Hack Michiana Workshop Tackles City Data

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Are you a tech oriented person who likes to volunteer for local causes? Hack Michiana may just be the event for you.

The “civic hackers” are meeting at Indiana University South Bend this Saturday for an event that is meant to unlock the potential of data through the city’s open data portal at http://data.southbendin.gov

“Civic hackers are residents who are willing to collaborate with others to create, build, and invent open-source solutions using publicly-released data,” says Dan Neumann, founder of Hack Michiana.

“South Bend has made data available in a way that allows residents to access it without jumping through the hoops of formal requests. We’re working to solve real problems across our city,” Neumann adds, noting that residents of all skill levels are welcome to join.

Participants will learn, discuss and solve a number of different challenges. One of the projects will be a sort of tree census of the city’s parks, using an app to allow for the tracking of trees through crowd-sourced data. Another project aims to introduce computer programming into school curriculum.

The event takes place Saturday on the IU South Bend campus in Arts & Education Building. It will be held between 9am and 9pm.

Participants should register at hackmichiana.org or contact Beth Harsch at bharsch@codeforamerica.org. The workshop costs $15 for the whole day. The fee covers the cost of snacks and lunch.

Image Credit: Lunar Logic, flickr

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