The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that its new City SDK will sit as the centerpiece of one of the challenges at the upcoming National Day of Civic Hacking. The City SDK makes the bureau's API easier to use by providing a toolbox to easily connect third-party APIs to the bureau's national and local public data. The City SDK Data Solutions Challenge that will take place at the National Day of Civic Hacking invites developers to leverage the SDK while building an app that addresses a city-specific sustainability problem.
The challenge opens on June 6, during the broader civic hacking event, and closes on July 31. The specific challenge encourages participation by anyone with a passion to improve a city. The broad challenge guidelines require participants to build a solution based on the City SDK. To be considered for the Virtual Demo Day presentation (to occur mid-August), a participant should use at least one city data set and two distinct federal data sets, and submit the project.
Those interested should register for a developer key. Complete solutions should be posted at the Challenge.gov site. If you plan on attending the National Day of Civic Hacking, sign up here. To follow City SDK developments and discuss the SDK with other developers, join the #citySDK movement.
The new SDK and the bureau's participation in the National Day of Civic Hacking fit nicely into the Open Government Initiative. The Census Bureau has existed for more than 70 years. However, in recent years, the bureau has made serious innovative moves that keep it at the forefront of digital government strategies. The mobile apps economy, an open API, the new City SDK and many other strategies demonstrate the bureau's dedication to meet its longstanding mission with cutting-edge technology.