Session Brainstorm

What issues, topics, and ideas do you want to hear discussed at TransparencyCamp 2014? 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 on Day One.

  • 74

    Bringing Government Data to Life

    Submitted on 05/12 5:01 p.m. by Corby Hobbs |

    In the context of open government data, data "availability" and data "accessibility" often mean two different things. At FindTheBest Government (, we relish in taking raw data sets that are available on anything from members of Congress to the federal budget and turning them into easily accessible research tools, letting you sort, filter, and visualize the data to put it into context and draw your own insights.

    In this session, we’ll cover the tricks and open-source tools we use to manipulate data and demo some of the results. Bring your computer because at the end you’ll be ... READ MORE

  • 28

    Using high-tech tools to monitor and manage the world’s forests: Turning information into action

    Submitted on 05/12 2:05 p.m. by Benjamin Jones |

    With the launch of Global Forest Watch (GFW), a new online forest monitoring and alert system, people everywhere now have access to timely, reliable information necessary to stop deforestation. However, information alone cannot lead to real-world change—it takes the work of communities, organizations, and other stakeholders to turn data into action.

    During our session, we will explore through demonstration, working groups, and discussion how:
    - cutting-edge tools can be used to better manage and monitor forests
    - we can empower different sectors to use GFW and other information tools to affect concrete change

    Participants will interact with GFW to ... READ MORE

  • 26

    Where is the useful data?

    Submitted on 05/13 1:53 p.m. by Paul Baker and Elnaz Moshfeghian, Webitects | Chicago node of the Open Data Institute |

    Let’s say you’re working on a project to compare how US school districts measure teacher performance and are looking for relevant data. Even if all available data were in portals, and you could search across all portals, you would get so many results that finding relevant ones would be daunting and expensive.

    What if you could ask the open data community for a show of hands? Which of these data sets have you used? How have you used them? What other data have you used with them?

    If open data users registered their projects and the ... READ MORE

  • 22

    #OpenGovNow: Innovations on gathering citizen feedback

    Submitted on 03/31 6:42 p.m. by Felipe Estefan |

    Citizen feedback is a key component of open government and open development. Emerging tools and approaches are allowing us to be smarter and more effective about gathering citizen-generated data in real time. Using the example of the Global Opening Government Survey, conducted using the "Random Domain Intercept Technology", as the starting point, the session will seek to explore the value of gathering citizen feedback and will allow for exchanges on innovative methods and tools to do so. Participants will also be able to work together to identify areas where citizen feedback could add the most value, while also sharing potential ... READ MORE

  • 22

    Populating an Open Techpolicy Dictionary

    Submitted on 04/02 4:03 p.m. by The Governance Lab @NYU |

    At the Governance Lab @NYU, we study new ways to solve governance issues using advances in science and technology, and test novel approaches within real-world institutions. In our work in the field of information communications technology (ICT) policy, we’ve noticed there are major barriers to progress that exist because of differences in the jargon and terminology used by technologists versus policymakers. While policymakers often lack an in-depth understand of technological processes and infrastructure informing policy, technologists are often unaware of the laws, regulations and other governance structures governing communications technologies.

    In an effort to shine more light on the field, ... READ MORE

  • 20

    Maps are lame!

    Submitted on 02/24 3:46 p.m. by Ben Chartoff |

    We'll take a look at some maps with a critical eye. Find out what makes a map effective or deceptive. See some common missteps, as well as some best practices.


  • 20

    Opening Government with Human-Centered Design

    Submitted on 02/24 3:33 p.m. by Dan Drinkard |

    Human-centered design is a process and set of techniques for finding solutions to problems that the people we're designing for actually have. Let's discuss how actually talking to real people can inform the decisions we make as open government advocates.


  • 19

    Using open data to enable better philanthropy and international aid

    Submitted on 03/15 12:55 p.m. by Michael Lenczner |

    Data about the non-profit sector is a key resource for grant-makers. As the availability of open charity data looms on the horizon, come listen to exotic Canadians ( tell wondrous tales of how they use open data to help funders. Participants will explore future applications of linking 990 tax returns, international aid data, government spending data, incorporation data, and non-profits’ digital footprints.


  • 17

    Open Data From The Inside

    Submitted on 03/30 5:32 p.m. by Mark Headd |

    Find out what it's like to implement a municipal open data policy from the inside from the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. We'll discuss what worked well, what didn't work well and ways that other cities and states can learn from the experience of Philadelphia.


  • 17

    Open Local Government Financial Data: Standardized and Machine Readable

    Submitted on 03/28 5:13 p.m. by Marc Joffe |

    Cities, counties and other local governments publish audited annual reports listing revenues, expenses and debts. Unfortunately, this data is typically reported in PDF form and not fully aggregated on a publicly-available platform. As a result it is difficult to compare government financial performance and identify the next Detroit before it happens. Thanks in part to a Sunlight Foundation OpenGov grant, we have put many of these financial statements for California local governments on line at We have also scraped some key data points and calculated credit risk scores for each government. Let's discuss how this effort can ... READ MORE

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