On Saturday June 1st, Civic Hackers across America united with a common thread, to change their communities by creating new mobile, web and social applications during the National Day of Civic Hacking. One Utah group in particular, Open Salt Lake, held Hack for Salt Lake, an event sponsored by Accela. At the hackathon, civic hackers worked with the City to access the Accela Automation system via the Accela Civic Platform, leading to the creation of a mobile application code named “Taco Cart.”
The Taco Cart app was designed to solve for an existing problem facing Salt Lake residents today: locating the many food carts scattered across the city. While most citizens know these carts exist, their specific location is primarily spread by word of mouth alone. Furthermore, most cart owners have no simple way to post their locations online. But through their use of Accela Automation, the City tracks the locations of the various food carts, and by partnering with civic hackers, new applications like Taco Cart are being developed.
By providing an open platform, third party developers can build apps on the data sets traditionally only available to government agencies. At the end of the day, it means more great apps that help citizens, businesses and governments connect, find and utilize information, and build great communities.
You can read more about Open Salt Lake and the recent event at: http://www.slugmag.com/articles/5593/Civic-Day-of-Hacking-0601.html.