Hack Michiana - A Code for America Brigade

Hack Michiana

We are a group of citizen visionaries, software developers, entrepreneurs, and government staff collaborating to solve challenges relevant to Michiana using publicly-released data, code, and technology.


Civic Hacking?

Civic Hacking describes the nascent community of civic hackers who are building apps and tools that benefit their communities and are changing the face of democracy using open government data.

Click the "Read more" button for more information about Civic Hacking and about the National Day of Civic Hacking National event.

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You can help

We need coders, artists, organizers, writers, and makers ... anyone who wants to volunteer to meet other cool people and make a better Michiana. No coding skills are necessary!

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Event Information

The next Hack Michiana event will be held on Sunday 9/22/2013 from 1:00 to 5:00 at The Branch in South Bend. Sign up to participate.

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Come learn about South Bend's new open data portal and find out how you can use data to improve your community. During the event we'll present and discuss the data sets open to the public and then break out into groups to brainstorm and make tools and visualizations with that data.

Want to help imagine ideas for South Bend civic data? Come visit Hack Michiana on September 22nd. We need artists, activists, writers, and community builders, along with coders, makers, and data types. All are welcome!

The Branch in South Bend
108 North Main Street #425
South Bend, IN 46601

Sunday, 9/22/2013 from 1:00 to 5:00



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Sunday, September 22nd
1:00 pm Civic Hacking at The Branch.


1:00pm - Intro to civic hacking
1:20pm - Data portal and data set presentations
2:00pm - Break out groups
4:30pm - Reconvene to share
5:00pm - Close

* light snacks provided at the event

Hosted by Hack Michiana and Code for America's South Bend Fellowship team.

Event info for RSVP, no ticket necessary.

Event registration for Hack Michiana powered by Eventbrite

Event organizers

Beth Harsch - Event Lead
Dan Neumann - Co-lead

I hear about "hackers" in the news. Isn't hacking bad? - To us, a hacker is someone who uses a minimum of resources and a maximum of brainpower and ingenuity to create, enhance or fix something. Although in some circumstances it is used in a negative sense, the term is not inherently negative, nor does it even have to be related to technology.

Who can participate in Hack Michiana? - Anyone can participate in any National Day of Civic Hacking event, throughout the country. To have a successful event, we are going to need people from all backgrounds, with a broad range of skills. We'll need engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs -- anyone who has a passion for changing their community and is willing to contribute.

Read this great blog post - Do I have to be a programmer?

Can my company or organization get involved? How? -Absolutely! We're looking for help in the following areas:
1. Contribute data, code, or a challenge to support the event.
2. Support the planning of Hack Michiana by contributing resources or funding.
3. Promote Hack Michiana and encourage subject matter experts, employees, and citizens to participate.
4. Attend Hack Michiana on 6/2/2013!

Can city, state and federal government help? - We are looking for city, state and federal government agencies who are interested in supporting events in their communities around the nation. Support by government and/or city leadership may include:
1. Contribute data, code, or a challenge to support the event.
2. Promote Hack Michiana and encourage subject matter experts, employees, and citizens to participate.
3. Attend Hack Michiana on 6/2/2013!

The National Day of Civic Hacking is a national event that will take place June 1-2, 2013, in cities across the nation. The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs from all over the nation to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country. 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 will leverage the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of those outside federal, state and local government to drive meaningful, technology-based solutions for federal, state and local government. It demonstrates what's possible when we all work together to strengthen our society and our lives.

Watch the videos below for more information about Civic Hacking.



What's This Hack Thing?
By Beth Harsch

I am not a techie. For me, and thanks to McGee on NCIS, "hack" equaled breaking into computer networks. Can you relate? Now my knowledge has grown some, but I admit that I have a long way to go. Recently, I've been exchanging emails with folks all across the country as we each plan our own local version of National Day of Civic Hacking. In various locations across the nation, many have found resistance with the term "hack." It seems that I wasn't the only one with a limited knowledge of this term. Apparently, it's not just about breaking into computers. Who knew?
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE


I Committed an Act of Civic Hacking
By Dan Neumann

I Committed an Act of Civic Hacking. And you can, too! The weekend of June 1 and 2 will be the Day of Civic Hacking. While helping to organize the Hack Michiana event, I discovered that I committed an act of hacking. Let me share it with you, and then make a case for you to join the hacking on June 2 in South Bend.

Origins
My hacking started with something I found annoying. Every day I drove to work, I passed by any number of houses that must have had municipal code violations. Code violations are things like grass more than nine inches tall, broken windows, those sorts of things; they create major quality of life issues for the city's residents. It was never clear whether the city knew about the problem, or not, and if anything was happening with the matter.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Challenges
Challenges from NDoCH site - A curated list of challenges from Federal Government Departments and Agencies.


Examples
Open City - Civic Apps Built with Open Data.

Code for Tulsa Projects - Code for Tulsa creates and maintains civic apps for Tulsa.

City of Houston Sample Projects - These projects are closely aligned to Mayor Annise Parker's Priorities. They also represent noticeable pain points for the City.

Hack Kansas City - Project pitches.

Code for Philly - Civic Projects Directory.

HackForChangeNashville - Project ideas.

Datasets and Resources from NDoCH site - A curated list of datasets.

Data.Gov - Open Data Sites.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) - Web Services.
FAA - Web Services catalog.

Open Government Platform - OGPL To Promote Transparency And Citizen Engagement.

The Nation's Report Card (Data tools) - The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.

State of Indiana - SEARCH: Data.