Datapalooza DataJam. This is the third year of NC Datapalooza, an open-data startup competition to catalyze positive community and economic impact.

What is Datapalooza?

In 2009 Todd Park was appointed CTO of the of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). At HHS, Park launched the Community Health Data Initiative, a developer conference and showcase to encourage the development of innovative healthcare applications using open government data – this event became Health Datapalooza and has grown to over 2000 attendees. The White House has grown the Datapalooza brand to include many other areas than just health.

In 2013, leaders in Raleigh including, Christopher Gergen, Jason Widen and Zach Ambrose brought the Datapalooza concept to Raleigh in support of the Innovate Raleigh initiative. NC Datapalooza is a 6 month-long competition to develop new economic activity through the use of open data.

DataJam Details

  • What: NC Datapalooza DataJam – Creating innovation through open data
  • Where: American Underground @Main, 201 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701
  • When: Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)
  • Why: A competition to catalyze positive community and economic impact
  • 2015 Datapalooza themes: Public Safety, Health, and Economic Development
  • NC Datapalooza DataJam Registration site
  • NC Datapalooza Website

DataJam Agenda

  • 8-8:30am: Check-in and coffee + light breakfast
  • 8:30-9:00am: Intro to the Competition
  • 9:00-10:00am: Ideation session moderated by data experts
  • 10:00-11:00am: Idea presentation and team formation
  • 11:00am-3:00pm: A hackathon for attendees to work on teams around their ideas (lunch will be served during this time, as well)
  • 3:00-5:00pm: Pitches and feedback session with a panel of judges, plus a Panel Discussion from experts in public safety, health, and economic development

Previous Articles on NC Datapalooza

Open Data Portals in NC

Open Data Portals in NC

Cary, NC – The open data movement is gaining traction in North Carolina. This month both the Durham City/County portal and the Wake County portal have come on line. Here is a summary of the open data portals currently in operation in North Carolina.

Asheville
Asheville was the first city in North Carolina with an open data portal. The portal was developed in 2012 in support of Asheville’s first Open Data Day. The Asheville portal is powered by Azavea, a B-Corporation out of Philadelphia that specializes in the creation of geographic web and mobile software.

Cary
Cary put up an open data site in support of Cary Open Data Day in 2013. This site consisted of 6 datasets in .csv format and was kept updated for some time following the event. The site is no longer active but we understand that Cary is undertaking an open data program soon so we will wait to see what portal Cary uses.

  • http://data.CaryNC.gov

Charlotte
Charlotte launched their open data portal in late 2014 in conjunction with their Code for America Fellowship program. The Charlotte portal is powered by ESRI, a US company providing geospacial mapping tools.

Durham City and Durham County
Durham City and Durham County released their open data portal in time for Triangle Open Data Day 2015. The Durham portal is powered by OpenDataSoft, a French company providing open data portals.

Raleigh
Raleigh launched their open data portal early 2013 which has been recognized with a 2013 Web 2.0 Award from the Public Technology Institute (PTI). The Raleigh open data portal is powered by Socrata, a US company that provides open data portals.

Wake County
Wake County has just released a Beta open data portal and is looking for public feedback. The Wake County portal is powered by ESRI, a US company providing geospacial mapping tools.

Open NC
Open-NC.org is a catalog of digital public data created by state and local governments in North Carolina. It was created by Ryan Thornburg, an Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with funding from a Knight Foundation News Challenge grant.

NC Datapalooza
NC Datapalooza is a 6 month long open data competition in NC with 2015 being the third year of this program. The NC Datapalooza open data portal is powered by Socrata, a US company that provides open data portals.

Open Data Portal Location Visualizations

We wanted to give our readers some idea of the power of embedding visualizations into their stories. First we created a simple .csv file that included the pertinent data about the open data portals in NC. We used the geocordinates from GeoHack. Since the writer has access to a Socrata and OpenDataSoft portal, the csv file was uploaded to the portals and the resulting visualizations were embedded in this post.

Changes to the underlying data set in the portal will be immediately available to the visualizations on your post. This means that your visualization will always be current and there will be no need to republish based on updated information. Of course if you want a snapshot in time you can always embed a screen shot of the visualization.

Socrata

OpenDataSoft

Previous Articles on Open Data


Disclosure: The writer is an organizer of NC Datapalooza (which has a full Socrata portal) and a Brigade Captain of Code for Cary (which has a full OpenDataSoft Portal as well as a brigade level Socrata portal)

Open Data Portals in the Triangle 2015

The Triangle is Ground Zero for Open Data

Research Triangle, NC – A recent article in the Triangle Business Journal suggests that the Triangle has become ground zero for the competition of fiber competitors (see Former FCC exec: North Carolina could be ‘ground zero’ in fiber competition) . Triangle Open Data Day 2015 may witness the beginnings of ‘ground zero’ for the open data portal competitors.

Socrata

About Socrata – The Data Experience Company

Socrata helps public sector organizations improve transparency, citizen service, and data-driven decision-making. Our user-friendly solutions deliver data to governments trying to reduce costs, to citizens who want to understand how their tax dollars are used, and to civic hackers dedicated to creating new apps and improving services.

Raleigh has been using Socrata for their open data portal since the launch of Open Raleigh in March 2013. Many domestic municipal open data portals have used Socrata since the beginning of the open data movement.

Socrata was a sponsor of Triangle Open Data Day 2014 and is providing a brigade open data portal for Triangle Open Data Day 2015.

OpenDataSoft

About OpenDataSoft

OpenDataSoft is a Cloud-based turnkey platform designed for smart and easy transformation of all types of data into innovative services. Its mission: make it easier for business users to publish, share and reuse data.

Durham City and Durham County have just announced that they have chosen OpenDataSoft for the open data portal to support their new open data program. OpenDataSoft is currently participating in the Open Data Institute startup incubation program.

OpenDataSoft is a sponsor of Triangle Open Data Day 2015.

ESRI

About ESRI ArcGIS Open Data

Over a million people choose ArcGIS to manage data and analyze information to make decisions that drive their daily operations. ArcGIS Open Data provides organizations around the world the ability to share their authoritative data in multiple open formats, so that it can be discovered by scientists, students, businesses, journalists, and citizens.

Wake County is discussing launching their beta open data portal soon with ESRI ArcGIS Open Data and Cary is also rumored to be looking towards ESRI for their upcoming open data portal.

Triangle as Ground Zero

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina (The ODI NC) also located in the Triangle has the goal of developing North Carolina as the largest interoperable data market in the country if not the world. It will be interesting to see how the different local municipalities work to form interoperable data sets with the different choices they have made for their portals. The great news for the Triangle is that our market will be a testing ground for best practices and functionality of all the commercially available portals.

It will be interesting to see what the Triangle’s open data portal landscape looks like at Triangle Open Data Day 2016!


Disclosure – The writer is the CEO of the ODI NC and a Registered ODI Trainer.

Nina Hole's Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

What is Art and How to Find It?

Cary, NC – The Code for Cary Brigade has started working with the Town of Cary Cultural Arts Department and the Cary Visual Art organization (CVA) to look at redeploying the Code for America Public Art Finder App.

Code fro America Public Art Finder AppAt the brigade meeting on February 10th, Denise Dickens, Public Art Coordinator for the Town of Cary and Shawnee Becker of CVA presented what was available in terms of information and existing on-line maps of public art in the Town. We then had a great discussion about what functionality the app should have. The delineation is that Code for Cary can provide an app and functionality but the Town/CVA needs to provide the content.

App Specification Creep?

An interesting part of the discussions were about what users of this app would expect to be able to discover with the app. The Town of Cary has a definition of public art to clarify scope of their activity but art sited before the Town’s Public Arts program started are not part of the town’s catalog.

Should the mural on the side of the Sorrell building be included? What about where art links to the history of the town, like the horse sculpture at SearStone? What about interesting architecture, folk art and historical sites? This is a slippery slope of specification to be sure!
Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

What Would You Expect as a User?

This is a very important question to ask in the development of any app, the market analysis, or as Steve Blank would say, “Get Out of the Building” and talk to your customers!

Here are some of the ideas we discussed. Feel free to add some of your own:

  • Only public art as defined by the Town
  • All public art, publicly or privately owned
  • Interesting or classic architecture
  • Folk art
  • Historical sites
  • Ability to ask for an item to be added to the app
  • Ability to engage in discussion about the art (ie. a forum)

Leave your ideas in the comments below this article.

Join the Public Art Finder App Team

If you want to help out with this new and exciting project, please attend any of the upcoming Code for Cary meetings. Code for Cary meets every other Tuesday night at the Cary Innovation Center in the 2nd floor conference room. All are welcome to attend and participate, you do not have to be a coder!

Approximately 30 minutes before the meetings pizza and beer is available courtesy of the generous support from the Code for America national organization. The brigade asks all attendees to sign up on their meetup group so sufficient food can be ordered in advance of the meetings.

Previous Articles on Code for Cary


Disclosure – Tech Tank supports the Code for Cary Brigade with space, leadership and logistical support

Nina Hole’s Fire Sculpture Cary NC 9224 from Flickr by bobistraveling

Val Fox Mural from Waymarking.com

Triangle Startup Weekend and Triangle Open Data Day - Feb 20-22

Winter Won’t Stop Busy Tech Weekend

Raleigh, NC – Winter may have put a hold on school events around the Triangle this week, but it will not put a stop to the upcoming busy Tech Weekend. So shake off the winter ice and come out to the events.

The 2 major events are going on just a few buildings away from each other on the NCSU Centennial Campus:

  • Triangle Startup Weekend EDU – Hunt Library – Friday, February 20, 2015 at 6:30 PM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 9:30 PM (EST)
  • Triangle Open Data Day – Engineering Building II – Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
Triangle Open Data Day 2015 Sponsors

Triangle Open Data Day Sponsors

Cary, NC – We are proud and excited to announce the sponsors of Triangle Open Data Day (TODD):

Gold Sponsors

OpenDataSoft LogoOpenDataSoft is a Cloud-based turnkey platform designed for smart and easy transformation of all types of data into innovative services. Its mission: make it easier for business users to publish, share and reuse data.
Code for America LogoCode for America is a new kind of public service with brigades throughout the Triangle.

Bronze Sponsors

Caktus Group LogoCaktus Group. Caktus Group is the nation’s largest Django firm, building custom web and mobile apps to address the most complex challenges. In addition to being open source leaders, we’re committed to social good.
 

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina LogoThe Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC). The ODI NC provides Open Data thought leadership, research, training, consulting, dataset certifications and networking opportunities in North Carolina and south-east United States.
 

We are exceptionally pleased to have such an excellent venue for this year’s event, Engineering Building II on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus.
NC State College of Engineering

We are fortunate to have a Brigade Data Portal provided by Socrata for Triangle Open Data Day and Code Across.


Triangle Open Data Day is produced by Technology Tank in partnership with Code for Cary

Durham Announces Open Data

Durham Announces Open Data

Durham, NC – The City and County of Durham, NC announced today the hiring of Open Data Consultant, Jason Hare. Jason is the Director of Open Data at BaleFire Global and has been managing Raleigh’s award-winning open data initiative since it started in September 2012.

Open Data in Durham

The journey towards open data for Durham started in early 2013 or shortly before. [The writer attended one of the earliest meetings between Durham civic tech activists, Andy Krzmarzick and Colin Copeland (Code for Durham Brigade Captains) and Durham City and County IT employees in April 2013 at Bull City Burgers.] In Durham, the drive for open data started at a staff level and then rose to the elected official level as the program evolved. Much thought and effort has gone into developing the framework for a successful and sustainable open data program in Durham.

A unique characteristic of the the open data efforts for Durham is a partnership between the City and County. Both jurisdictions have released the same policy and action at the same time and will run a joint program for the benefit of the citizens, businesses and government of Durham. The effort is for a joint work plan and project framework building toward a projected website launch date of summer 2015.

Jason’s experience is important in helping us realize an Open Data effort that directly benefits our citizens and surrounding communities. Sustainability is paramount, and this will be enabled by doing everything we can to empower the communities through rich data and high usability. – Greg Marrow, Chief Information Officer, Information Services and Technology Department, Durham County

Who is Jason Hare?

Jason Hare is passionate about open data and has worked tirelessly in municipal, state, national and international efforts to open government data. From Raleigh to Newark, Colorado to North Carolina, to Puerto Rico, Ireland, Colombia and beyond, Jason has campaigned for data usability and citizen engagement with “data as infrastructure”. For the past two and a half years Jason Hare has been the Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh, North Carolina as a consultant.

In 2013 Jason Hare was the primary organizer for NC DataPalooza. In 2013 he became an Open Data Institute (ODI) Member and founded an ODI Node in North Carolina. In 2014 he was made a member of the US Civil Society Organization’s Open Data Working Group for the Open Government Partnership Delegation. He has been interviewed and cited dozens of times for his philosophy on what open data means and the direction open data will go. Primary interests include user experience design, data driven design, open data, open data advocacy, service oriented architecture, data analysis, government services as a platform, analytic-driven portal interface design, e-government acculturation, citizen engagement, open source platforms and government transparency.

Previous Articles on Durham Open Data or BaleFire Global