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Metro Newsroom

City Joins National Day of Hacking

Thursday May 30, 2013

Louisville will host one of more than100 events taking place throughout the U.S. on June 1st and 2nd as part of National Day of Civic Hacking. This is an opportunity for government agencies, businesses, nonprofits and civically-engaged individuals to work together to solve complex social problems using government data.

“Events like these pull together creative and technology-driven minds to collaborate and drive discussions on how we can improve people’s daily lives through technology,” Mayor Fischer said. “No idea is too strange or too bold. We want to see interesting ideas and innovation at work.”

Over 5,000 participants are expected to gather across the nation to leverage new data sets from local and federal agencies to create impactful, technology-based tools and services. The initiative is based on event models created by Code for America, Random Hacks of Kindness, and Innovation Endeavors. And because this is a grassroots initiative, local organizers such as Michael Schnuerle of Your Mapper and the municipalities they are working with, are adapting these models to create their own, unique experiences.

The Hackathon will take place on Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at iHub, 204 South Floyd Street. Space is limited. To register, visit

Participants gathering at Nucleus’ iHub will use their diverse expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to make an impact on Louisville. Louisville is leading the way by opening public data for engaged citizens to use at events like this. Participating government agencies include NASA, the Census Bureau, FEMA, The White House Office of Digital Strategy, and the Department of Labor to name just a few. A showcase of projects that emerge from National Day of Civic Hacking will be featured at an event at the White House in the end of July, in tandem with the President’s focus on STEM education.

The event is a call to action for anyone in Louisville who wants to make an impact; anyone can get involved, no matter the professional experience. Projects can address any challenge facing the community: from a mobile app drivers can use to report potholes, to platforms that address food and housing distribution for those in need. The civic hacking event will illustrate the power of open government practices, particularly where data is readily available to support meaningful collaboration between the public and private sectors.

It also is an illustration of how the innovation community is active in all cities and towns in America; it’s not limited to Silicon Valley. The partners creating this initiative are eager to catalyze new innovation ecosystems and elevate the visibility of existing tech and creative communities throughout the country.

“After winning a previous hackathon with the SafetyCheck app, I wanted to give other local developers the chance to build something, and get involved in local civic volunteerism,” said Michael Schnuerle, organizer of the Louisville hackathon. “This event will be community building, and raise awareness for what can be done by developers to help citizens solve problems using open data. Lexington, KY is also hosting an event, using Lexington's open data portal, making the effort a state-wide collaboration.”

For more information on the Louisville event, visit:

For more information about the national initiative, visit:

For the public datasets, visit:

For the hacker challenges, visit:


What is a hacker?

A hacker is someone who uses a minimum of resources and a maximum of brainpower and ingenuity to create, enhance or fix something.

Civic hackers, as we think about it for the National Day of Civic Hacking, are engineers, technologists, civil servants, community members, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, entrepreneurs – anybody who is willing to collaborate with others to create, build, and invent open source solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, and our country.

Additional Sponsors include:

Intel, Rally for Impact, Code for Good, Second Muse, Socrata, and Edelman.


Michael Schnuerle, 502-295-0396