Granicus hosts CityCampSF Hackathon to promote civic innovation and open government

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Guest post by Granicus.

Granicus is partnering with CityCampSF to host a 24-hour Open Government Hackathon in San Francisco, December 11-12th at Granicus Headquarters. The event is bringing together developers and other creative professionals to build applications that deliver valuable resources to the community and help governments run smarter, more transparent operations.

"CityCamp events focus on bringing together innovators from the technology, journalism, government and neighborhood leadership communities to help solve the tough issues facing our city and state," said Adriel Hampton, founder of Gov 2.0 Radio and lead organizer for CityCampSF. "The groups that have stepped up to sponsor this event, and the more than 50 coders, designers, researchers and other amazing volunteers and participants who have already signed up to spend a marathon 24 hours working for civic good, are taking responsibility for helping move our government and our communities forward."

This event is part of a broader policy movement across the country to embrace open data. In fact, California Senator Leland Yee has drafted a bill to ensure all electronic public records follow a structured data format.

"As digital and mobile citizen services become increasingly important, it’s essential that we provide a link between government data and innovation – structured formats empower us to do this. The more open and accessible our data is, the easier it is for us to reach our constituents, address community issues, and hold public agencies accountable," said Senator Yee.

At the CityCampSF Hackathon event, Granicus is offering cash prizes for the best applications developed using two of its APIs: the Open Platform API and Search API. Both provide developers with powerful access to legislative data which can be used to make government operate more cost-efficiently and collaboratively with the public.

"We’re hoping to see our APIs unlock new ways for people to access and influence the policy-making process,” said Granicus CTO, Javier Muniz. “Developers can easily access public meeting data including videos, topics, and other government actions to create a user-friendly way to follow government." Muniz will be available to answer questions about the APIs during the event.

Some of the other sponsors of the CityCampSF Hackathon include San Francisco Chief Information Officer, Jon Walton and the San Francisco Department of Technology, Forests Forever, CitiReport, and Tropo. All these organizations are encouraging innovative uses of data and APIs to solve important community issues:

  • Forests Forever is challenging developers to open up logging data in California so it can be analyzed and potentially prevent multi-million dollar policy mistakes. They intend to use the results from the Hackathon to support their efforts to convince state lawmakers to require publication of Timber Harvest Plans in a standard open format.
  • CitiReport, the online newspaper of SF politics, ethics and money, is sponsoring a challenge to develop an ‘open ethics’ app to help provide visibility into campaign finances and city contract awards.
  • Tropo is offering a prize to enhance communication with government and elected officials using phone (speech or touch-tone), text messaging, instant messaging and Twitter applications.

See the full line-up of CityCamp SF Hackathon projects.

On Sunday, Dec. 12th from 10 AM -Noon, developers participating in the Hackathon will present their applications to a panel of judges. The winners in each sponsored category win cash! However, the ultimate goal of this event is to spur innovation and to support a broader campaign to drive open data legislation in San Francisco, throughout CA, and across the U.S. This movement has already gained the support of the Sunlight Foundation and 100 additional individual and organizational sponsors.


About Granicus

Granicus, Inc. is the award-winning cloud platform provider for government transparency, efficiency, and citizen participation. It offers the first cloud platform and product suites designed specifically to help government agencies establish meaningful connections with citizens while reducing operational costs. Granicus has been recognized the past four years for being one of the fastest growing company private companies in the U.S., San Francisco, and the Silicon Valley by Deloitte LLP, the San Francisco Business Times, and Inc. Magazine.

Adriel Hampton is chief organizer for NationBuilder, a SaaS platform for organizations, co-founder and producer of the Gov 2.0 Radio podcast, and president of the San Francisco Technology Democrats. He is a professional speaker and advises governments, politicians, NGOs and businesses on social media and technology innovation. Follow Adriel on Twitter: @adrielhampton

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This article was originally published on CityCampSF and is reposted with permission.