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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    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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    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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    Civic Hacker 2.0 - A local civic innovation fellowship program for your city!

    Submitted on 09/04 9:58 a.m. by Noel Hidalgo |

    This year, the Manhattan Borough President's Office, BetaNYC, and Data and Society will launch the NYC Civic Innovation Fellows (CIF) program. This project offers a curriculum and fellowship program that is designed to enhance the basic digital literacy skills of Community Board Members and public University students. For a period of six months, twelve CUNY Service Corp Fellows, selected for competency in a variety of relevant skills, will be assigned and partnered with one of twelve participating Manhattan Community Boards. It is our objective to empower these students and boards to develop open data best practices appropriate for the local ... READ MORE

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    Communicating Data as Part of Your Open Data Strategy

    Submitted on 09/04 10:05 a.m. by Brian Pagels |

    Too often organizations declare victory in providing access to data, without considering how different types of users want to consume and/or make use of the data. In this session, we'll share Forum One's framework for communicating data to different audience types and discuss real-world applications for civic and 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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    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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    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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    Opening Your Data 4 Humans

    Submitted on 08/27 11:05 a.m. by Daniel Bennett |

    In the rush by geeks to define "open data" as really only being open to geeks, we are all missing the potential of open data.

    Open source is not the same as open standards. Open source may also use proprietary standards for the data.

    If the public must depend on non-authoritative sources for the data, because the published data is not human presentable and meeting the Section 508 regs, we may be setting up ourselves for failure.

    If the data is not:
    *citable at a granular level/datum
    *human presentable
    *available in a non-normalized version
    *without ... READ MORE

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