updated 07:52 am EST, Wed January 23, 2013
Community events to use released government data to help nation
The White House has announced an event that will encourage US residents to make use of government data. The National Day of Civic Hacking on June 1-2 will see 27 cities play host to community events where publicly-released data will be used to create "solutions for problems that affect Americans."
The project will receive data from the Department of Labor, NASA, the Census Bureau and others, who will be offering specific challenges for developers as well as offering free-reign on what to construct. Code For America and Random Hacks of Kindness will be helping to organize the events with Innovation Endeavors, which will be available both online and on-location, and open to anyone that wishes to take part, including those without significant coding ability.
The event's website, Hack for Change claims that the National Day of Civic Hacking will "provide citizens an opportunity to do what is most quintessentially American: roll up our sleeves, get involved and work together to improve our society."
The event is certainly an exercise in transparency and data-openness for the US Government, and could be considered an extension of President Barack Obama's order for all major federal agencies to make services available for public access, in May 2012. The order, partly a cost and efficiency drive, sought for agencies to improve all of their digital services within a 12-month period, with access to data over the Internet and mobile apps being the main focal point.