February 26, 2013 By News Staff
Hackathons are all the rage these days. And how could they not be? When cities host the events, they invite computer programmers and software developers to use their open data to work together and create new applications and visualizations around that data.
Iin 2012, for instance, more than 200 data scientists from more than 10 cities around the world spent 24 hours in London designing solutions to help improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Index. Over the years, Denver, Colo., Joplin, Mo., New York City and Reno, Nev., to name just a few, have hosted such events.
And on Saturday, Feb. 23, cities all over the world hosted hackathons in conjunction with the 2013 International Open Data Hackathon. In all, 120 cities around the world participated, some of which are plotted on the hackathon map above.
No matter the location, the goal was the same, according to the Open Knowledge Foundation, which hosted the event: "to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption [of] open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments."
And local governments came up with some great projects.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.