Please RSVP on our meetup page so we know how much food to get! If you aren’t registered, you won’t be able to eat! 😀
On March 4, 2017, Code for America will hold its sixth annual “CodeAcross” event called Open Data Day to coincide with International Open Data Day. Code Across is a weekend of civic hacking events hosted by over 100 cities in the Code for America network around the world. The goal is to activate the Code for America network and inspire residents everywhere to get actively involved in their community.
The theme for this year is “Storytelling with Data”. Code for Hawaii is hosting the Honolulu event at Manoa Innovation Center (Big ups to our sponsor, HTDC) on March 4, 2017. We’ll be in the Presentation and Ideation rooms from 9 am to 5 pm.
We have speakers representing the ACLU and the Grassroots Institute to speak about the problems around open data and data transparency. We’ll be having a data portal showdown highlighting the various data portals in the state. In addition, we’ll have an educational track where you’ll learn the tools necessary to tell stories with data – these tools include how to use source control, command line tools to scrape and parse data, and tools to help visualize the data. Finally, for those interested in working on real projects, we’ll have a project track with several real-world projects to work on that are focused around open data.
What to bring
Your laptop, power cables, monitors, wifi hot spots, ideas and most importantly… YOU!
(*Schedule will get updated as we get closer to March 4th)
9:15am – Keynote
9:30am – Speaker Track
10:15am – Educational Track / Project Track begin
12pm – Lunch / Grinds!
1pm – Hawaii Portal Showdown featuring Hawaii’s data portals
2pm – Educational Track / Project Track continue
4pm – Group Presentations!
This year, our event is being sponsored by the wonderful folks over at HTDC!
In addition, we’d also like to thank the wonderful folks over at Box Jelly, Hawaii’s First Coworking space, for allowing us to host our project / planning nights there.
Use #GivingTuesday to help us spread the word to friends and family!
#GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday) to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
Your donations enable us to continually engage the civic tech community and help make Hawaii a better place.
As a disclaimer, data was sourced from data.hawaii.gov and after doing a cursory review, the expenditures data appears to be incomplete. We’re continuing to work with different Hawaii State stakeholders to establish which portions are missing and why.
UIPA Record Requests
Led by Ryan Kanno in collaboration with Brian Black from the Civil Beat Law Center, the team worked on redeploying a version of Froide, a Freedom of Information Portal for the islands.
At the start of the day, there were 2 critical blockers and 24 issues that needed to be fixed before beta testing with users can begin. With a team of senior engineers, they got through 17 out of the 26 issues including the 2 critical blockers. Check out what they’re working on here.
If you’re interested in python, Django, and FOI requests, please reach out to ryan[at]codeforhawaii[dot]org.
Led by Nicole Hori and Russell Vea in collaboration with Stacey Aldrich the State Librarian, the team worked on cleaning up data about various Makerspaces on island for the MakerHawaii website they’ve been working on as well as creating a fully functional Android application from scratch!
If you’re interested in helping finish these Citizen Onboarding projects, please reach out to sara[at]kanno[dot]io.
*Honey, I’m Home
A one-man programming machine, Laurence Lee worked on the Code for America Honey, I’m Home! (EPA) Challenge and demoed a functional Android application that could take photos and let scientists identify bees. Like Ryan from the MakerHawaii team, Laurence crafted and deployed an Android application in less than 8 hours. Click here to check out a demo site!
The server-side is written in Ruby on Rails, and the mobile-client is Ionic2/Angular2/TypeScript.
Led by Ben Trevino, we unfortunately missed a photo opportunity with the team as they had another engagement. Totally our fault! With that said, here’s an amazing photo of the team at work!
My sincerest apology if you were on a team and not featured in a picture. We took photos at the end of the day instead of at the start. Lesson learned!
Putting on an event like this takes an entire village island, and I’d like to thank the following:
All the invited guests and participants for spending an entire Saturday with us
All the project leads for helping coordinate their projects
Russ Tokuyama, Ryan Tsukamoto, and Joseph Heaukulani for helping setup and ensure everyone got coffee / lunch!
Laurie Sumiye for not only spending the entire day documenting what we do here at Code for Hawaii, but also editing that wonderful video on top!
Our main sponsor, HTDC, who helped us secure the facilities, but more importantly, has always supported the “boots on the ground” local tech community here in Hawaii.
Without the efforts of everyone involved, this event would be nowhere near as successful as it was.
There were some wonderful insights gained from the hackathon this weekend.
If you give people an opportunity and a stage for meaningful work, they will never cease to amaze you. I was absolutely floored at the quality of the presentations and demos at the end of the day. This may be a bit biased, but this definitely had the best presentation/demos of any hackathon on island.
Preparation of discrete project tasks prior to the event led to better outcomes. Historically, we’ve had a shotgun-like approach to projects that often spread our community too thin and led to more chit-chat than actual output. Giving people specific projects and tasks to work on led to quite the output.
Code for Hawaii has a lot to learn about what building this “community” really means. We can learn a lot from Dan O’Neil’s exit interview that states ‘We need a general agreement that we have to move from placing the alpha-geek at the center of our movement. We have to stop paying lip service to “build with, not for” and actually start implementing those principles into our work.’ I’m excited with where we’re going in Hawaii, but we’ve only just begun. Like the Civic Makers out in San Francisco, we need a better co-discovery process where we “discover with, not for” people in our community.
“We are still seeing way too many projects from well meaning professionals who do not understand the context for the problem space they’re working on. Waiting until after you have defined the problem to seek out users’ perspectives means your project team may be playing on the wrong field moving toward the wrong goal.”
– Susan Stuart Clark
If you had a great time at National Day of Civic Hacking and want to continue to improve our local communities and work with government to solve these problems, I’m hoping to see you at our next meetup.
On June 4, 2016, Code for Hawaii will be participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking. National Day of Civic Hacking is a nationwide day of action where developers, government employees, designers, journalists, data scientists, non-profit employees, UX designers, and residents who care about their communities come together to host civic tech events leveraging their skills to help their community.
On that Saturday, our members are working on the following projects:
In addition, there will be other civic activities / projects / challenges available to work on. These challenges are related to getting a better idea of what digital government services are like and how they differ across the country. After National Day, our parent organization, Code for America will package everything together into a single document that tells the story of digital government services in America.
This year, our event is being sponsored by the wonderful folks over at HTDC!
Join us Wednesday, April 20th @ 6:30 PM at Box Jelly
Since National Day of Civic Hacking is quickly approaching, we have a very special guest joining us via the Interwebs. Eric Coyle, a Data Dissemination Specialist from the U.S. Census Bureau will be joining us via WebEx to present some of the key concepts and examples of the Census API and City SDK. After, we’ll talk about what we’re envisioning for our National Day of Civic Hacking event on June 4th.
Eric Coyle serves as the Data Dissemination Specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau. Mr. Coyle’s primary responsibilities are to plan, coordinate, and implement data dissemination, and outreach. He conducts data access workshops and presentations every month to a variety of organizations, local governments, businesses, media, universities, etc.
Here’s what our tentative agenda looks like:
– 6:30 PM – Welcome
– 6:45 PM – Eric Coyle from U.S. Census Bureau presentation
– 7:15 PM – Project updates
– 7:30 PM – Talk story
$$$: This is a FREE event! Make sure to get your tickets here.
What’s going to happen at Code Across?
It’ll be a day of prototyping solutions to civic issues. We envision Code for Hawaii civic technologists working with government attendees at the Unconferenz to prototype solutions to real government problems. You don’t need to know how to code! Prototyping a solution involves all sorts of skillsets not related to writing software!
If that still isn’t your cup of tea, you can mozy on over and work on Open Data at International Open Data Day where there will be a variety of activities such as learning how to use Git, working on uncovering new datasets, and creating new and exciting visualizations of existing datasets!
Jon is an amazing web coder, designer, mapper and all around data enthusiast. By day, he’s a web developer for NOAA at the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument; by night he is on the lookout for new sources of open data to craft powerful visualizations. Jon wants complex data to look better, feel better and taste better – so it’s more digestible for everyone.
(Next time you see him, thank him for a wonderful design)
Here’s Jon with the first ever Code for Hawaii T-Shirt!
How can you get a shirt as well?
Now, for the fun part – If you’re interested in purchasing your very own Code for Hawaii T-Shirt, please fill out the form below. Shirts will be $20 each and once we hit the minimum order of 25 shirts, we’ll reach out for payment.
Makerspace – Russell Vea and Nicole Hori are working with Stacie Kanno from the Hawaii State Library on a map-based, mobile-friendly application to locate all the wonderful Makerspaces in Hawaii. I hear that HICapacity is pretty good.
UIPA – Ryan Kanno, Russ Tokuyama, Sara Sakamoto, and McKay Davis are working to stand up a Freedom of Information Portal for Hawaii to help provide transparency to the FOI process.
Patternlab – Jon Geyer is helping standardize the look and feel for Code for Hawaii. He’s asked that we please give him feedback! If you don’t know what a Patternlab is, you should definitely check it out.
tl;dr – Code for America Summit was absolutely amazing. We met and interacted with many passionate civic tech enthusiasts from across the world. Watch the amazing videos from the main stage. My personal favorite was Sam Vaughn from the City of Richmond.
Updated: Breakout sessions have been updated with links!
Pre-Summit Brigade Meeting
Last week, three of us from the Code for Hawaii Brigade headed to Oakland for the 2015 Code for America Summit. We all arrived a day early for the Pre-Summit Brigade meeting. Led by Hannah Young and Catherine Bracy, the Pre-Summit Brigade meeting is an opportunity to not only meet our fellow Brigade leaders from across the world but also to gain insights into Code for America’s Brigade vision and strategy.
Here’s some of the wonderful assets that came out of that day.
Getting awesome-civic into the Code for America repository. Since we’ve recently rebooted the Code for Hawaii Brigade, we wanted to aggregate and highlight the civic tech tools available for Brigades to point to as to not reinvent the wheel for every Brigade. Make sure to check it out!
At the end of the day, we gathered at the steps of Oakland City Hall and took this fun group picture.
Code for America Summit
Over the next two and a half days, the conference followed the following format: speakers on the main stage until noon followed by lunch and smaller sessions / tracks. I won’t be able to highlight all the amazing speakers from the morning’s main stage, but here were a few of my favorites. As a note, make sure to check out the Code for America YouTube channel to check out the videos yourself.
What was most refreshing is that each session was led by a panel of experts that actually experienced the topic they were discussing. When the session videos are put online, I’ll be sure to link them.
My favorite session was Open Your City’s Buildings and Addresses, and Help the Blind with Open Street Map. This was a Code for Louisville project to get building and address point data into Open Street Map in support of the American Printing House for the Blind’s ‘Nearby Explorer’ app. This is a great example of how powerful collaboration within the civic technology space can be. You can read more about what was accomplished here. The nice thing about this presentation was that there were actionable / discrete steps on how we could import this same data into Open Street Maps and in the process, enable support for the American Printing House for the Blind’s ‘Nearby Explorer’ app here in Hawaii.
All in all, this was an amazing week for civic technology. We met a ton of new faces from Brigades and governments from around the world. We absorbed lessons learned and retrospectives.
Join Code for Hawaii this Wednesday for our first ever Bimonthly Project Night! Going forward, we’re planning on hosting these on the first and second Wednesday of every month at Box Jelly @ 6:00 PM. Project night is simply a way to work and collaborate with others on civic projects you’re interested in. Here’s what our tentative agenda looks like:
– 6:00 PM – Welcome
– 6:15 PM – Pitch time
– 6:30 – 8 PM – Work time!
We finally have an official Meetup group! Please make sure to join as that will be our primary channel to announce events. Additionally, we’ve updated our public calendar.
Hope to see you Wednesday (and come with project ideas)!