Open Data Day hackathon assembling in Minneapolis


Open Twin Cities and Free Geek Twin Cities are holding a hackathon on February 23rd to promote open data as part of International Open Data Day and Code for America’s Code Across America.

“International Open Data Day and Code Across America are gatherings of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.”

Open Twin Cities is a Code for America Brigade community recently formed to connect peer hackers to civic purpose in Minnesota. Their first project, Adopt-A-Hydrant Twin Cities, beta launched last month to help firefighters be faster and more effective in emergencies.

As part of the hackathon, the group plans to start by establishing a repository of data received from local governments plus a list of accessible data already hosted. Open Twin Cites intends to be working with various data sets from the Minneapolis and St. Paul governments over the long term.

The organic emergence of such hackathons stand to help move Minnesota forward in the open data movement, says co founder William Bushey.

“Momentum is building around civic technology in the Twin Cities and Minnesota has the talent to make civic tools that match and surpass cities like Boston and San Francisco. We’re excited to host events like the Open Data Day Hackathon to build on this momentum, and to provide a space for all of this talent and desire to become great technologies for citizens of the Twin Cities.”

As the hackathon host, Free Gek Twin Cities is a computer education and recycling center that helps volunteers understand, use, and recycle computers.  The nonprofit will also be taking in old electronics and answering questions about their program from 12-5 on February 23rd.