BCNI 2011 Open Gov Hackathon presented by Tropo details: judges, criteria, data and more

Mar 21, 2011   //   by Christopher Wink   //   2011, blog  //  8 Comments

Data Camp Philly. Photo by John Mertens

You already know that we’re organizing an Open Gov Hackathon presented by Tropo during BCNI 2011. As you can see in our FAQs here, the event is part and parcel in our day-long news innovation conversation.

Now we’re ready for some details.

WHAT: A one-day hacking event bringing together coders, designers, hackers and journalists to build useful apps and data visualizations with open government data from the City of Philadelphia. [Register here]

WHO: Coders and designers. We will encourage journalists and other BCNI attendees to cross-pollinate and offer perspective

WHY: Build tools that show the power of data and connect journalists with the power of coding and coders with perspective from journalists

WHERE: Saturday April 30, 2011, Temple University, Annenberg Hall

9:00 a.m. � 10:00 a.m. — Registration / Networking
10:00 a.m. � 10:30 a.m. — Introductions, overview, proposal and teams form
10:30 a.m. � 4:30 p.m. — Coding, Hacking, Building [Judges will circulate in the afternoon]
4:30 p.m. � 5:00 p.m. — Presentations / Judging
5:00 p.m. — Winners presentations and BCNI closing

Find the judges, criteria and more below.

JUDGES: Robert Cheetham, Azavea founder; Clinton Johnson, City of Philadelphia Division of Technology Software Development Manager; Andrew Kortina, mobile payment solution Venmo co-founder

DATA: On the Monday of Philly Tech Week, a new City of Philadelphia data catalog will be released. Hackathon participants will be encouraged to use this resource. The following data categories will be available:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Elections and Politics
  • Environment
  • Food
  • Human Services
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Public Safety
  • Real Estate and Land Records
  • Religion
  • Transportation


The goal of the BCNI 2011 Open Government Hackathon is to develop civic applications and data visualizations for and about the City of Philadelphia. Projects will provide a benefit to city residents or visitors, or present data in a manner that provides insights on a public policy issue facing the city. Three judges with knowledge of development will make the final determination of winners and the distributions of prizes for teams. Their decisions are final. By participating in this hackathon, attendees agree to abide by organizer and venue rules, in addition to judge decisions.

Hackathon participants that wish to present their projects at the end of the day will compete for one of several different prizes. Judging of projects will be based on the following criteria:

  • Potential impact on City of Philadelphia residents and visitors.
  • Magnitude / scope of the issue(s) project addresses (i.e., public safety, transit, budget, etc.).
  • Originality and creativity of the project.
  • Quality of implementation / demonstration (can others view, use the project).

Projects will be judged by a panel of three judges, and awards will be granted in the following three categories:

  1. Best overall use of Philadelphia open government data.
  2. Best data visualization.
  3. Most innovative project.


Hackathon participants will have access to a catalog of open data from the City of Philadelphia that they may use as the basis for their projects.

Participants may use other sources of data relating to the City of Philadelphia (i.e., Census Bureau, PASDA, etc) that are publicly available. Participants may also use data extraction / conversion tools to generate data from other sources for their projects.

Whatever data source is used, all projects wishing to be evaluated for prizes must be based on data relevant to the City of Philadelphia. Of course, we encourage participation, so if you have another project you want to work on, then come on out and get to work.


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The details:

When: Sat. 4/28/12. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Doors open at 9 a.m.)
Then? After Party at Draught Horse
Where: Temple University, Annenberg Hall, 13th and Diamond streets
Cost: $5, free with valid student ID. REGISTER TODAY

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