Hackathons are an important part of tech culture, and are some of OpenDataSTL’s largest events. Participants meet, usually for 48 hours, and create projects around a single theme, problem, or dataset. These projects are usually software oriented, but sometimes they are companies, board games, documents… pretty much anything you can think of!
OpenDataSTL plans and hosts many different kinds of hackathons. Our largest is BuildforSTL, our National Day of Civic Hacking event, in which we challenge people to create things that will make Saint Louis a better place. To go along with this event, we host training seminars and roundtable discussions to prepare participants and drum up interest and support. We also plan other civic-minded events, such as community gardens, and an editathon. More details about BuildforSTL can be found in the events section of the site.
Another OpenDataSTL staple are editathons; hackathons in which ordinary people go out and map the Saint Louis area in order to improve OpenStreetMap. We pick a particular neighborhood or type of landmark that isn’t documented well on OpenStreetMap, and volunteers spend a day mapping it as thoroughly as possible. By updating this one database, we are able to effect thousands of mobile and web apps and services.
Finally, OpenDataSTL uses hackathons to support local non-profits and government. We love working with civic-minded organizations to plan hack days and hackathons to help make sure their datasets are being properly used. If you work for such an organization, and you have a dataset that you’d like to see get used, or you need help creating a dataset, fill out the form, and we’ll work with you to create a hacking event. You provide the space and food, we’ll organize, publicize, and administrate the event.