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Gov 2.0 events: Civic hacktivists gather globally

Collaboration opportunities abound at a host of Gov 2.0 weekend events.

There’s an exciting stretch of days ahead for Gov 2.0 events around the world. Out in the mountains of the United Sates, people interested in local Gov 2.0 will be gathering together this weekend at CityCamp Colorado. CityCamp CO will include a collaborative virtual panel on data journalism with special guest Jeanne Holm from Data.gov.

Yesterday, United Nations Global Pulse kicked off its inaugural three-day Pulse Camp in New York. According to its organizers, the Pulse Camp will focus on “designing an open source real-time platform to protect vulnerable populations in global crises” over the next three days.

rhok_logo_CS4.pngU.N. Global Pulse will contribute challenges to another coding effort following the effort, Random Hacks of Kindness #2. Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra blogged about “hacking for humanity” this summer at WhiteHouse.gov, describing it as “an initiative that brings together the sustainable development, disaster risk management, and software developer communities to solve real-world problems with technology. Patrick Svenburg, director of platform strategy for Microsoft’s U.S. Public Sector developer and platform evangelism group, blogged further about the history and mission of Random Hacks of Kindness at Sector Public:

What happens when brainy folks from NASA, The World Bank, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google put their heads together to develop innovative solutions to humanity’s problems? Random Hacks of Kindness, or RHoK, is about building a community of innovative people who can contribute technology expertise to help make the world a better place … What’s the bottom line here?  Talented experts from the private sector teaming up with public sector leaders, giving up their free time to develop open source solutions that help save lives and alleviate suffering around the world.  Now that’s the kind of hacking we can all support.

RHoK will be a worldwide effort, with “main stage” events in Denmark, Brazil, Kenya, Illinois and India. Here’s a short video explaining more:

Remarkably, Random Hacks of Kindness isn’t the only global hackathon this weekend. Around the world, the International Open Data Hackathon will convene participants in over 56 cities in 26 countries on 5 continents. According to the hackathon website, the hackathon will be “a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.”

Organizer David Eaves, a Canadian open government data advocate, wrote in to say that he’s hoping the open data hackathon “yields some exciting outcomes and raises awareness.” Eaves also shared that he’d recently helped launched emitter.ca, which uses open data to let Canadians track pollution in their neighborhoods. He said more more features and build outs are on the way.

The hackathon has a number of useful tools online, including a great list of open data tools like Scraper Wiki, Google Refine, mapping and format converters.

If you’re interested in open government, Gov 2.0 or civic hacking, you know where to go and help.

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