By Maggie Diaz-Vera / @codeformiami
Code for Miami is setting the tone for civic hacking and community engagement in South Florida. With help from The Knight Foundation, Code for Miami and Miami Ad School hosted I <Hacked> Miami last Saturday, a Code Across 2015 hackathon coinciding with events from around the world hosted by Code for America brigades. Miami brigade members used human-centered design to create applications that would allow residents to gain easy access to public data.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez launched Miami-Dade County’s open data portal to kick-off the event. The Mayor commented on the future of technology in Miami-Dade, “we cannot attract innovators without being innovative ourselves.” The portal provides free, up-to-date access to public data on civic services, geographic information, building permits, and employee salaries. The portal will continue to be updated with additional data over time.
The goal of the hackathon, and Code for Miami, is to engage residents in creating applications for the community. "What is cool is that citizens feel like they have a stake in building the government they want," shared brigade co-captain Rebekah Monson. Hackathon participants joined to create tools that will help residents make informed decisions about the community they live in and apply it to their own personal and business goals.
The hackathon focused on 3 major projects:
Miami Answers is a platform to answer frequently asked community questions in regards to public services. The questions and answers were written by volunteers in a casual and friendly voice so that it could easily be followed and understood by everyone.
Awesomest Mentor: Elizabeth
Awesomest Team: Miami Answers
Public services were also the focus for Open 211, a technical project to format sample data provided by Switchboard Miami so that it can be easily pulled by developers for future applications.
The “Dale” Award: Bryce
Awesomest N00b: Walter
Awesomest Project: Open 211
Open311 utilizes the newly open Miami-Dade data portal to display county information so that it can be easily interpreted and analyzed. Through visualization and data mapping, citizens and government officials will be able to efficiently identify trends and gain insights on how and where resources are being allocated.
The data was used to create visualizations such as: Map of Reported Dog Bites by Volume; Flood Zones Map; Evacuation Centers by distance and animal acceptance
Residents like you are needed to user-test these apps and give feedback to complete the projects. Join Code for Miami at 7PM on Monday nights at LAB Miami in Wynwood to share ideas and develop these applications further.