Category Archives: Events

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Aug 25

Date: Mon, Aug 25, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: City of Austin Open Government Initiative
Invited Guests: Council Member Laura Morrison

Council Member Laura Morrison is a member of the Austin City Council and chairs the council’s committee on Emerging Technology and Telecommunications. She has sponsored the open government resolutions adopted by the City Council, as well as the budget amendment that led to the hiring of a Chief Innovation Officer for the city.

We’ve invited her to come speak about the current status of the open government initiative, and some of the challenges that lay ahead for these programs.

After the meetup, we’ll move across the street to Cenote cafe.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking. If you park, however, be sure to move your car if you plan to come to Cenote. The lot is locked when the library closes.

The Open Austin Hack Team will have a check-in from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, in advance of the meetup. If you are a developer or designer who wants to work on hacking projects, please come for the check-in to find out what’s going on.

Open Austin hosts a monthly meet-up, to discuss local open government and civic technology issues. Our meet-ups are free and open to the public.

Civic Hackers & Advocates Meetup at SXSW 2015

Open Austin and Open Houston invite the SXSW Interactive 2015 community to join us for a meetup, to discuss how civic hackers and advocates are making their communities better.

This event is currently in the proposal stage, and should be available for public review when the SXSW Panel Picker is launched.

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We will be updating this page next week with additional information.

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Jul 21

Date: Mon, Jul 21, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: The “No Topic” Summer Meetup
Invited Guests: none

We don’t have an invited speaker this month … but we’ve got a lot of interesting material to cover.

First, the Open Austin Hack Team has been busy advancing two projects that came out of the ATX Hackathon for Change. One is an information site for the November city council election. This election will be significant — both in scope and scale. The city is moving to single member districts, and every seat is up for grabs. There’s a lot for the community to learn about the new council plan, and a lot of candidates to consider. We hope the election website will be a great resource to voters.

Another project is the pet alerts website, which allows you to register for a notification whenever a stray pet is recovered. The team is close to ready to deploying a test site. We’ve also got the attention of the city, and they are interested in supporting our efforts to provide tools and open data to assist with shelter pet adoptions.

We’ll get updates on both these projects, what’s been done and what’s planned next.

Speaking of elections, Open Austin has been participating in city elections since 2011. Our candidate questionnaires have been a key tool to bring open data and civic technology issues into the city hall discussion. We’re planning to do it again this year — and it will be our biggest, most significant survey yet. We’ll tell you what’s planned, and ask for your feedback on what we should ask the candidates.

(Note: we work on elections as an independent, non-endorsing organization. We try to educate all the candidates on our issues, and work with everybody elected to advance open government policies.)

After the meetup, we’ll move across the street to Cenote cafe.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking. If you park, however, be sure to move your car if you plan to come to Cenote. The lot is locked when the library closes.

The Open Austin Hack Team will have a check-in from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, in advance of the meetup. If you are a developer or designer who wants to work on hacking projects, please come for the check-in to find out what’s going on.

Open Austin hosts a monthly meet-up, to discuss local open government and civic technology issues. Our meet-ups are free and open to the public.

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Jun 16

Date: Mon, Jun 16, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: After Hack: ATX Hack for Change
Invited Guests: Claire Dunn, Keith Casey

The second annual ATX Hack for Change was a great success. Over 150 people hacked for 20 hours, and presented 16 projects at the end of the weekend.

At our monthly meetup, we’ll discuss the outcomes of the hackathon, and how the community can “hack it forward” for the projects that emerged. Our invited guests are D. Keith Casey, Jr. (OP3Nvoice), the event emcee and national hackathon expert, and Claire Dunn (St. Edward’s University), the manager for the event.

We invite project champions to come to the meetup. We’ll provide an opportunity to present your project, and talk with participants about how it can be advanced.

If you participated in the hackathon, come provide your feedback. If you weren’t able to attend, this is your opportunity to connect with the projects, and get involved with future hack efforts.

After the meetup, we’ll move across the street to Cenote cafe.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking. If you park, however, be sure to move your car if you plan to come to Cenote. The lot is locked when the library closes.

The Open Austin Hack Team will have a check-in from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, in advance of the meetup. If you are a developer or designer who wants to work on hacking projects, please come for the check-in to find out what’s going on.

Open Austin hosts a monthly meet-up, to discuss local open government and civic technology issues. Our meet-ups are free and open to the public.

ATX Hack for Change 2014

logo-atx-hack-for-change-2014(Event website here: http://atxhackforchange.org/)

St. Edward’s University, Open Austin and SXSW Interactive Present 2nd Annual ATX Hack for Change

AUSTIN, Texas – St. Edward’s University, with co-presenters South by Southwest Interactive and Open Austin, will host the second annual ATX Hack for Change on the St. Edward’s campus May 31 – June 1. ATX Hack for Change is the annual civic and social good hackathon held in conjunction with the National Day of Civic Hacking, the largest ever national convening of civic hackers.

The 2014 ATX Hack for Change event is expected to see more than 250 participants from the Austin technology, civic, and non-profit communities. They will collaborate to craft creative and effective solutions to social challenges facing Austin. The project teams will begin hacking on Saturday, May 31 and will present their work on Sunday afternoon before a panel of distinguished experts from the technology, education, non-profit and civic sectors. Audience members at the final presentations will vote for their favorite project team, who will receive complimentary registrations to the 2015 SXSW Interactive Festival, March 13-17.

On Saturday, while the developer teams are strategizing, designing, and coding, a showcase event will spotlight 12 groups whose social and civic efforts are already creating a positive impact in the Austin community. The Changemaker Showcase is open to the public and will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. in Jones Auditorium on Saturday, May 31. The Changemaker Showcase attendee registration is available here. Highlights from the 2013 ATX Hack for Change include projects built to connect owners with lost pets, to collect feedback on the location of future bike share hubs, and to accelerate the ability of Keep Austin Fed to make Austin a zero-food waste city.

This year’s projects will benefit AISD’s Literacy Action Plan, the City of Austin Open Data Portal, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Capital Area Food Bank, and several other local organizations and government offices. This year’s event will also feature Hack It Forward Challenges, which invite hackers to build on, expand, and reimagine tools and data hand-picked for the event by the City of Austin. These include the ATXFloods challenge and the STAR Community Rating System challenge.

The City of Austin will issue a proclamation and the city’s new Chief Innovation Officer, Kerry O’Connor, will serve on the panel of experts on Sunday, June 1.

ATX Hack for Change is supported by Capital Factory, Extreme Networks, Texans for Economic Progress, and thirteen23. Hackathon participants will work with technology provided by Ambonare, Mozido, Op3nVoice, Plivo, Socrata, and UserApp.

The history of the ATX Hack for Change dates back to January 2013, when the White House announced the National Day of Civic Hacking as a nationwide celebration promoting civic engagement in among the thriving tech community in the United States. St. Edward’s joined forces with Open Austin to produce the 2013 event in which more than 80 hackers participated. Several of the projects completed in 2013 have enjoyed further development by local hackers and their impact continues to resonate across the city today. The transformative work done by one team of hackers for local food rescue non-profit Keep Austin Fed was recognized at the Champions of Change White House event in July 2013.

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, May 19

Date: Mon, May 19, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: ATX Hack for Change

The second annual ATX Hack for Change is happening this month (May 31 – Jun 1). Once again, Open Austin is co-presenting the event. Claire Dunn, from St. Edward’s University, will be our guest, to talk about the event and plans for this year.

We are inviting potential project champions to come and give us “mock pitches” of their project ideas. We will provide feedback and suggestions, to help them refine their project proposals. We’ll also have an opportunity to discuss civic project ideas we may want to see brought to the event.

Please join us if you want to help shape the hack projects at the event — or if you have an idea that you might like to bring forward to the event.

After the meetup, we’ll move across the street to Cenote cafe.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking. If you park, however, be sure to move your car if you plan to come to Cenote. The lot is locked when the library closes.

The Open Austin Hack Team will have a check-in from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, in advance of the meetup. If you are a developer or designer who wants to work on hacking projects, please come for the check-in to find out what’s going on.

Open Austin hosts a monthly meet-up, to discuss local open government and civic technology issues. Our meet-ups are free and open to the public.

Central Texas Government Data Expo, May 20

Date: Tue, May 20 2014
Time: 1:30 – 4:30 pm
Location: Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd, Austin, TX 78754 (map)
Calendar: link

The City of Austin and its regional partners are proud to invite you to a Data Expo. We are looking for Austin’s civic minded collaborators to come together and share ideas on how we could make government data more useful. Join us on May 20, 2014 for an afternoon of exploring, to drive solutions using public data from a variety of government agencies. Austin, Travis County and Texas needs your ideas, energy, diverse perspectives and skills to ignite innovation that can result in great solutions for our communities.

Event page here: http://austintexas.gov/blog/regional-government-data-expo-may-20-2014

Free registration here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/government-data-expo-tickets-11430524005

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Apr 21

Date: Mon, Apr 21, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic One: Meet the City of Austin Data Architect

The City of Austin has just created a new position, a Data Architect. This person will be on the Communications and Technology Management (CTM) staff, and will be responsible for the data architecture of key enterprise projects in the city. They also will play a large role in shaping our open data systems.

His name is Ted Lehr. We’ll have an opportunity to meet Ted, and talk about the future for open data initiatives in the city.

Topic Two: Austin 3-1-1: Data, Apps, and API

Back in early 2013, the City of Austin was contemplating a contract extension with our 3-1-1 service system provider. At the direction of the City Council, Open Austin members met with city staff to discuss the project plans. Our key feedback point was concern the project support open data and open API standards, and not lock us into a proprietary platform app. We also dove deeper into the plans to integrate 3-1-1 with other city systems.

The city council approved the contract — with our support — and city staff have been moving forward on implementation.

Now, about a year later, the results are coming to fruition. Open data is already being published on the open data portal. Soon, the city will begin limited testing  not only of mobile platform apps, but also Open311 API services. Also, plans for an enterprise service bus to integrate the 3-1-1 systems into the other city enterprise systems is proceeding.

Brian Hooper and Bill Starks from Austin 3-1-1 will be coming to our meeting to provide a status update, and discuss plans for public testing of the apps and API.

After the meetup, we’ll move across the street to Cenote cafe.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking. If you park, however, be sure to move your car if you plan to come to Cenote. The lot is locked when the library closes.

The Open Austin Hack Team will have a check-in from 6:00 – 6:30 pm, in advance of the meetup. If you are a developer or designer who wants to work on hacking projects, please come for the check-in to find out what’s going on.

Open Austin hosts a monthly meet-up, to discuss local open government and civic technology issues. Our meet-ups are free and open to the public.

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Mar 17

Date: Mon, Mar 17, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: Public Information in the Age of Open Data

Invited Speaker: Sherri Greenberg, Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Greenberg served in the Texas House of Representatives for ten years, and previously was Manager of Capital Finance for the City of Austin.

Our March meetup falls during “Sunshine Week“, a national event recognizing the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. Our meetup is one of the national events scheduled for Sunshine Week.

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Geospatial Jam Features Skill Sharing, Data Awareness

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Civic hackers, GIS analysts, government officials and members of the general public came together Saturday, Feb. 22 at the University Hills Branch Library in “Austin for Code Across Austin IV: Geospatial Jam”. Over 50 people attended the day-long event presented by Open Austin and the Austin Open-Source GIS User Group. The Geospatial Jam was Open Austin’s local event coordinating with the international Code Across 2014 events and International Open Data Day.

Unlike many of the Code Across and Open Data Day events, the Geospatial Jam was not a hackathon. Instead, it was a series of presentations and tutorials intended to share skills with the local community. These sessions ranged from sessions explaining geospatial data and how to do basic visualization with free tools to advanced presentations on how to develop geospatial web applications. Participants ranged from community members with a passing interest in data analysis to geospatial developers with years of experience.

All of the events took place at the Austin Public Library branch in the University Hills neighborhood, a historically African-American neighborhood in Northeast Austin. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, excellent food and beverage — including lunch – were provided to all presenters and participants. Sponsors for our local event were Google, Socrata, and Boundless. We also received support from Code Across 2014 national sponsors Microsoft, ESRI, and Code for America.

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