The Story of NYC Open Data Begins at Participation Camp - 6/27 and 6/28 at NYU

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Matt Cooperrider

Jun 23, 2009, 9:10:07 AM6/23/09
Dear Fans of Transparency and Participation,

In recent weeks, several organizations in New York have taken big steps towards making New York City's public data accessible and useful to software developers.  There's still a lot of work to be done, but the end of the story could be a wealth of new ways that citizens will be able to effectively and efficiently participate in the governance of their city.  Several of those groups will be getting the ball rolling at this weekend's Participation Camp, an open and free unconference on citizen participation in government.

Register now to reserve your spot and stay up-to-date:

Here's what's happening:


As Chair of the Committee on Technology in Government, Councilmember Brewer recently proposed comprehensive legislation for making New York City’s public data accessible and machine readable.  She will host a discussion at Participation Camp on Saturday at 2:30 pm to discuss this legislation and get feedback from the open government community and interested citizens.

The bill, Introduction No. 991, can be read in full here.


Throughout PCamp, ITP’s workshop space will be open to collaboration on open government Internet applications.  On Saturday, we’ll hold a sprint focused on Open 311: an initiative to make municipal data more readily available to programmers who want to make useful applications.  Philip Ashlock from The Open Planning Project will help coordinate development of Open 311 related projects in conjunction with  Peter Corbett, organizer of Washington D.C.’s ongoing Apps for Democracy Contest, will provide direction and best practices based on D.C.’s Open 311 API.  We also encourage contestants of Apps for Democracy to work together at PCamp, as their July 1st deadline approaches.  On Sunday, the workshop will remain open for any projects that grow out of Saturday’s efforts and the camp in general.


Mark serves as director of Digital Democracy, but at PCamp he will lead a session on the OpenMyCity project.  The goal of OpenMyCity is to find the best ideas about how to make use of municipal open data by asking citizens and organizations to answer a simple fill-in-the-blank question: “If I knew ___, I could do ___.”

OpenMyCity is backed by a coalition that formed around the Pioneers conference that took place recently in New York and Amsterdam.  At PCamp, Mark will lead a workshop to build a plan for capturing as many stories as possible.  This effort provides a human component to the technological and legislative efforts already happening around municipal data.

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