Help us ‘crowdscrape’ 10 million data points through #FlashHacks


OpenCorporates has today launched a new campaign to open up corporate-related public data globally, such as licenses, trademarks, lobbying data, official notices and nonprofit registers. The target is for the community to find and open up at least 10 million data points from corporate-related public data sets in 10 days through a series of #FlashHacks. Now, Sunlight Foundation is teaming up with OpenCorporates in this unprecedented campaign.

Alongside Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and Code for Africa, Sunlight will host a #FlashHack at the Open Knowledge Festival next week in Berlin to support this quest to liberate data. We’ll be targeting influence-based data sets, including political lobbying data, environmental data and financial licenses in Africa. Our challenge is to find these data sets and liberate them from the shackles of PDFs, log-ins and untabulated formats using OpenCorporates’ crowdsourced platform. We are calling all bot writers to use their coding superpowers in setting key data sets free!

Information about public and private sector is of monumental importance to understanding and changing the world we live in. Transnational corporations can wield unprecedented influence on politics and economy and we have a limited capacity to understand this when we don’t know what these legal entities look like. This information is often not available; when it is, it’s buried under PDFs and handwritten documents. That is why liberating this data is crucial to increasing government accountability and forwarding the crusade against corruption.

Here’s how you can join the crowdscraping movement:

  • If you can code in Ruby and/or Python, go to and sign up!
  • Have a look at the data sets we have listed on the Campaign page! If there is a data set you think we should include in this, please put that down here.
  • Sign up to a mission! Send a tweet pledge to say you have taken on a mission.
  • Write the bot and submit on the platform.
  • Tweet your success with the #FlashHacks tag! Don’t forget to upload the #FlashHack design as your twitter cover photo and facebook cover photo to get more people involved.

Visit the #FlashHacks campaign and help us open up this vital public and private data. If you’re a coder coming to Open Knowledge Festival, we hope to see you at Sunlight’s FlashHack to liberate political contribution and lobbying data. Join us from 3 – 5 pm CET on Wednesday, July 16 and help liberate influence data at Sunlight’s #FlashHack!