Open government got a great spotlight at RailsConf this year, in Las Vegas. Dan Lathrop organized a panel on Government 2.0 there, and was kind enough to ask me to speak about Sunlight, and Wynn Netherland about his great work on TweetCongress. We had good turnout, and got plenty of questions. We even had a guy spontaneously write an IP address of an anonymous FTP server on a piece of paper, approach the podium to hand it to me, and promise us that there was raw legislative data on the other end.Continue reading
This year's RailsConf is going to have a real Open Government presence. If you're attending RailsConf in Vegas this year, there are a couple of events on Tuesday that should interest you.Continue reading
We've gotten a lot of inquiries and ideas about how people can have/host a hackathon in their area. We'd love to have your help in hosting them, getting your friends together and writing some code to change America. So we've set up a wiki page that provides a loose shell with some tips and advice for how to host a successful hackathon. Expect the resource to grow as we learn from our own hackathons and others around the country do the same.
We're happy to help provide guidance, too, about specific needs and projects that Sunlight needs help on. So if you're interested in having a hackathon in your area, what are you waiting for? Start planning one now!.
A great way for non-developers or designers to help out is to be organizers and conveners instead, organizing events, providing direction and getting people lined up to help face the great technical challenges of liberating government data. If you'd like to host a hackathon, you don't need to necessarily be technical, you just need to be organized. So take a look, read the documentation, and let us know when and where you're planning on hosting one so we can provide you with support and direction if needed.Continue reading
Our second big announcement of the day is that we're launching a pilot project: Sunlight Labs Live Hackathons.
The idea really came from Tim O'Reilly and O'Reilly media, who said "Hey, why don't you come out to Web 2.0 expo and see if you can get some projects done with some of the developers there." We said "Great Idea!"
At the same time, James opened up the doors for us at PyCon and they said "Great Idea!"Continue reading
While no single developer has the time to volunteer writing a custom scraper for each state, the goal of having data for all fifty states is entirely attainable if we come together and share the workload. This is where you come in. We need your help databasing state legislation.Continue reading
Sunlight Labs is proud to be hosting the first ever Open Government Hackathon, March 29-31 in Chicago as part of PyCon.
This will be a 48 hour sprint where developers that are interested in contributing to an open source project that will free or otherwise enhance government data can gather to brainstorm and hack on various projects related to government data.Continue reading