Session Brainstorm

What issues, topics, and ideas do you want to hear discussed at TransparencyCamp 2015? This is your space to suggest sessions (that you either want to lead or see others lead) and to vote for your favorites. Although the majority of the schedule will still be created on site during Camp, the most popular events from this forum will become the first sessions of the day.

Vote for your favorite session ideas now!

Voting is open until Monday, September 7th, 2015. Presenters will be notified via email if their session is pre-selected for a timeslot at TCamp.

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    Government Data Visualized

    Submitted on 08/27 12:09 p.m. by Corby Hobbs and Cody O'Bryen |

    Our mission is to drastically simplify the process of obtaining the world’s knowledge. At InsideGov (, we turn complicated political and government data into vivid and contextually-rich visualizations and knowledge products.

    In this session, we’ll cover the process of transforming data from across the internet into flagship products like our Presidential Candidates and Members of Congress topics. We’ll demo how we craft live-updating visualizations that are made available instantly to the millions of people who use our site and thousands of content creators and journalists from leading publications. Finally, we’ll show you how the raw data we ... READ MORE

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    Unlocking Prison Re-entry Data

    Submitted on 08/12 6:31 p.m. by Laurin Hodge |

    9 months ago we hosted the first prison re-entry hackathon in DC and since then we have discovered just how difficult it is to find prison re-entry data. This is often an issue of security, but mostly an issue of not knowing what to track as well as linking databases from various agencies and organizations. More than just criminal justice specific data (arrest records, crime or policing data) we need to know information starting at the time period after release from prison or jail so that we can close the gap of recidivism.


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    Workshopping Municipal Barriers to Opening Data

    Submitted on 08/20 11:38 a.m. by Kate Mereand-Sinha |

    State and local governments face real barriers to opening data like conflicting laws, leading to the process for opening many data sets becoming adversarial.

    To achieve more open data, the conversation needs to move beyond whether to open it to a discussion of how to open it responsibly. When data sets have known flaws and lack standard definitions or processes in how data was collected, government needs to know how to either fix or prominently announce flaws when opening such data.

    This discussion will center on the conflicts of rights between personal privacy, business property, and government transparency and policy ... READ MORE

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    Opening Your Data: a Goldilocks Problem

    Submitted on 08/26 10:36 a.m. by Anand Thakker and Drew Bollinger |

    We think open data isn't fully 'open' unless it's programmatically available and housed and managed using open source tools. Making this happen can be simpler if you pick the right tool for the job. Using practical examples from our work, we'll show methods that we've been using to help organizations open up their data. We'll demonstrate different approaches for varying levels of data complexity and client resources.

    Rough Agenda:

    - What does it mean to make something programmatically available?
    - To pick the right tool for the job, you need to know:
    -your audience
    -your data
    ... READ MORE

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    Councilmatic - open data for city governments

    Submitted on 08/11 3:28 p.m. by David Moore |

    There's a huge opportunity to make what's happening in city governments more transparent and participatory.

    Currently, there is no widespread solution for publishing open data about municipal legislation, and displaying it publicly on the web. Official city legislative portals are generally closed and lack basic search, issue-area, alert, and public participation features.

    Since 2010, the non-profit Participatory Politics Foundation has been working to build user-friendly interfaces for continual engagement with state, county, and local governments. Now, our new web app for tracking and understanding everything in city governments is ready to roll out nationwide for local impact.

    ... READ MORE

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    Crowdsourcing the Understanding of Legislation

    Submitted on 08/21 3:20 p.m. by Josh Dennison |

    Legislation can be difficult to understand. Lawmakers don’t even have enough time to read and break down bills themselves, how can the average voter be expected to understand the complex legal texts that make up our laws, new and old. Building a platform for voters to break down and discuss each individual part of a law as well as crowdsource a cohesive summary could enable voters to build a more informed opinion on legislation.

    The most popular bills are those highlighted by the media are the ones most people have an opinion on yet how many people actually read ... READ MORE

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    The Future of Federal Open Data

    Submitted on 08/04 1:51 p.m. by Matt Rumsey |

    President Obama's continued support for open data in the executive branch combined with Congress' willingness to pass strong open data legislation (the DATA Act) have made the first half of this decade a landmark period for quality, open, government data. With an election around the corner and federal data efforts maturing it's time to discuss what's next for Federal open data?


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    Opening Up Your Government: Key Policies to Win and What Winning Looks Like

    Submitted on 08/11 7:33 a.m. by New York City Council Member Ben Kallos |

    Opening Up Your Government won't be easy. After attending this session you will come away equipped with key policies, including model programs and draft legislation, that you can use in your own jurisdictions to open up your government. Even once you've won by passing key laws and policy, implementation and operations will become your next challenge that you'll learn how to take on.

    Learn from New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, other elected officials and policy partners in the non-profit sector who are fighting and winning battles for the cause and see how you can join. This session ... READ MORE

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    Wrangling Municipal Legislative Data

    Submitted on 08/12 2:24 p.m. by Rachel Shorey |

    Join Sunlight's state and local tech team to share your successes, tips, best practices, and yes, horror stories about the technical aspects of acquiring, processing, distributing and telling stories with municipal government data.


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    Design Research for Civic Tech

    Submitted on 08/06 12:22 a.m. by Olivia Cheng |

    The chaotic launch of brought wide public attention to the dangers of poorly created tools. Now, building smart services that address the needs of real people has become more critical than ever, which means that human centered design is no longer optional when it comes to civic tech.

    Design research is the deliberate process of asking the right people the right questions to ensure that we are creating solutions with empathy for real users. It allows us to understand and develop compassion for our audience, therefore allowing us to serve them better and build better tools.

    We ... READ MORE

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