A group of ‘civic hackers’ worked for 8 hours Saturday at Peoria Civic Center to build an open data portal. About 30 people came together to work as fast as possible to build the framework for what organizer Peter Kobak says is something Peoria is 5-10 years behind on.
The open data portal already has a website, OpenPeoria.com. Kobak said it, “Basically connects all of the data the city produces. Say like potholes, evictions, the budget. It makes that data accessible to anyone.” Kobak said there are many cities across the country, bigger and smaller than Peoria, that already have portals like this in place. And the data can be used by anyone, for a multitude of reasons. “It helps journalists to be able to hold our elected officials accountable. It helps advocates in the community to know what’s going on. And it helps busines owners to make businesses based off this data,” exlpained Kobak.
The group started at 9:00 am at the Peoria Civic Center and worked until 5:00 pm. Koback described the ‘Hackathon’ as a sprint in what is a long distance race. They work to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time, but there is still a long way to go. Peoria Innovation Alliance will be housing the project as it continues after the initial hackathon.