US government: Get hacking for a better nation
The US government has announced a hacking weekend during which public data is to be harnessed to create innovative solutions for existing problems. On this "National Day of Civic Hacking", taking place during the first weekend in June, private individuals, software developers and entrepreneurs will be invited to hack publicly released data and software. The US Office of Science and Technology Policy's announcement says that: "National Day of Civic Hacking is a call to action for anyone who wants to make a positive impact on their town, city, and country."
A number of US government institutions – including NASA, the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Labor – will support the event by formulating specific challenges for prospective hackers. The US government is collaborating with the Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) and Code for America projects to organise the event. The National Day of Civic Hacking will be modelled after Innovation Endeavors' Super Happy Block Party hackathons; however, the exact format of individual events will depend entirely on the local organisers.
On the project page, the organisers have invited private citizens as well as businesses to participate. Like local government institutions, they can contribute data, software or challenges to the event. The ultimate aim of the project is not only to promote transparency and the open data concept on a nationwide level but also to improve conditions locally.