White House declares National Day of Civic Hacking

Taking a page off the free and open source software development community’s playbook, the White House has stepped into the crowdsourcing game by announcing a National Day of Civic Hacking.

Set to take place on June 1 -2 this year, the event aims to bring people from across the nation to collaborate in various software projects to come up with new solutions for local and national problems.
“Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologist and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly released data and code to create innovative dolutions for problems that affect Americans,” wrote Brian Forde and Nicholas Skytland, in a recent post in the Office of Science and Technology Policy blog site.
Meanwhile, on Friday Calgary-area software developers were invited to participate in a 48-hour Charity App Challenge with the prize of a $30,000 contract. A joint project of Digital Alberta, Place2Give.com and the Calgary Herald, the goal of the hack-a-thon is to build a mobile solution for the Herald’s Christmas Fund Charities. For information on the competition, which will be held Feb. 2-3, click here.

Forde is senior advisor to the country’s Chief Technology Officer for Mobile Data Innovation and Skytland is program manager for the Open Innovation Program at the National Aeronautic Space Administration.

Numerous tech communities have a long history of working together to build or refine software and other technologies, however, the summer event will mark the first time local developers from across the U.S. will work together in different projects under a shared government-backed program, they said.

Other groups involved in the event include the Random Hacks of Kindness and Code for America’s Brigade. The event is modeled after the Innovation Endeavors’ Super Happy Block Party.

Some government agencies such as NASA, the Census Bureau, and the Department of Labour, are participating by offering specific challenges for hackers to work during the event.

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