Resources for National Day of Civic Hacking

As we get ready for National Day of Civic Hacking, we’ve put together some resources to help get things rolling.

The City of Chicago's @ryanbriones talking about the idea for a civic needs app #hackforchange

Social Media

National Day of Civic Hacking is a nationwide event! You can check out the action by following these hashtags on social media.

And here are some accounts to follow to keep up with everything going on:

  • @civichackingday: Official Twitter Account for National Day of Civic Hacking
  • @usdatagov: Twitter account for
  • @codeforamerica:  Twitter account for Code for America
  • @sunfoundation: The Sunlight Foundation is hosting Transparency Camp this week, the hashtag for that is event is #Tcamp14
  • @ChicagoCDO: The City of Chicago’s Tom Schenk Jr will be online to help answer questions about city data.

How To’s and Demos

We’ve also put together several how to videos and demonstration posts. Here’s the whole series.

Smart Chicago Collaborative Videos 

Developer Resources for Chicago

The Smart Chicago Collaborative offers a number of resources for Chicagoans looking to continue their projects past the weekend including:

  • Civic User Testing Group: the CUT Group is a first-of-its-kind effort to connect civic developers to real community members to foster co-creation and more usable, useful civic applications. CUT Group can provide large groups of citizens to help design and validate applications, and smaller focus groups to provide direct application feedback to developers.
  • Hosted Web Space: The Smart Chicago Collaborative has limited space on an Amazon Web Services account and a Heroku account for developers to host projects that make lives better in Chicago through technology.
  • Google Apps for Business: SCC manages a Google Apps account through Google Apps for Nonprofits. This includes access to the Google Maps for Business API, which allows for very large daily geocoding limits, real-time transit information, larger static map images, and more.
  • wildcard SSL: SCC owns a wildcard SSL certificate, which means that any application hosted using a * subdomain can implement industry-standard SSL support free of cost.
  • Github organization: SCC hosts many code repositories on its Github organization page, and coordinates development using the project issue trackers.
  • Access to subject matter experts: SCC staff have deep connections with experts and policy makers within municipal government, and with technical experts with experience in building very large applications. SCC can work with developers to liberate data, solve tough technical challenges, go “behind the scenes” to see how technology can be used to solve civic problems, and place solutions in front of stakeholders and policy makers.
  • Seats at 1871. We are founding tenants of 1871. the digital co-working space, and often have seats available for developers and other thinkers interested in civic innovation. More here.

Developer Resources Nationwide

  • Intel Tools for Civic Hackers: Intel wants to help civic hackers make a difference for their communities. Intel provides a number of resources to help developers build meaningful applications quickly.
  • #CodeFind: Steve Clift has created a hackpad  page that collects questions and answers for posterity.
  • Socrata Base Camp: Socrata has set up a base camp to help developers with the platform during the event.
  • is a platform to empower meaningful civic participation: helping people connect with public benefit organizations around the causes they care about changing. (From Chicago’s very own Public Good Software!)

National Data Resources

  • The home of the U.S. Government’s open data. Here you will find data, tools, and resources to conduct research, develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and more.
  • National Day of Civic Hacking Data Catalog: A collection of data resources from around the country.

Local Data Resources by Subject

Both events this weekend will focus on several different subject areas. We’ve gathered up some data sources and resources about each one.

National Day of Civic Hacking in the Chicago Loop

Disaster Response:




Neighborhood Safety:

Hack for Youth at the Adler Planetarium

During the past year, the Adler Planetarium has worked with Free Spirit Media and Mikva Challenge to create website that bring a greater focus on issues important to teens in Chicago.

Happy National Day of Civic Hacking!