We love open government and open data — it’s what makes much of our work possible — and that’s why the CFA Philly team is spending time in our last week in Philadelphia to spread the open data message. And we certainty aren’t alone. Last night we held a Digital Philly Open Data event, graciously co-hosted by Young Involved Philadelphia and Technically Philly, in the lovely Corzo Center of the University of the Arts. Over 60 Philadelphians packed the hall to talk about what kind of data we want from government and what we’d could accomplish with it.

Philadelphians Who Love Data

In the panel discussion, CFA fellow Aaron Ogle made an emotional case for the importane of government opening data, describing it as a crucial way for citizens to engage, understand, and influence how the city works. “This is our community, this is our home, and we want to start taking some of these problems in our own hands.”

After the panel, the Code for America fellows split the audience into smaller groups, and we invited Philadelphians to tell us what data they would want to see.

CFA Fellow Mjumbe Poe Listens to Philly

We got some great ideas, like trying to develop a way to map out what neighborhoods would be affected by upcoming city legisalation, getting more detail on police action, making zoning data easy to access, and more. Video highlights from the event, courtesy of Technically Philly, are below.

And we’re not done. Tomorrow (February 25th) Code for America and local GIS extraordinaires Azavea will be hosting Data Camp Philly. Hosted at Azavea’s wonderful office, Data Camp is a one-day “hackathon” focusing on bringing together city data and civic-minded technologists to build apps. We’re going to demo an app we built at an earlier meetup, give tutorials on skills and practices we’ve learned, and generally bask in the glory of open government data.

So get your open data on with us tomorrow. Anyone who is interested in research, design, or software development is welcome! Register here for Data Camp.