What better on snowed-in Saturday than to huddle up make, do and create?
So says those who gathered this weekend at the first Capitol Code: Open Data Jam for the practical application of public data using technology.
Hosted by the Minnesota Secretary of State (MN SOS) with a group of sponsors and partners, participants ranged from software developers and designers to elected officials, product marketers, government employees and generally curious constituents. The overarching objective was to explore and invent civic solutions that can increase the quality of life for Minnesota residents by using select data from the MN SOS office.
“Data should be viewed as an asset and public data should be open to all,” said Minnesota State CIO Carolyn Parnell during opening remarks. It’s in that spirit that Minnesota’s Data Privacy Act (DPA) stipulates that all government data is technically public by default — with exception. One event catalyst, Tony Webster, is no stranger to the realities of closed data and has compiled further documentation on the DPA.
“I think part of where we’re at on a statewide level, as evidenced today, is neither the government or public understands the sheer amount of the data that’s ours, let alone the potential of it,” says Alan Palazzolo of Open Twin Cities. “We need a data inventory.”
“There are kernels of agencies that are are getting involved more and more,” his counterpart Bill Bushey says. “This is always changing, it’s exciting and new. There’s lots to learn.”
An interview with Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Capitol Code co-organizers Laura Andersen + Bill Bushey:
Some of the ideas presented at Capitol Code: