The nine teams of Hack Omaha, a public data competition
Nate Benes of the HSW Project (left) speaks with Hack Omaha mentor Ben Vankat.
Hack Omaha, a weekend programming competition during which participants are challenged to turn a local dataset of public government information into something useful, is off and running with more than 50 developers, designers, journalists and civic instigators gathered in the Omaha World-Herald building's first and second floors. The inaugural event kicked off Friday evening with presentations from Matt Waite, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln journalism professor, and our own Dusty Davidson, the CEO of Silicon Prairie News and co-founder of Layeredi. Over lunch today, Chris Augeri, PhD, the lead curator for the MightyMoRiver project, also presented.
Matt Waite helped to inspire ideas around data-drive apps by presenting past and current projects of his own, including the Pulitzer Prize winning website PolitiFact.
Update April 16 - When published, this post reported eight teams at Hack Omaha. The competition had nine teams. This post has been edited to reflect that fact.
Run much like a Startup Weekend, participants will have until 6 p.m. tomorrow to put together a prototype and slide deck and then deliver a short pitch to a panel of judges, consisting of civic and industry leaders, journalists and developers.
What makes Hack Omaha unique, however, is that for an app to compete, it'll need to involve some set of local government data (Hack Omaha provided several). The projects will be judged on revelation – "all products should answer a question or tell people something they didn't know – completion, creativity and design.
More than 50 developers, designers, journalists and civic instigators are spending their weekend in the Omaha World-Herald building in downtown Omaha.
Learn more about Hack Omaha: "World-Herald to host programming competition Hack Omaha in April"
Here are the nine projects of the inaugural Hack Omaha:
Description: An interactive Omaha crime heat map
Description: "The Price is Right" for stolen property values
Data: Crime property
Description: Map of safe places for your kids to play
Data: Parks directory from City of Omaha
Team: Rob Jensen
Valuation Comparison Interface
Description: A way to see property value with statistical analysis, such as seeing price of other properties on a curve
Data: Property valuations from Douglas County
Description: Showing relationships that form between donors and legislators
Data: Campaign finance
Slum Lord Next Door
Description: Tool to search your neighborhood for major landowners and code violators
Data: Land parcel owners, building code violations and home sales
Is It Clean
Description: Mobile app that makes it easy to find out if where you're going to eat is safe
Data: Restaurant inspections
Omaha Food Fight
Description: A mobile game where you try to guess which restaurants have the best food inspection ratings.
Data: Restaurant inspections
Voting Registration App
Description: An app making voter registration data easy to search
Data: Voter registration
Credits: Photos by Danny Schreiber. Google+ Hangout screenshot courtesy of Matt Steele.
Disclosure: Silicon Prairie News is a media sponsor of Hack Omaha.