What issues, topics, and ideas do you want to hear discussed at TransparencyCamp 2013? 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 TCamp13, the most popular events from this forum will become the first sessions on Day One of the Camp.
Voting is now closed. Folks will be notified in advance if their session made it into the starting block. If your session wasn't picked, you can always submit your talk during the normal wall-setting on Saturday.
Governments and organizations have been releasing information to the public for years. Federal government has made local, state and federal data available online. Local governments are now creating transparency systems that allow citizens to view data. However, these sources do not typically integrate, or present the data in a way that allows people to understand and gain insightful analysis from it. Both citizens and local governments seem to be drowning in data, but thirsty for information.
During this session, we will talk about what types of data is available at both a federal and local level and why this data ... READ MORE
You've worked tirelessly creating a data set that you're proud of, and now you want to share it with the world! Whether it's the results from research, an annual report, or a hodgepodge of repurposed data, learn the best practices for formatting, licensing, and distributing your organization's data. The non-technical are especiallyREAD MORE
invited to learn the ABCs of CSV, XML, and JSON! Data hackers, programmers, activists, and members of the public will love you and your data after you attend this session!
From Anecdote to Evidence in Transparency Policy: thinking through what works, what doesn’t and why?
In recent years, governments and civil society organizations around the world have begun experimenting with open data, transparency, and open government, implementing a wide range of new transparency policies.
The time has come to start assessing the impacts of these policies. At Sunlight, we’ve launched a new Transparency Case Study Initiative. We want to ask some big questions about how to make sense of what’s happening on the ground, to move from anecdote to evidence. We want to know what works, what doesn’t, and, most importantly, why?
And we want to learn together. In the open and collaborative spirit ... READ MORE
When it comes to open data, much has been done around what we can publish, but much more can be done on identifying what others might need and want (http://bit.ly/OpenDataDemand). Many open data initiatives have been started as supply-driven efforts seeking to increase transparency and leverage new information dissemination technologies--and that's been a good way to start. However, being supply-driven is not the only way forward--a genuinely demand-driven approach would allow data providers to respond to, rather than anticipate, the data needs of users.
So what is the demand for open data? This is a simple ... READ MORE
Nonprofit's special status as tax-exempt orgs are regulated by the government, which means they play a part in the OpenGov scene. Let's talk about what's easily available, what you can fight for, and the recently released electronic database of 990 data for 2012.READ MORE
We'll do a mini-tutorial on asking questions to a live API, and using simple command line tools to transform the answers (data) into a spreadsheet that you're used to working with. It'll be a bit of a whirlwind in the 45 minutes we have, but you'll learn a lot, and no coding required!READ MORE
A fundamental purpose of journalism in the United States is to inform citizens, so that they can effectively engage in democratic self-governance. The ongoing disappearance of local newspapers in the digital era is well known, resulting in the decline of traditional watchdog journalism at the local and state levels. There are discussions of “news deserts” and unchecked malfeasance by elected officials. At the same time, we're seeing the rise of citizen journalists, the growth of organizations that harvest, enhance, and distribute an ever-expanding range of data on government activities, and the creation of new opportunities to share, discuss, and analyze ... READ MORE
Open data is only as good as the integrity of its presenters. We've all seen charts and infographics that only tell one side of the story--and heard their presenters insist the findings are accurate, because they're "based on data." Let's talk about common ways data are misinterpreted and manipulated for presentation--and how to spot them. Data integrity is key for our staff (we're journalists), but we'd love to see it spill into the attitudes of everyone else working with and presenting data in the field.READ MORE
Open Source has changed the way we build the internet, but can the core principles of open source -- open, no-fault, forkability -- be applied to the act of governing? Can we adapt the open source ethos to build an open source culture around open data, rather than just releasing it? What about open source legislation? How can we bridge the public/private gap and begin creating collaborative commons around shared challenges? Will the revolution be forked?READ MORE
Want to help the transparency community but aren't sure where to start? Lots of projects are open source, but may not have the documentation or help available to help you get started contributing right away. Here are 10 projects that you can jump into right now. Audience participation welcome!READ MORE
A major barrier to increased re-use of the growing number of open-source civic tools is the lack of agreement on how to name things. To give a very simple example: if one project's elected officials API calls a person’s name "name" and another calls it "full_name", and you're writing a Q&A platform to ask questions to these elected officials, you'll need to write an adapter for each API. Committing to a standard way of naming things would maximize interoperability, reduce wheel reinvention and make re-use that much easier.
This session is for anyone who can benefit from standards in their ... READ MORE
Transparency has a PR problem. All of us at Transparency Camp have drunk the Kool Aid, but outside of our bubble there are thousands of decision makers who are wary and distrustful of the things we talk about. Terms like "open data" conjure security concerns, and "transparency" just seems like a inviting constant scrutiny over how you and your staff do your jobs. Overall, there are looming questions of "why should we do this?".
A combination of messaging and education is needed to increase the reach of transparency advocates. In this session, we would examine the problem (for the benefit ... READ MORE
Persuading data owners to publish openly. Building useful tools off existing datasets. Assessing the potential value of new data projects. Working with data involves building narratives -- about what government is doing, what citizens need, and where change is necessary. This session will provide a narrative toolkit to help you build more persuasive stories about your work and its potential.
We'll cover storytelling tools from the strategic to the tactical: theory of change, to describe how your project affects the world writ large; user stories, to help define how you're working with specific audiences; and public narrative, to build relationships ... READ MORE
The ideal of a “digital city” has left us an opportunity to create a hyperconnected roadmap to the future. As we feel our current infrastructure struggling to accomplish its goal of effectively and efficiently supporting the masses, New York City is building a collaborative path forward. Miming the message of the seminal pamphlet we ask, "What is to be done?"
We reply with, “The current times charge those of us who are of a civic-mind to scaffold a community that can properly advocate for and serve us as citizens in this new model.”
#betaNYC, as part of the Code ... READ MORE
New York, like your state and your city, is a fiscal black hole. Do you know which businesses are getting billions in state business tax credits? Who is getting hundreds of millions in benefits from tax free state and local govt bonds? Who the subcontractors are getting paid billions in gov contracts --- and what those contracts for? In the last year, NYC and State have launched extensive, sophisticated, online transparency and financial reporting systems --- yet it's still damnably hard to find basic information about who is getting what from government, and how big interest groups reward their political ... READ MORE
DemocracyMap, OpenStates, PopIt, Represent, Google Civic Information API, Azavea Cicero ... there are a lot of APIs to find elected officials and electoral districts by postal code or address. Proposed questions for discussion:
1. How can we ensure that these sorts of projects are financially sustainable?
2. How can we move towards governments publishing this information in a common format?
3. What should a data standard for elected officials and electoral boundaries look like?
4. What tools do advocacy groups with limited developer resources need to make the most of these APIs?
5. How do we keep volunteers engaged in ... READ MORE
Last year, we tried to figure out how journalists, hackers and open gov all worked together - what could be done well, what this all meant - and what the future was for communicating messages and information to a broader public. The goal here would be to continue this conversation among a diverse audience.READ MORE
Collections of documents are frequently released as part of lawsuits or government declassification. For larger collections, it can be difficult to find important documents, discover themes or connections among documents, or even just get a good summary of the contents. Many computational methods and models from the machine learning and natural language processing communities can help solve these problems. Let's explore these ideas and some available software to help process large document collections more quickly and thoroughly.READ MORE
During the 112th Congress, the transparency community mobilized to support such U.S. legislative proposals as the DATA Act and the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act, which would have required federal spending and agency reports, respectively, to be published in open formats. The Data Transparency Coalition is seeking your suggestions on how to incorporate these ideas and others into a comprehensive legislative agenda. There is not yet a clear consensus on what the full landscape of open data mandates - spending, performance, regulation, legislative text, judicial filings, etc. - should look like. Let's build one! Which federal data compilations need ... READ MORE
Posting new ideas has been disabled for this site.