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.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.