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Thursday, February 13, 2014

By Catherine Bracy

It’s that time of year again: time to CodeAcross! On the weekend of February 21-23, Code for America and the Sunlight Foundation will host 40+ events around the globe. The mission of these events is to have citizens participate in making real progress towards taking open government “Beyond Transparency.” We’re making government data more open and accessible — through taking an inventory of a city’s open data to drafting an open data policy to designing an app powered by that open data.

In its third year, CodeAcross is scheduled to coincide with International Open Data Day. These events are designed to be not just an opportunity to move the ball forward on creating more open and transparent governments, but to build communities of citizens who want to participate in strengthening public institutions–on February 21-23 and beyond. This is NOT just another hackathon.

This year, Code for America and the Sunlight Foundation have collaborated on three “challenges” that CodeAcross participants of any technical proficiency level can participate in:

  • The Open Data Inventory: Take stock of where your city stands on publishing some fundamental datasets.
  • Open Data Policy: Work with your local officials to create an open data policy, or draft an implementation plan or accountability structure for a recently passed policy.
  • Open Civic Data Scraper: Create scrapers to pull down important civic information to feed the Open Civic Data API.

On February 21-23, join an event near you! We want citizens of all stripes and backgrounds to participate: coders, activists, designers, organizers, public transit enthusiasts, you name it. You can find a full listing of the events here.

We’re thankful to our sponsors, Esri and Microsoft, for making CodeAcross possible.

Reprinted from the Sunlight Foundation Blog under CC-BY-3.0.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/13 at 07:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Events

The 2nd Esri Eastern Africa Education Conference  is set for 19-21 November. I could not find its location.

Geography and Politics

As hundreds of Korean-Americans watched intently, the [Virginia] House of Delegates passed legislation mandating that any new textbooks approved by the state Board of Education, when referring to the Sea of Japan, must note that it is also referred to as the East Sea.

It already passed the Senate and Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he will sign it.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev floated the idea of dropping the "stan" from the Kazakhstan's name in order to help the massive country stand out from its neighboring former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

Teaching Geography if Fundamental (TGIF)

Herb Thompson, the co-coordinator of the Geographic Alliance In Nevada, offered up the latest iteration of Letters to the Editor about geography education. He noted that on Feb. 26, he and other educators will visit Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to pass the Teaching Geography is Fundamental Act "to ensure that America’s children are equipped to work and live in an increasingly globalized world." More on TGIF at Speak Up for Geography.

Training Teaching and Learning

Two classes will be offered later this month by the Wayne County Assessor’s Office and the Wayne County/Richmond Geographic Information System Interlocal.

The one hour class will be given twice on location in Indiana. Why do we still need formal classes to use online apps aimed at the public? Why are the training classes still done face-to-face and not online and recorded for the future? Is training for citizens keeping up with trends in education?

A new partnership between Laredo Community College and Del Mar College in Corpus Christi helped create some affordable GIS courses. The first of a series of courses in  starts on Tuesday, Feb. 11 and a post at appeared in the Laredo Sun Feb 10. Cost for the eight week continuing education course that uses ArcGIS (online I guess) and Google Earth: $50. There are no details about the course online; prospective students must call the school.

Image from Wikipedia under CC-SA-3.0.

by Adena Schutzberg on 02/13 at 04:29 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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