Hillsborough County Hosts Hack-A-Thon, Tampa

For the first time, Hillsborough County is opening up data from several of its departments for Tampa Bay coders, designers and others in the technology community to build apps.

The 3-day Hack-a-thon takes place April 12, 13 and 14 at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus, near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Coders and designers will work in groups to manipulate the data outside of the county’s firewall, so as not to disrupt any programs or services.

Event partners include Hillsborough County, HART, The University of Tampa, University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College and several private sector businesses.

"It’s kind of like the perfect storm," says Lori Hudson, communications and digital media services director for Hillsborough County. "Everybody’s coming together in a really cohesive manner."

Departments providing data include Permitting, Fire Rescue, Emergency Management, Public Works and Animal Services. There will be 75 layers of county facilities and amenities data that can be mapped.

As part of the Open Data Movement, the county hopes to meet citizens where they are by allowing the community to be involved in the design process.

"This will be a way to develop services and products that people in our community will be able to use," says Hudson.

The event is the beginning of an ongoing effort within Hillsborough County government to grow technology and encourage innovative start-ups and small businesses in Tampa Bay.

Students and community designers and developers can register to participate online through April 4.

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Lori Hudson, Hillsborough County

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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