CityCamp considers civic computing

Ikaika M Hussey

A movement to transform citizen interaction with city government is underway. 140 programmers, designers, students, and city employees gathered Saturday for CityCamp Honolulu, an unconference focusing on open-government technologies to make Honolulu residents a bit easier.

The value proposition is this: If government will open up access to its data, programmers, designers, and journalists will be able to build technology that empower citizens.

For those who’ve combed through government documents for budget info, waited in interminable lines for permits and vehicle registrations, or wanted to get quick info about bus arrivals, the movement towards civic-oriented technology is welcome.

If advocates such as Forest Frizzell and Burt Lum have their way, Saturday’s discussion was the hors d’oeuvres for a year of data and app feasting. Up next: a hack-a-thon in mid-January, to build the apps envisioned by CItyCamp attendees. Stay tuned!