On Saturday, June 1, the city of Las Vegas will host one of more than 100 hackathon events taking place throughout the U.S. as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. The local event, VegasHack, will take place at Work In Progress, located at 317 S. Sixth St. in downtown Las Vegas, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In preparation for the event, the city is launching a new open data portal, http://lasvegas.opendata.junar.com/home/. The new site provides numerous data sets for free, public use and the public is invited to navigate through the data catalog, download data sets, share them and embed them. In addition to providing data sets, the city will provide participants and serve as judges. The city’s Code for America fellows will also be participating. The goal is to provide a platform for our community partners to create innovative and useful tools for residents, businesses and visitors.
A hackathon provides an opportunity for government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and civically engaged individuals to work together to solve complex social problems. More than 5,000 participants are expected to gather across the nation to leverage new data sets from local and federal agencies to create impactful, technology-based tools and services.
The event is a call to action for anyone in Las Vegas who wants to make an impact; anyone can get involved, irrespective of professional experience. Projects can address any challenge facing the community — from a mobile application drivers can use to report potholes to platforms that address food and housing distribution for those in need. The civic hacking event will illustrate the power of open-government practices, particularly where data is readily available to support meaningful collaboration between the public and private sectors. Members of the public are encouraged to submit their ideas for the hackathon at http://vegashack.uservoice.com/.
Participating government agencies include NASA, the Census Bureau, FEMA, The White House Office of Digital Strategy and the Department of Labor, to name just a few. A showcase of projects that emerge from the National Day of Civic Hacking will be featured at an event at the White House at the end of July.
For more information on the Las Vegas event and to register, visit http://www.vegashack.com/.
For more information about the national initiative, visit: http://hackforchange.org/. Participants are encouraged to use #vegashack on twitter.