ENTRIES TAGGED "civic hacker"

The United States (Code) is on Github

Open government coders collaborate to liberate legislative data from Congress.

When Congress launched Congress.gov in beta, they didn’t open the data. This fall, a trio of open government developers took it upon themselves to do what custodians of the U.S. Code and laws in the Library of Congress could have done years ago: published data and scrapers for legislation in Congress from THOMAS.gov in the public domain. The data at github.com/unitedstates is published using an “unlicense” and updated nightly. Credit for releasing this data to the public goes to Sunlight Foundation developer Eric Mill, GovTrack.us founder Josh Tauberer and New York Times developer Derek Willis.

“It would be fantastic if the relevant bodies published this data themselves and made these datasets and scrapers unnecessary,” said Mill, in an email interview. “It would increase the information’s accuracy and timeliness, and probably its breadth. It would certainly save us a lot of work! Until that time, I hope that our approach to this data, based on the joint experience of developers who have each worked with it for years, can model to government what developers who aim to serve the public are actually looking for online.”

If the People’s House is going to become a platform for the people, it will need to release its data to the people. If Congressional leaders want THOMAS.gov to be a platform for members of Congress, legislative staff, civic developers and media, the Library of Congress will need to release structured legislative data. THOMAS is also not updated in real-time, which means that there will continue to be a lag between a bill’s introduction and the nation’s ability to read the bill before a vote. Read more…

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Profile of the Data Journalist: The Hacks Hacker

Chrys Wu is helping other journalists learn how to practice data journalism at "Hacks and Hackers."

To learn more about the people who are redefining the practice computer-assisted reporting, in some cases, building the newsroom stack for the 21st century, Radar conducted a series of email interviews with data journalists during the 2012 NICAR Conference. "Data journalism and news apps create the lens that shows people the big picture they couldn't see but maybe had a hunch about otherwise," says Chrys Wu.

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Profile of the Data Journalist: The Data Editor

Meghan Hoyer is a data editor at The Virginan Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.

To learn more about the people who are redefining the practice computer-assisted reporting, in some cases, building the newsroom stack for the 21st century, Radar conducted a series of email interviews with data journalists during the 2012 NICAR Conference.

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How to create sustainable open data projects with purpose

How to create sustainable open data projects with purpose

Tom Steinberg on making a website vs making a difference.

Tom Steinberg, head of the UK's civic-hacking non-profit mySociety, uses the launch of the new FixMyTransport to reflect on how organizations can help their open data efforts achieve sustainability.

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Civic Commons taps tech to make government work better and cost less

Civic Commons taps tech to make government work better and cost less

With a new management team and funding, Civic Commons is poised to make a difference.

With a new management team in place and $250,000 in funding from Omidyar Network secured, Civic Commons is poised to help cities share code and make better use of technology.

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Citizensourcing smarter government in New York City

Citizensourcing smarter government in New York City

Deputy mayor Steven Goldsmith on crowdsourcing and data.

In this interview, New York City deputy mayor Steven Goldsmith talks about how the Big Apple is opening government data and creating new relationships with citizens and civic developers.

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Civic innovation organizations to watch in 2011

From Code for America to OpenGovernment.org, 2011 could be transformative for open government.

The growth of citizen engagement platforms in 2010 will continue in 2011. Here's a look at four organizations that will play important roles.

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Citizen engagement platforms grow in 2010

With a wave of platforms and apps, citizens in 2010 could contribute much more than a vote or a donation.

As the new year beckons, there are more ways for citizens to provide feedback and become stakeholders in their government and policy than perhaps there ever have been in history. Here's a look at the platforms, applications and projects that got us to this point.

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Coding the middleware for government data

Max Ogden makes a pitch for more data and better open government patches.

Code for America Fellow Max Ogden's pitch for better "open government middleware" at the first Ignite Gov highlights the complexity of open data, along with the opportunities for civic hackers to co-create smarter government.

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Local government: data supplier

Local government: data supplier

Portland, Oregon's open data lessons can apply elsewhere.

Skip Newberry's IgniteGov talk highlighted the potential of open data initiatives to create more economic activity, civic engagement and improve the life of citizens.

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