Help Answer Transit Questions At The Indy Civic Hackathon

These days it’s pretty great to be a central Indiana resident!  Here’s just a few reasons from recent news:

What? You haven’t heard much about the Indy Civic Hackathon? While it may not get as much press as some of these other items, it’s another great thing about the city that YOU can get involved in.

The Civic Hack is both part of the Indy Chamber’s Hack Indiana Series AND is part of the larger National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH). This is a weekend devoted to honoring a new trend: Civic Innovation.  The idea is that ordinary citizens who happen to have some skills in coding, designing, data or policy get together to help improve our community using open data and open source software.

In just a few years, the participants have grown to over a hundred cities across the US and even worldwide.  Last year’s event in Indianapolis, drew over 150 to work on challenges provided by state government and schools.

This year, the #indycivichack is all about transit. On 6/3-6/4 at the new IndyGo Transit Center downtown, not only are IndyGo and Pacers Bike Share providing challenges, the City of Indianapolis is also letting teams get creative by providing datasets to mashup with the transit information.

To help promote civic innovation for the civic hack; and more importantly, continue to improve our community throughout the year, Open Indy Brigade (OIB) was started last year.  From just a few core members and humble beginnings, OIB is now a central hub for all things related to civic innovation.  Some highlights of what we’ve accomplished in just one short year include:

  • OIB strategic plan and organizational structure
  • Monthly civic tech meetups & social media presence (website, Twitter, Slack, Meetup)
  • UX review of government services(ongoing)
  • Assessment of Indiana’s “State of Open Data”(planned release before June Civic Hack)
  • Indy’s Regional Open Data Portal (support/promotion)
  • Indy Chamber’s hackathons(advising/planning)
  • Leading State’s open data policy summer study committee

To promote and support Indy Chamber’s Indy Civic Hack, OIB’s next meetup on 5/12 will preview and discuss the civic hack topics.

Come out to the Speak Easy this Thursday to brainstorm ideas or start to find teammates.  At the very least, come out to see what a civic hackathon can be and be part of one the coolest things about Indianapolis!!