For National Day of Civic Hacking, Chicago will play host to three separate events. The first is the ChicagoMigraHack, a hackathon focused on the issue of immigration. The second event will be a youth focused hackathon at the Adler Planetarium. And finally, there will be an assortment of different civic hacking activities at Hack for Chicago hosted at the entrepreneurial coworking space 1871. They’ll also be a Civic Hacking 101 class streamed nationally to help orient people who are new to civic hacking.

Hackers at Chicago Crime Hack @ Cibola

Crime Hackathon at Cibola in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood, photo by Dan O’Neil

To say that Chicago does a lot of civic hacking events would be an understatement. For the last year, civic minded web developers, data scientists, designers, and community organizers have gathered at 1871 each Tuesday for the Chicago OpenGov Hack Night. Recently, the City hosted a hackathon at Google Chicago in order to find creative ways to use the new public safety ClearPath API. Part of the reason for all this activity is that the City of Chicago has released a ton of open data that helps fuel civic app development. (931 data sets and counting!)

OpenGovChicago February 2013: News, Data, and Gov

An OpenGov Chicago Meetup Group at the Chicago Community Trust, photo by Dan O’Neil

So, for National Day of Civic Hacking it only made sense to have multiple events. These events were helped to be put together by a variety of partners including the Smart Chicago Collaborative, Institute of Justice & Journalism, Adler Planetarium, Cibola, The MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Mikva Challenge, Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, Hive Chicago, Free Spirit Media, Knight Lab, Open City Apps, and the City of Chicago.

Safer Communities Hackathon at Google Chicago

Cathy Deng and Patrick Brown give us a wave at the Safer Communities Crime Hack at Google Chicago

While hackathons are great for organizing around civic issues and getting together to solve problems using technology, there often isn’t enough time to actually build apps based on the ideas being generated. That’s why we’re encouraging participants to continue the ideas that start at National Day of Civic Hacking by attending the weekly OpenGov Hack Nights.

To find out more about the National Day of Civic Hacking in Chicago, you can check out details of each event here. To find out more about National Day of Civic Hacking events across the country, visit the Hack for Change website.

By Christopher Whitaker for the Smart Chicago Collaborative

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