Hackathons entered the vernacular a long time ago and are a far more identifiable concept than open data, which is often the stuff that powers much of what hackathons seek to accomplish (creating – or hacking together – something, usually software or a software-related outcome, that fills a need not otherwise being met). So it’s exciting to see the private sector, embodied by Zillow, the wildly successful online real estate database that just moved the stock market on Friday on rumors of the potential close of a merger with Trulia, sponsor a nice monetary prize while also promoting the value of being able to access open data.
“As part of the event, participants will have access to newly released government data sets on topics like federal housing programs; apartment buildings with accessible apartments; and transit information,” Zillow added. “In addition, Zillow will make available its data on home values and rents.”
As more and more data sets are made available, and more and more people – inside and outside of government – get curious about or already know what to do with those data sets, the more innovation and entrepreneurship we will see. What Northeast Ohio data sets, if liberated, could spur such creativity and productivity?