An Introduction to Civic Hacking

Open Nebraska held a half-day workshop on civic hacking1 at Interface Web School this morning and they asked me to lead it. Here’s an overview of what we covered:

  • Why “hacking” isn’t a bad thing.
  • Examples of successful civic applications.
  • Filing state and federal public records requests.
  • Scraping data from the web.
  • What makes “good” and “bad” open data.
  • Working with PDFs.
  • Visualizing tabular data.
  • Mapping geospatial data.

Wish you had made it to the workshop? We’re holding another this spring! Contact me for more information.


  1. Code for America defines this as “…people working together quickly and creatively to make their cities better for everyone…”. [return]

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