National Day of Civic Hacking is an annual event that involves a series of events held in dozens of cities where coders and citizens collaborate to use open data, programming, and technology for local and national change.
Contributing to or hacking on LocalWiki is one way to hack your city - creating open knowledge about your community gives everyone the knowledge to make change in their community.
http://hackforchange.org/ has a full listing of events in cities around the world.
If you're going to be doing things with LocalWiki in your city for NDOCH, please add it here:
- Columbia, SC: Multiple LocalWiki training sessions. Details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hack-for-sc-tickets-11526725747
- Kansas City, MO: http://wikikc.org will be available for people to contribute to during Kansas City's activities.
- Rhode Island: Organizers in Providence are running a wikiathon on Sun. Jun. 1. Details at http://www.meetup.com/Rhode-Island-Code-for-America-Brigade/events/183365482/
- Charlotte, NC: Localwiki will be one of the featured projects during NDoCH event this year.
- San Francisco: We'll be working on the SF LocalWiki during NDoCH at Code for America in SF.
- Caguas, Puerto Rico: LocalWiki will be available for participants to contribute to as part of NDoCH activities in Caguas.
- Akron, OH: LocalWiki will be available at the Akron Civic Hackathon.
- Cleveland, OH: Organizers in Cleveland are going to be doing an OpenStreetMap editathon and will be contributing to LocalWiki as well.
- Seattle: Come edit the Seattle LocalWiki at Hack for Change Seattle.
Hack on LocalWiki
We've just launched our new API!
From the LocalWiki perspective, all additions to a LocalWiki are "civic hacking," but here are a few concrete ideas:
- Document common (or uncommon) city processes - city budgeting, elections, permitting, etc.
- Document city services and resources available to residents.
- Make entries for local elected officials and the districts/regions/areas they represent. Include information about how to get in contact with them.
- Document major issues in your neighborhood and city - Whether it's litter in the park, crime, bike theft, traffic, unemployment, foreclosure, pollution, or something else entirely, you can write about the problem overall and document individual instances of it.
- Write about civic hacking efforts and groups in your community.
Also here are some ideas relating to open data:
- Make an entry for "open data about [our city]" and write about the places where people can get open data about your city, link to datasets and other public domain and creative-commons-licensed content (like Flickr Commons, DPLA, etc.). Sometimes this is called an open data inventory.
- Make an entry for "open data we want about [our city]." Work with others to come up with all the data that you wish was open about your community. You can even prioritize them if there's any agreement about which data sets would be best to have open first. You can also add ideas for improvements to open data (e.g., "I wish that our police data was more up to date" or "I wish that this dataset including geographic information," and improvements to your city's open data portal, if it has one. If it does't have one, you can post that you wish it had one!
- If your community has an open data portal, add links to datasets on your city's open data portal (for example, if there's a "crime" entry you can add a link to a crime statistics dataset). Here's a list of cities with open data portals and here is a list of cities with APIs.
- Post your city's open data policy (if it has one) and note places where it can be improved or places where the city can better adhere to it.
Ideas for event formats
If you want to incorporate work on LocalWiki into your NDOCH event, here are a few ideas:
- LocalWiki editing track at a hackathon: If you're organizing a hackathon, have a parallel "LocalWiki edit party" track for non-hacker folks to participate. This is a great way to get people involved who are into civic hacking in their community but don't have a technical background.
- Hack on LocalWiki: If you're participating in a hackathon (or organizing one), you can work with the LocalWiki API to create new things using LocalWiki data in your community (or across the entire LocalWiki network).
- LocalWiki edit party: If there's no event for National Day of Civic Hacking happening in your area, you can organize something! The easiest thing to do is to organize an edit party. This is basically an event where people get together and add content to their community's LocalWiki. It's just like in the olden days - a bunch of people sitting in a room (or cafe) with nice wifi huddled around the light and warmth of their laptops creating open knowledge together .
Resources to help you organize
There are many resources available on http://hackforchange.org/.
If your event is going to be an edit party, there are some ideas for how to structure the event and a printable how-to-edit handout on this Edit Party guide.
Since this is part of a larger, global event, you can piggyback onto the chatter that's already happening to promote your event. For example, if you tweet, you can use the #hackforchange hashtag to let people know that there's an event in your area, etc.
Here are some other ways to publicize your event:
- Create a Facebook event.
- If there's already a National Day of Civic Hacking event planned in your area, help publicize it and mention that people will be editing LocalWiki during it. It really helps if you mention something like "if you're a non-coder but still want to hack for change in your community, you can do so by creating new content on LocalWiki, an open resource for everyone in your city."
- Invite all your friends to come.
- Create an entry for the National Day of Civic Hacking event on your city's LocalWiki and publicize it.
- Create an Eventbrite.
- Use whatever social media is at your disposal.
- Invite people in whatever community you're a part of to come.
- Flyers. Good ole flyers.
Please add photos and information about what happened at your event here and we'll include them in a writeup on our blog!