State’s first open data hackathon coming on Saturday

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Delaware will see its first open data hackathon on Saturday at 1313 Innovation in downtown Wilmington.

“Delaware’s open data movement only began at the end of 2015,” said Ryan Harrington, co­organizer  of Open Data Delaware. “The next step is Delaware’s first open data hackathon: DataWorks 2016.”

Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed Executive Order 57 in January to create an open data portal for the executive branch of state government. The agencies involved are meeting to determine which data sets to release first. The goal is to launch the open data portal by September 30.

“The theme of DataWorks 2016 is ‘Let’s Make It Easier to Do Business in Delaware,’,” said David Ginzberg, co­organizer of Open Data Delaware. “We love the response we’re getting from the local and national communities.”

DataWorks 2016 is Delaware’s contribution to the National Day of Civic Hacking ­­ a national event organized by Code for America. The fourth­annual National Day of Civic Hacking is on Saturday, June 4th. People throughout the United States will gather at local events to create software solutions that put open data to good use.

At DataWorks 2016, participants will be asked to solve challenges of the Delaware business community. Challenges will be provided by leading organizations and companies including:

  1. University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship
  2. Rolling Revolution ­ Food Truck and Mobile Vending Association
  3. Downtown Visions ­ Wilmington, Delaware Business Improvement District
  4. Small Business Development Center ­ University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships

Open data is a catch­all term that includes statistics, expenditures, registrations, traffic flows, map locations, and more. This anonymized data comes primarily from governments, but some companies also make data available to the public.

While data has been released for a long time, it has not always been accessible. For example data tables may be available only in printable formats. The open data movement wants to change this by promoting machine­readable formats such as CSV files and APIs.

DataWorks 2016  is open to programmers, designers, and the general public ­­ regardless of technical skill.   Register at www.dataworks.opendatadelaware.com .

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