Video: Hack For MN 2014 a win for Minnesota’s open data movement

by Admin

HackforMNLogo3-320The second annual Hack for MN event for open data enthusiasts unfolded last weekend in conjunction with the National Day of Civic Hacking.

It was hosted by Open Twin Cities at The Nerdery with support by The Knight Foundation, MN IT Services,, and Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Roughly 75 participants came out for the two day gathering that opened with pitches which eventually manifested in six unique projects (see below).  Alongside the hacking was a service design track focused on ending homelessness among Minnesota veterans.

“Technology is an empowering force for a community and Hack for MN provides an opportunity for Minnesotan’s to gather, discuss and learn how to apply technology in real time to address their needs,” says co organizer Bill Bushey, who was joined by Laura Andersen, Colin Lee and Josh Kennedy.

“In our society where a lot of actions and implementations of government services increasingly involve technology in some way, it’s important for citizens to have a say in the technology that is used.”

Bushey describes ‘open data’ conceptually as “Public datasets and APIs that anyone can access and legally build from and distribute what they’ve built.”

“Minnesota is a unique state in that all the data the government owns is considered legally public by default.”

Airstatus – air quality data visualization

PLANIT – discovering and planning events at parks

The API Store – a clearinghouse for Minnesota APIs

Voter Guide – an online elections resource

Home Screen for the Homeless – an android homescreen app

pyladies Web Scraping – to quantify, track and increase the women present in python meetup groups