An archive of the main event page here:

New Volunteer Presentation

Google Document Presentation on Akron Civic Hackathon 2014 for new volunteers and attendees <– Start Here

Photos from the event



I’d like to thank the following for making this event a reality:


Five W’s

What: Akron Civic Hackathon (part of National Day of Civic Hacking)

Where: OSC Tech Lab, 12 East Exchange Street, Akron, Ohio 44319 (osctechlab.com)

Who: Event organized by G (or Gaurav N. Saxena) – gsvolt7@gmail.com – 3302834972 with help from lot of individuals and companies

Why: Because sometimes our government managers and team leaders have problems that civilian developers work in the free market can help them with. This event is a vehicle that allows those conversations to take place. The goal is to generate maximum civic impact.

When: 5/31 9a-5p 6/1 9a-5p

 National Day of Civic Hacking

National Day of Civic Hacking is an international event that will take place May 31 – June 1, 2014, in cities around the world. The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to improve our communities and the governments that serve them.  Anyone can participate; you don’t have to be an expert in technology, you just have to care about your neighborhood and community.

Globally, a few challenges have been made available for event attendees. Learn more about them here:


It wouldn’t be a hackathon without data.

Find lots of data at these fine places:

Keep up with the latest National Day of Civic Hacking news here:


 Akron Civic Hackathon

Greetings, this is G.

Akron Civic Hackathon is being organized by me in downtown Akron.

This is a follow up to my own call for help for the month of May 2014 I published on May 6th. I am excited after all.

Since my call for help, I have found an overwhelming response from the Akron community.

So, I decided to help organize this event and see it through.

This event  will be is sponsored by Knight Foundation and will be is going to be held at OSC Tech Lab in downtown Akron. Light refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Every participant will get one complimentary CR2032 battery, one 7 color changing LED light bulb and some tape to light it up. This activity is particularly great for kids.

City of Akron Department of Economic Development


City of Akron Department of Economic Development

City of Akron Department of Economic Development

During this event we will be welcoming the Economic Department of Akron that has agreed to participate in the hackathon with their data problem. It involves helping them creating a database that would allow their raw information to be used by other internal tools. (More details to follow).

akron river

Official details:

The ability to accurately track historical project data and project expenditures is a critical function of a planning organization.   Most municipal projects can be classified into a finite number of categories such as transportation, parks, or housing.   During the early phases of a new project, the planning organization is tasked with defining both the both scope, and type, of project to be implemented.   As the project is designed, and then constructed, key information (such as cost, project timeframe, and funding) is documented and stored for future reporting.

The city of Akron is currently pursuing the development of a data collection and reporting system that will allow project data input and project reporting to be completed in a reasonably simple fashion. This program contemplates the use of a database to accurately collect and report this information. Project reporting often needs to answer questions such as:

  1. What was the project name, scope, and limits?
  2. When was the project started and completed?
  3. What were the expenditures, by year, on the project?
  4. What funding sources(s) were used during the life of the project?

The end product of this initiative will provide a data entry and reporting system that can accurately provide information about city of Akron projects, in a format that addresses the specific question(s) being asked. Once this new information system is complete, our intent is to input data on city of Akron projects dating back to the 1960’s, while also tracking all current and future projects completed by the city of Akron.


East Liverpool Fire Department

East Liverpool Fire Department

East Liverpool Fire Department

I spoke with fire chief Keith at the East Liverpool Department and learned of their gaps in information technology over the phone. I’m happy to share that fire chief Keith plans to host their problem at our event.

Briefly, they want volunteers to help them with:

  1. Creation of a website
  2. Deploy adopt-a-hydrant web application’s code, assuming there is very low budget allocation

Official details:

our goal and plans are to create the adopt a hydrant program to connect the community to fire department more. they can make a difference with a simple task of keeping a hydrant cleared of grass snow or other debris. we are on a very tight budget and cost is a very big issue for us. that’s why we are asking for the help with the adopt a hydrant program. thank you

Fire chief Keith also mentioned that some members of his team will be able to participate in-person at the event, in their official uniforms too! I am honored.

I’m glad volunteers will be able to assist fire chief with these two goals, which I believe are totally achievable during the event.

US Census Bureau, Department of Commerce

Timothy from US Census Bureau’s Department of Commerce will be available for volunteers that would like to hack on their data.

He shared the following two great resources for first time volunteers to get acquainted with the data they possess:

As of 5/12, this is the only governmental problem that has been committed for this hackathon. I am in pursuit of many more problems until the event is organized. So, if you the reader are a manager at any governmental office at the city, township, county level, please contact me at gsvolt7@gmail.com at your convenience.




Last year, volunteers worked on adding data into localwiki’s platform here: http://akron.wikispot.org/Front_Page

This year, LocalWiki plans to migrate Akron data into a newer instance in which all attendees will have the opportunity to add information and make their platform even more locally relevant.

They have joined this hackathon with a unique problem:

To generate highly local information about the City of Akron such that any member of the community can edit it and we can all collaborate and maintain it.

Tiny Circuits

Tiny Circuits

Tiny Circuits

Tiny Circuits has succeeded at shrinking the standard Arduino circuit board to a much smaller size (actually just about a quarter).

They have joined Akron Civic Hackathon as event sponsor and will be participating on Day One to explore how their organization can contribute to our government leaders in any form.

Tiny Circuits has the ability to generate data using their electronic platform, that can be used by civic hackers. Details and opportunities will be discussed during the hackathon for volunteers in case they would like to get access to such data.


When we created SYN/HAK, a 501c3 charitable makerspace in downtown Akron we did not have a way to find other charities around us similar to google maps.

This project will be hacked on together during the event so that we can eventually have such a tool nationally available. It will be based on the following data sets managed by IRS:


Other projects

Attendees are invited to bring their own civic projects so that we can all have a great time making civic change.

Event Schedule

As I get more information about the specifics – food, swag etc. etc. I will update this section.

Definitions of nouns:

  • Problem Owner: Member of a government office that will present their problems to volunteers
  • Volunteers: Members of the community that would like to offer help – technical, non-technical – basically all sorts
  • Organizers: The team of people that will be hosting this event

Volunteers that arrive later during the day will be briefed about problems being solved perpetually during the event.


Day One:

9a-10a: Breakfast and Introductions – Problem Owners from government meet volunteers and describe their problems. Approximately 20 minutes per Problem Owner

Volunteers break out in teams to focus on whichever problem they’d like to assist with

10a-12p: Hack

12p-1p: Lunch; Networking time

1p-4p: Hack

4p-5p: Volunteers stop hacking and present their status to problem owners (or in their absence the organizers), plan for Day two.

We close the day with a group photo, to be published after the event online at this page.

Day Two:

9a-10a: Breakfast and new volunteer welcome

10a-12p: Hack

12p-1p: Lunch; Networking time

1p-4p: Hack

4p-5p: Volunteers stop hacking and present their status to problem owners (or in their absence the organizers), Problem Owners provide instant feedback on volunteer’s efforts.

We close the day with a group photo, to be published after the event online at this page.


Please RSVP over on meetup so we can have an accurate head count and serve attendees in the best way possible:

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