Category Archives: Events

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Dec 15

Date: Mon, Dec 15, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Topic: Open Austin / Advancing Open Gov & Open Data 2015

We will not have a guest speaker this month. Instead, we’ll use the December meetup to identify our key objectives for bringing more open data and technology to the City of Austin in 2015.

We’ll have a facilitated discussion how we should focus on for our policy and hacking efforts in 2015. There is an immense opportunity before us to push open data and open government to the next level. We want your input — and involvement — to help make that happen.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking.

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, Nov 17

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

Invited Guest: Robert Brizendine, Austin Animal Center

Austin Animal Center runs the largest no-kill animal shelter in the United States, providing shelter to more than 18,000 animals each year and animal protection services to all of Austin and Travis County. The Austin Animal Center is an open-intake facility where lost and surrendered animals from all of Travis County in need of shelter are accepted regardless of age, health, species or breed. The goal of the Austin Animal Center is to place all adoptable animals in forever homes.

Robert Brizendine, Research Analyst at the Austin Animal Center will talk about automation tools the animal center uses, open data they currently provide, and future plans.

The meetup location is easily accessed by public transportation and has plentiful parking.

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, Oct 20

Date: Mon, Oct 20, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Invited Guest: Joe Iannello, VP & Chief Information Officer, Cap Metro

Nov 10 update: Joe’s slides are here (2MB PDF document).

Capital Metro already is publishing open data. They’ve also have embraced open data standards such as GTFS. Soon they will be rolling out a new advanced capability: real-time data for certain transit services.

Joe Iannello  will be joining us to discuss Cap Metro technology plans, including this exciting new service.

Also, Nick Hadjigeorge from our Gov Team will give an update on the results of our candidate questionnaire for the Nov. election.

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.

New Resource: How to Use the City Data Portal

screenshot-data-portal-howtoYou may know that the City of Austin runs an open data portal, with more than 200 unique open government datasets.

The data portal, however, is much more than a mere file repository. It offers features that allow you to search, sort, roll-up, and graph the data. If the dataset has addresses, you can even generate maps of the data.

It’s a lot of capability — but people don’t always know it’s there. It would be great if we had a tool that helped explain how to use these features of the data portal.

At the ATX Hack for Change hackathon this past June, a team of volunteers developed a website to help people use some of the tools provided on the data portal. A hackathon prototype is great, but moving that to a released product is always a challenge.

So, we’re pleased  to announce their website is now available for use. Check it out:

How to Use the City of Austin Open Data Portal
http://atxdataportal.wikispaces.com/

Thanks to Juliette Kernion, Alane Fitzgerald, Chris McConnell, Marbenn Cayetano, Tim. and Gail Maynard for developing this resource and making it available to the community.

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

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

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 currently is in the proposal stage.

If you would like to see this event on the SXSW Interactive schedule, visit the panel picker page for this session and leave your feedback: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/37773

 

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.