Civic News

Hackathon newbie? Here’s where to start to get ready for the Open Data Challenge

Open Data Delaware cofounder Ryan Harrington offered some tips at Thursday's Open Data Challenge kickoff.

At the Open Data Challenge 2016.

(Photo by Rana Fayez)

What’s a hackathon? What’s a dataset? What’s an open data portal?
These were all questions that were answered at Thursday’s Open Data Challenge kickoff at 1313 Innovation, an event that’s organized by Open Data Delaware, which was launched almost a year ago to celebrate the National Day of Civic Hacking. This event marked Open Data DE’s one-year anniversary and builds on the momentum created by Delaware’s first civic hackathon, DataWorks, held in June.
A quick overview was given of the State’s new and shiny open data portal with a preview of the datasets available. Datasets are a collection of information compiled in developer-friendly formats than can be integrated into programs. For example, there’s a current dataset up of state employee credit card transactions that can be used to crunch budget numbers.
In preparation for the Open Data Challenge, Open Data Delaware cofounder Ryan Harrington gave some friendly preparation advice and questions to think about:

  • Look through the available datasets and find the datasets that you want to work with.
  • What could you build with what’s already there? Would it be useful?
  • What other data would you need? (If it’s not there, suggest it!)
  • Find people interested in working with the same data.
  • What skills do you need to make the project real?
  • Who could lead the project?

This is just the first in a series of Open Data Challenge events.

Companies: 1313 Innovation
People: Ryan Harrington
Projects: Open Data Delaware
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