Category Archives: Events

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Feb 23

Date: Mon, Feb 23, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Invited Guest: Sharla Chamberlain, City of Austin, Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs
Topic: Data to Drive Digital Innovation

The City of Austin envisions a community in which every Austin resident has access to the resources and knowledge needed to fully participate in our increasingly digital society. We are working to build a transparent and data-driven informational portal to visualize available resources, identify unmet needs, get information about digital opportunities directly to residents, and learn more about the barriers residents face to access and literacy. Tools and services like website design, interactive mapping, spatial and statistical analysis, database management, graphics, and user interface enhancement will be key to building this portal.

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.

Code Across Austin V: Civic Hack Summit / Sat, Feb 28

Date: Sat, Feb 28, 2015
Registration: 9:30 – 10:00 am
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: The Iron Yard, 3601 South Congress Ave, Bldg C, AustinTX 78704  (map)

The event is free, but seating is limited and advance registration is required: REGISTER NOW

Feb 27 update: the event program is available  here .

Feb 23 update: added registration hours, 9:30 – 10:00 am. Updated map link to show facility location.

Interested in helping us make this event a success?: Call for Volunteers

The Civic Hack Summit will bring together local developers, designers, project managers, government staff, public policy experts, and citizen advocates to launch a new wave of community-developed civic technology projects for Austin.

At this one-day event, we will explore a number of themes and community needs. The goal is to identify solution and formulate project plans. The projects we initiate here will be developed throughought the year, through events such as the ATX Hack for Change and Open Austin hack nights.

Some of the themes we’d like to explore include:

  • Development and Land Use
  • Transportation
  • Broadband and Digital Opportunities
  • Health and Social Services
  • Sustainability
  • Civic Engagement
  • Crime and Justice

In the morning sessions, local subject-matter experts will brief us on some of the challenges in our community, and help identify some interesting open data and technology opportunities. In the afternoon, we’ll break into workgroups, identify solutions we want to build, and initiate plans for hack projects.

We need non-coders. We need your interest and domain knowledge to help identify the issues we’d like to take on, and what the solutions will look like.

We need coders. We need your expertise to identify technology opportunities and develop architectures for these solutions.

It’s the hack before the hack. If you’ve got interest, skills, and passion for solving community problems with innovative technology solutions, we need your help.

Please re-visit this page periodically. We’ll be adding more information as details develop.

The event is free and open to the public. It is conducted as part of the national “Code Across” weekend, sponsored by Code for America. “Code Across Austin” was launched in 2012 by visiting Code for America fellows. Now produced by Open Austin, the “Civic Hack Summit” will be our fifth “Code Across Austin” event.

 

Presented by:
Open_Austin_Banner_400x80.png
City of AustinAustinGO-70x80Austin Monitor logo

 

Sponsored by:
Google
Socrata
 Rackspace
The Iron Yard logo Code for America Brigade

 

Community supporters:

Open Gov & Civic Tech Meetup, Jan 26

Date: Mon, Jan 26, 2014
Time: 6:45 – 8:45 pm
Location: Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78702 (map)
Calendar: link

Invited Guest: Kerry O’Connor, City of Austin, Chief Innovation Officer
Topic: City of Austin Open Data Initiative

The City of Austin has enacted an open government policy, and the City Manager has issued an open data directive. Late last year, the City Manager created a high-level board to execute on an open data program.

Kerry O’Connor, the city’s Chief Innovation Officer, participates on that board. She will give an update on the city’s open data initiatives, and discuss plans for the coming months.

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, 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. Continue reading

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.