Open Twin Cities Projects
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projectYour Next RepresentativeYour Next Representative is a platform being supported by DataMade and the Knight Foundation for finding out what elections are happening in your neighborhood and who is running. Your Next Representative started life as Your Next MP in the UK, and has become a cleanly designed way to find out who your candidates are, and to help your neighbors by filling in missing information. There's also an API, so you can build tools on top of this crowdsourced data!

Your Next Representative needs data! Find out how to edit candidate profiles and add info at the URL!topic/twin-cities-brigade/SbX4B_Fhp7wactive[Steven Clift]( Internet Searching
projectAdopt-a-Hydrant Twin CitiesAdopt-a-Hydrant allows you to claim a fire hydrant to keep clear of snow so that fire fighters will be able to fight fires more effectively in emergencies.[Bill Bushey]( Javascript
- UI
- Ruby
- Project Management
projectAdopt-a-Tree MinneapolisAs part of a public awareness campaign of the Minneapolis Park Board and Brewing A Better Forest, Adopt-a-Tree helps residents find trees in need of watering and pledge to keep trees from going thirsty.[Bill Bushey]( Javascript
- UI
- Ruby
- Project Management
projectMinnesota Data CollectionAn advanced Google spreadsheet collecting and cataloging 1000's of datasets available for Minnesota. Including a single place to search for links to datasets included on MetroGIS, MNGeo, MN DNR, and more. Open Data Day Hackathon
projectOMGTransitOMG Transit helps you get from A to B without a car. It provides real-time transit information and schedules, including many different forms of transit (buses, light rail, trains, bike shares, car shares, etc...). They're growing fast, so look for OMG Transit in your city soon! for MN 2013
projectMy Favorite Meeting PlaceCrowd sourced database of public meeting locations in the Twin Cities
projectMunicipal Equality IndexData from the Municipal Equality Index. This is a report from the Human Rights Campaign that scores municipalities on LGBT equality issues. Scraped the data from the website, converted it to HTML, and added latitudes and longitudes.
Data Visualization
projectViciniSpeak to your neighbors. Listen to what they have to say. Only communicate with people within a clear geographic area. Only follow topics that interest you.
Have you ever wanted to stand on your front step and yell a message to all your neighbors? Tell them that your cat is missing? Find out if that strange car is really abandoned? Ask to borrow a ladder? Give away extra produce from your garden?
Have you ever wanted to stand on your front step and yell a message to all your neighbors? Tell them that your cat is missing? Find out if that strange car is really abandoned? Ask to borrow a ladder? Give away extra produce from your garden?
This is Vicini. Ruby
- Geospatial Developement
projectMinnesotaData.comMinnesotaData is a repository of access procedures, policies, retention schedules, and data inventories of Minnesota state, regional, county, and municipal government agencies for use by students, researchers, historians, attorneys, and the general public. HTML
- Backend Webapp (PHP, Ruby, or Python)
- Knowledge of DPA Request procedures across Minnesota
projectAmbitorA tool to help plan outdoor trips, such as to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, based on entry points, length of visit, desired physical rigor, etc..., using data from the [Department of Natural Resources Data Deli](, [Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness](, and [OpenStreetMap](http://www.openstreet[ [Slides](
- [Video](
- [Github](
unknown[Ray Finzel]( Code 2014
projectCivic Social Media FinderAggregation of legislators’ social media profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, LInkedIn, etc. in one place. Created a [social media spreadsheet]( hosted on Google that can updated by the public, and a [Github repository]( for a [demo application]( that maps spreadsheet data.- [Slides](
- [Video](
- [Notes](
- [Github](
- [Demo](
- [Crowdsourced Legislator Social Media](
active[Steven Clift]( Internet Sleuthing
- Ruby
- Javascript
- Mapping
Capitol Code 2014
projectImmigration to MN VisualizationCleaned and matched-up data to produce visualizations showing the most common countries of origin for immigrants moving to Minnesota between 1990 and 2010. Uses [Immigration Data]( from the State Demographic Center.- [Slides](
- [Video](
- [Github](
- [Demo](
unknown[Kristina Durivage]( Code 2014
projectMyCivicVoter engagement tool that confirms voter registration status and provides detailed information about ones’ representatives and upcoming elections. Combines data from the Polling Place Finder ([Download]( - [API](, [Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate membership data](, Office of the Secretary of State Voter Registration Status lookup, and the Civic Social Media Finder’s social media map.- [Slides](
- [Video](
unknown[Eric Margolis]( Code 2014
projectPeople of Color MNPromoting and Supporting People of Color in Business in Minnesota

* Online tools for reaching and encouraging the diversity of incoming population
* Develop pipeline by matching constituents with economic development opportunities
* Create and provide mentoring from resident entrepreneurs and business professional
- [Slides](
- [Video](
- [Blog](
unknown[David Edgerton Jr.]( Code 2014
ideaPublic Data EcosystemSystem architecture for a state wide public data ecosystem, including an "API Store" that allows developers to find all publicly available government APIs in the state, and a portal containing templates that end users can apply to APIs to view human consumable displays of publicly available government APIs.- Slides: [Download]( -
[View Online](
- [Video](
- [Blog Post](
unknown[David Ching]( Code 2014
projectThe Trojan Horse RadishMapping tool aggregating food resources in Minnesota. People can find where their food comes from to make informed choices about what they eat. Mashes up data from the [Department of Natural Resources](, [Minnesota Department Agriculture](, []( and [MetroGIS]( [Slides](
- [Video](
- [Demo](
unknown[Justin Moen]( Code 2014
projectVoter RegistrationMashed up data from the voter registration by precinct dataset ([download]( - [API]( with [Census data](, and created a project plan to help community organizers and political activists identify underrepresented, unregistered voters in order to direct registration and political action activities.- [Slides](
- [Video](
unknown[Colin Lee]( Code 2014
ideaVoter Wait TimeProject proposal to build a technology that allows voters at the polling place to report via text how long they have waited to vote, allow citizens to see what the wait time is at their polling place, and allow administrators to see average wait times across precincts- [Slides](
- [Video](
unknown[Secretary Mark Ritchie]( Code 2014
deploy-it-hereWe The People (Government Petitioning Platform)*Adapted from*
The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People provides a new way to petition the officials to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. If a petition gets enough support, staff will review it, ensure it’s sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
- [Github](
- [White House site](
unknown- Drupal
- government connections
deploy-it-hereTwin Cities - A Peoples' HistoryInspired by the Bay Area Regional History timeline; use Tiki-Toki to create a crowd sourced timeline (or multiple timelines) of the historical experiences of people of color in the Twin Cities.- [Bay Area Demo](!date=1969-06-18_12:06:45!)
- <>
unknown- Knowledge or Interest in local history
add-mn-to-itOpenRFPsThe Open RFPs Project is modeled after Sunlight Labs' OpenStates. Open RFPs collects and makes available data about contracting activities, including RFP listings as well as awards, and makes that information available in a standardized format.

Adding MN to OpenRFPs involves two steps:

1. Add a link to the State's RFP listing site
2. Write a scraper so OpenRFPs can include MN RFP data
- [List of State Procurement Sites](
- <>
- [Annoucement Post](
unknown- Knowledge of MN RFP/Contracting
- JavaScript
- Scraping
add-mn-to-itOpen Data CensusThe first step in making data actionable is to make sure the data is easily accessible. Many cities, whether they have an open data policy in place or not, have work to do in terms of making datasets open and available online. Do an evaluation of where your city stands on releasing our landscape of datasets openly and work with your municipal partners to come up with a plan for making all of them open and available in 2014.

To add info about a dataset, simply visit, click the blue button at the top right, and answer the questions.
- <>
- [About and Guidance](
unknown- Knowledge of Twin Cities government datasetsCapitol Code 2014
Community Technology Asset SystemPublic access to technology is a valuable resource for residents who lack a computer, software, home or mobile Internet, or digital literacy skills. It's currently difficult for City residents to answer the following questions:
Where can I go to use a computer and the Internet for free? What is open right now or at the time I need the access, including evenings and weekends?
Where can I go to learn the computer and technology skills I need for free or at low cost? Where can I go to take a specific class, and where can I go to get individual help if needed?
What locations offer services in my preferred language?
If I don'tt have access to the Internet, how can I find out about these services, the locations and the hours available?
How can I easily provide this information in a printed format to people in my neighborhood who don't have access?
The City of Minneapolis desires an information system to direct support organizations and residents to publicly available resources.
Design a Centralized Community Technology Resources database (integrate existing resources?) for Minneapolis residents (and beyond!), 311, public computing resource centers etc., with the following desired functionality:
Ability to search for public access computers
Ability to search for computer and technology training
Search/filter b Hours (also by day, eve, weeked, Locatin, Language services offere, Target audienc, Type of training offered (categorAbility to see locations on a map, Print locations with address, phone number, website by geo area (list and map view)
Data export features (integrate with GIS and other tools)
Mobile device friendly
Easy for resource centers to maintain (prevent duplication, streamline, build on what has already been done
Easy for resource seekers to find resources for themselves and clients
Ability to track resource usage
Tool for resource assessment and planning

Some existing data sets:
The Technology Literacy Collaborative website has information about hundreds of Community Technology Centers, however there are opportunities for efficiencies and improvements.
MELSA released a training calendar for metro libraries, which is fabulous, but currently limited to libraries. Datebook: (able to show only computer training)
Comcast has a zip code locator, but data is sparsely populated.
Connect Minnesota is compiling resources:
Connect 2 Compete is launching a tech locator as part of a national campaign in 2013. (aka
United Way 211 (use key words computer lab)
Minneapolis USIW hot spots:
These tools are great, but not integrated or coordinated. How can we leverage resources, prepare for national efforts, streamline for our service providers and communicate cohesively to residents?
Elise Ebhardt
City of Minneapolis, Information Technology
Mary Ann Van Cura
Library Development & Continuing Education Specialist
State Library Services, Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville, MN 55113
651-582-8632 voice 651-582-8752
Realtime Air Quality Measurement and/or alertsThis is currently being done by a city in Serbia as a "Smart Cities" class application:
Sensors are mounted to the top of public transportation vehicles, and the air quality is reported back to a time series database with positional data.
This could be coupled with the realtime bus location idea to provide both gas measurement data and bus location.
The idea of moving gas measurement devices is great because you can cover a much larger swath of the city with fewer sensors.
As a biker in the city, I definitely notice a trend in air quality around rush hour. It would be helpful to be able to quantify this in a more empirical way.
Concerned citizens/businesses/governments could also contribute nodes to the database with their own air quality egg:
If a node comes online, perhaps a "trust rating" field in the database could be added to indicate whether it's a very accurate, regularly calibrated and maintained sensor array - or a low-maintenance citizen deployed node that has never been calibrated.
Hack for MN 2013
Wiki Municipal Tree InventoryWould allow citizens to enter and update location and species of trees on boulevards, parks etc. Could also allow entry of additional attributes such as size, condition, health.
Data accessible to public as well as MPRB for a variety of purposes including maintenance and replacement of boulevard trees as well as tracking progress of disease and infestation of EAB.
I am a Master Gardener and a Certified Tree Inspector and would like to consult on design.
Hack for MN 2013
Real Time Bus Tracking AppIn Seattle, there's an app called OneBusAway (, which provides real-time updates on when to expect your bus. It tells you if the bus will be early, on time, or late, and by how many minutes. It's amazing.
In the Twin Cities, NexTrip and Google maps are all we've got, which are great for planning, but fall flat when it comes to real-time information.
Not sure if real-time bus location data is even available, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If nothing else, we can improve upon the NexTrip UI.
Hack for MN 2013
EPA Safe Drinking Water ChallengeDevelop an application that helps citizens locate their drinking water system, discover any historical or pending violations (including contamination), and understand any potential health effects associated with potential violations.
Full description:
Consider combining with NSF Water Filtration Data:
Hack for MN 2013
Code for Neighbors - A simple neighbor directory appCivic change happens locally, block by block, building by building.
Two key things seem to make a real difference from which community bonds can be built - a lead neighbor who is a "community spark" and a simple directory list of neighbors that includes email and mobile/sms contact information.
So let's build a simple app for Community Sparks and ALL their nearest neighbors to help them get connected and organized. (By "all" I mean the folks across all generations, races, the non-wired, etc.)
Here are some details:
Here is an online group we will use:
Hack for MN 2013
Visualize Human Trafficking in MNVisualize data about human trafficking in MN with the goal of exposing attributes in order to:
(a) Identify perpetrator trafficking centers.
(b) Identify barriers faced by victims seeking help.
(c) Create wider public awareness.
(1) State Survey Data:
2012 Human Trafficking in MN (MN Legislature Report)
(2) National Call Center Data:
2012 MN State Report (National Human Trafficking Resource Center)
(3) Native Women Case Study Data:
2011 Trafficking of Native Women in MN (William Mitchell College of Law)
Hack for MN 2013
Automated telephone polling place finderThe office of the SoS has its precinct finder data available as a CSV file.
This data could be linked up with a VOIP platform like Twilio or Tropo to create a telephone based precinct finder.
1. Usability: The steps required to collect a street address over an automated phone service may not be easy to manage.
2. Scalability: This system would get almost all of its use on one day every two years.
Hack for MN 2013
Steal this idea from Philly: Down to the Parcel, ‘CultureBlocks’ Maps Philly Arts and CulturePhiladelphia just unveiled this website that allows you to visualize all kinds of community assets in one place!
Hack for MN 2013
Mobilize content from the State Law LibraryIn addition to the MN State Law Library's comprehensive search and research capabilities, they aggregate articles from several legal journals, reference and cross-reference briefs, forms and legal decisions -all of which is available online.
The most common content requests, current legal journal articles, recent decisions, etc should be made available on mobile devices for easy look-up and viewing.
A quick mobile form to "ask a law librarian", photocopy, scan or fax materials would allow for deeper research as needed.
Hack for MN 2013
Tutoring websiteStruggling kids need someone to turn to when they don't get what is taught in school, especially if they can't get help at home. A website could provide a tutoring option that is not as high risk as when a student and teacher meet one-on-one. Volunteer tutors could meet with students online (both remaining anonymous). They will communicate via instant messaging and ,for math, a pseudo-keypad (where the teacher controls what is visible to the student) for sending math equations, fractions and the various math symbols.
Hack for MN 2013
PotholesI'm a pretty happy citizen, but I do think we can do more with GPS, mapping, citizen notification, etc. to address potholes.Hack for MN 2013
Tell Me When Street Cleaning IsTwice a year the City of Minneapolis does a much needed cleaning of the streets. Unlike snow emergencies, however, there is not a large media campaign to alert citizens that parking restrictions will be in place. The only real notice that most people see of street cleaning are the temporary signs posted by the city a couple of days before a given street is to be cleaned. For many car owners who use on-street parking and drive infrequently (such as college students), this notice is inadequate since these owns may go several days without visiting the street that their car is parked on. Unfortunately, this can result in expensive tickets and towing fees, expenses that can be prevented by more direct notification of scheduled street cleaning.
The idea is to create a website that will alert you when street cleaning is scheduled to occur on your street.
Hack for MN 2013
Use local advertising within public transit systems and direct fees toward community projects.This idea came to mind and thought I'd generate it to share with the community. Could it work? I have no idea, but I'd like to read the comments that are generated.
Problem: A method to increase funds for community projects.
A solution: Placement of business advertisements within interiors of transit systems that will:
Be business-driven and the revenue generated from advertisement will result in community receiving funds from captured advertisement fees.
Monitor/billboard placed within interior of transit medium, such as a simple plasma monitor.
Advertisers are able to set the advertisement parameters.
Advertisers are able to establish issue ticket.
Advertiser able to establish discount amount.
Advertiser is able to select time slots.
Codes are random generated and filled on time slots.
Can be coupons or discount offers.
Can be display advertisements for services.
Takes advertisement to the local community-level - digitally.
Advertisements are displayed based on upcoming transit stops.
How are advertisements redeemed?
Printer on bus?
Written down and entered at later-time into web-browser?
Fees generated from the sales lead are to be diverted back to the communities of the business.
Separate communities into regions.
Mixture of business dominant versus neighborhood dominant.
Break revenue in a way that supports its surrounding region. As not all regions will generate equal proportions. And the solution is trying to bridge community-gaps.
Dollars from fees must go back to community improvement activities.
Less operational costs of technology.
What the money can be used for?
Community improvement projects.
Educational programs for children.
Extra-curricular programs for children needing direction.
Support neighborhood block parties that bring together communities including surrounding ones.
Neighborhood school improvement.
Technology improvements.
Team building and creative projects for children.
Mentoring and tutoring communities for children.
Issues unaware of:
How much of current advertisement dollars support public transit?
How much does brand advertising generate in revenue dollars to support current transit system? Would this affect their overhead?
Does the current system only use display-based advertisements?
How many of the current advertisements are directed towards local advertising.
What are the current limitations and regulations regarding advertisements within public-transit systems?
How much would local advertisers be willing to pay for services?
A percentage-based fee
Fixed per lead fee
Comparable to Google pricing
How much it would cost to implement its infrastructure
Small scale system?
How many people that ride local public transit system would engage with advertisement?
What's the average income of a rider?
How much of their income is spent on services?
How much of their income is spent on products?
How many riders would actually engage with a retailer or service provider when stepping off the transit medium?
Possible reasons for businesses to adapt and use.
Full-disclosure of fund direction.
The advertising dollars are directed towards their community.
It supports the states already tight public-transit budget.
Increased foot-traffic and revenue.
Possible benefit to government.
Higher use of transit system.
Reduced stress of community-related budget
Improve school technology
Hack for MN 2013
Website that better engages citizens in the government processA website that allows citizens to "edit" the text of state statutes, laws, rules, and legislation, and send these suggestions to the appropriate legislators or state agencies for their consideration. This would help people get more engaged with their state government and literally contribute to the process and provide solutions. It would also be a better way for state officials and legislators to receive feedback and interact with their constituents. With everyone working off the same documents, it additionally would make the governing process more transparent and participatory.
The website would track or consolidate the suggestions so people can see what's trending and popular. This, along with comment and forum features, would allow people to organize around an issue for further discussion, work, and advocacy. The suggestions could also be shared through social media, email, etc.
The site could also include summaries of statutes, laws, rules, legislation, and issues, so citizens better understand them and their purpose and impact. This would include a bill's status in the legislature, if there is a legislative or public hearing, which legislators and outside groups are supportive or opposed, media coverage, related events, etc.
The site could also organize online and/or in-person forums, panels, debates, etc., and have contributors that provide additional insight into policy matters.
Hack for MN 2013
Sustaining Community Twin Cities
Synopsis: Building the power of the crowd to collaborate, solve problems, and accelerate our local responses to climate change.
Individuals and community leaders from public, private, non-profit and government can engage with each other on a completely new level to envision a sustainable future, gain community support and crowd-fund new innovations for energy, water, transit, food, housing and more.
Together, we create our resilient future.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - helps people interested in developing local resilience connect to each other as well as local businesses, non-profits, groups, and government resources while providing tools to work together online to build a more sustainable future for Twin Cities metro area communities.
Through crowd-sourcing it builds a publicly accessible online dataset of individuals and entities with a passion for community resilience increasing their visibility to others who may just be beginning to think about acting for future sustainability.
Minnesota is at the top of the bell curve of temperature increase in the United States and we are already feeling the impacts of climate change in our communities.
Minneapolis was recently ranked in the top 20 communities leading on resilience by ICLEI and has a Climate Action Plan.
What is a Resilient Community?
A resilient community is able to bounce back from disruptions-climate, energy, economic in a sustainable way and maintain a good quality of life for all.
There are many actors in our local businesses, non-profits, groups, congregations, neighborhoods and government that can help us increase our resilience in energy, transit, housing, food and more.
To accelerate building toward a resilient future, we need ways to make local actors and activities more visible within and across communities.
We need to meet changing communication needs as we face new and potentially unexpected challenges.
We need to innovate more quickly by connecting actors for collaboration and crowd-sourcing new ideas as well as by sharing projects that have worked across communities so they can more easily be replicated.
A robust platform that brings all the actors, activities and tools together can make it possible to crowd source our resources, learn from each other, accelerate innovations and even provide crowd-funding mechanisms for new innovations as well as for replication of what's been done successfully in another community. is this platform and its not just for generating innovation between the people using it but the platform itself is built for resilience and innovation so that tools can quickly be added, modified or invented to meet emerging community needs without long build-out times.
I am the web developer for I received one of the first Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College, a leader in innovative environmental education and I have wide-ranging experience in building websites for varied sectors everything from local author, filmmaker, gardening and holistic health practitioner sites to national e-commerce and political platforms as well as international clinical tools.
We are currently collaborating with the Alliance for Sustainability which has been working in our metro area communities for the past 30 years bringing together citizen, government and business leaders to work collaboratively to envision and build sustainable communities and we are collaborating with the Citizens Environmental Advocacy Commission of the City of Minneapolis Sustainability Office.
It has received encouragement from Homegrown Minneapolis, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, DoItGreenMN, the Sierra Club and various other sustainability actors in local communities. innovates the online platform by bringing together, all in one place, many of the latest advances in internet technologies.
It's social network platform is similar to Facebook with pages, groups, videos, photos, and private messaging and includes deep integration with Facebook as well as the convenience of posting once on the “local stream” and having that post propigate to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn simultaneously according to the users choice.
Its crowd-sourced directory and events calendar make it easy for anyone to add listings and events all of which integrate with the a local stream and include WYSIWYG editors, abilities to add photos and videos as well as maps with google geo-location.
The community posting and collaboration tools are where the real flexibility comes into play as the code is structured to be able to add for desired functions very quickly. Currently built are areas to support sharing economies, sharing skills, and to crowd-source opportunities such as jobs, grants, loan programs and volunteering.
Also currently built are areas for collaborative idea generation and community visioning board. Good ideas that arise can then be coupled with the crowd-funding tools to make it easy for local community projects to get going without 501(c)3 status expenses or sending money out of the community to national crowd-funding sites.
Successful collaborative projects can also post information for others to make it easy to replicate good ideas in other communities.
We are currently pursuing several grant opportunities in collaboration with the Alliance for Sustainability and the Minneapolis Citizens Environmental Advisory Commission. is also seeking additional partnerships and collaborations with sustainability focused entities and is working to get the word out through various local events, community posting boards and social media.'s goal is not to out-compete any other business, organization or group working on various aspects of increasing our resilience. Instead, perhaps the most innovative aspect of, our mission is to build our communities competitive advantages in response to climate change by increasing collaboration and cooperation among these varied sectors.
No single entity can tackle the immensity of the climate problem alone. Like nature's resilient eco-systems, we need to build a supportive web that weaves together all the resources in our local communities to meet our sustainability challenges which are intensifying exponentially.
Throughout, is a hybrid and it's business model is as well also termed Social Enterprise.
It's financial sustainability potentials include grants, government and business contracts, subscription fees for featured businesses, crowd-funding tools, business offers and advertising.
Crowd-sourced areas will be freemium- free to use for all with option to upgrade at low-cost for increased visibility and additional features.
The first year will be a time of investment in outreach. Fortunately costs for the site infrastructure itself are quite low. Volunteer staffing is possible but will limit growth to volunteer time available. One full-time paid staff member can manage the site, site moderation and start-up community outreach activities in the first year.
It is hoped that these start-up costs will be funded via grants and/or government contracts. As adoption increases, income from subscription fees and freemium services will develop providing funding for additional staff as needed.
Growth is difficult to predict as it hinges on early adopters. It could grow slowly over time or with just a handful of key local players adopting the platform, it could burst forth as a new key tool for local innovations toward resilience.
The site is nearly entirely built and is currently available to the public. 50 new members have signed up in the past month.
Development of branding is under way which includes development of logo, tagline, user-friendly descriptors for various site areas as well as sector specific value propositions to be integrated on the home page.
Meetings to develop grant proposals are currently occurring as is community outreach.
Hack for MN 2013
Community walkability mapping projectWalkable communities are healthy communities, and there is a growing bike infrastructure in the Twin Cities. While there are several interactive bike maps, I haven't come across any for pedestrians. An interactive community map could help identify walkable spaces and identify areas that need more work. It could include ways to mark broken sidewalks, poor lighting, non-ADA compliance, dangerous intersections, high traffic/high speed areas, barriers to walkability, and track both pedestrian and bike crashes, which are often under-reported. On the positive side, mapping green spaces, pedestrian friendly areas, bus routes, Nice Ride stations, Hour Cars, etc. could draw more attention to walkable areas and provide examples for the areas that need more work.
Hack for MN 2013
Construction WatcherThis isn't MN-specific but it definitely affects me as a Minnesotan. How many times have you driven on the highway only to be greeted by construction you had NO IDEA was going on? Often times, the great state of MN warns you beforehand but we all have busy lives and we tend to forget... so we only find out too late as we're driving into the fray only to experience long delays that could have been avoided had we known beforehand.
It would be nice to have an app that could notify me or keep track of construction projects on major roads or roads I take often (for example, I-94, 35W, 394). This would be great on all platforms but for Windows Phone (which I'm a developer for) this would be great as a Live Tile that updates periodically. I'd totally keep it on my Start screen to stay apprised of road delays.
Hack for MN 2013
Data for reducing transportation costsMinnesota's transportation infrastructure is critical to the state's economy and Minnesotans' way of life. Transportation costs, both in construction/infrastructure spending and in personal costs to use transportation, have continued to rise. There is a greater need for transportation spending than is sustainable, and we need to find ways to reduce our expenditures and make smarter use of our resources.
This idea may be larger than one weekend's work, of course. I would love to see a conversation about the best ways to gather, use, and present data to address this critical issue. MnDOT, the Metropolitan Council, and countless other agencies no doubt have much useful data that could be brought together to help with this problem. Traffic, pedestrian, and bicycle safety data may also be very useful as part of this effort.
Hack for MN 2013
Inclusion 2.0Use open data and radical transparency to transform the way governmental units at all scales execute, and monitor compliance of, minority and women owned business inclusion programs for government contracting and purchasing.
The Twin Cities have some of the highest minority employment disparities in the nation. We also have a documented history of discrimination in contracting and purchasing from minority and women owned businesses. We have extensive programs to address these issues, but our inclusion and compliance practices desperately need modernization.
In our metropolitan area alone there are about 8 billion dollars of public construction projects in the next five years which will be subject to minority and women contracting goals, as well as goals for minority and women hiring. The methods we use to monitor compliance with these goals are dated and ineffective. We need to reinvent inclusion and compliance for the 21st century, and I believe principles of Government 2.0 hold the key to success in this reinvention.
The principles of open data and radical transparency are two keys to a new orientation toward inclusion, including a new approach to compliance and minority/women business certification.
Developing Inclusion 2.0 is too large a task to address at a hackathon, but I would like to generate interest in bringing a team of Code for America Fellows to the Twin Cities to help develop this, or figure out another way to promote a Gov 2.0 approach to business inclusion in government construction and procurement.
Hack for MN 2013
Development Impact Assessment ToolResidents need a good tool to assess the impact of a proposed construction project. Areas of interest include the effects on traffic, parking, tax revenue, local business dollars, street view, shading.
As a specific example, can we provide an information like "parking demand in a 2 block radius will increase by 5%, but parking spots are currently 20% vacant".
The condos are targeted at people with incomes over $150K. These people typically spend 200$/mo in local dollars, which will be a 3% boost.
Hack for MN 2013
Law enforcement data regarding domestic violenceThis idea came from people with the Domestic Abuse Project.
This group gets public data from certain agencies, such as the Minneapolis Police, regarding 911 calls regarding domestic violence. However, this data is apparently not available statewide. People with this group said it would be helpful to have public, aggregate, non-personally-identifiable data regarding 911 calls related to domestic matters statewide. This data could include the number of calls by month to each general location (say, ZIP code) and statistics on the disposition of these calls. The data would help the group see how well their efforts are working at reducing domestic violence across the state and would help them determine more effective uses of their resources.
Hack for MN 2013
Employment data for particular populationsThis idea came from the people at Kaposia, a group providing employment services to individuals with disabilities and the businesses that employ them.
There are apparently several different state agencies, such as DEED and the Department of Education, that have data regarding employment of people with disabilities. I am told that the agencies do not routinely share information with each other and that the information is difficult to access and use. Having a way to gather all this data in one place and make it more usable would be helpful to Kaposia and would help them make better decisions about how to use their resources.
Hack for MN 2013
Crime AlertProvide up-to-date notification of crimes in your area. Portland has an app
that allows you to sign up for a daily feed of crimes in occur near a point of interest. Several of us have already started digging into the Mpls and StP crime data sets and can provide some guidance.
Hack for MN 2013
What data?MN State government has LOTS of public data in existing systems. They don't have a way to prioritize it's exposure.
What's needed: a way to gauge what data is most desirable to the public and share that with State. Build a dynamic way to define data categories and allow users to put data requests within those categories, then do a second round to vote on the most useful data to have. Maybe build an interface that the State can put right on thier site at to capture the requests at the place where the data you couldn't find SHOULD be.
Hack for MN 2013
Better student report cardsre-envisioning student report cards so they're better communication tools and easier to understand
Hack for MN 2013
App to review/visualize school/education date and statisticsvisualizing school attendance (especially cross-district/cross-city)
Hack for MN 2013
Technology Center DataHack for MN 2013
Create (or find) a calendar of City Council Meetings in Minneapolis and St. PaulHack for MN 2013
ideaCommunication tools for community organizationcommunication tools for neighborhood organizers and volunteers to make the most of front-door interactions with residents
Hack for MN 2013
Yelp For NeighborhoodsCreate an App for a Yelp-like review of neighborhoods
Hack for MN 2013
A visualization of bus stopspeople served, routes, frequency, time to get to destinations, what's around, connecting points...
Hack for MN 2013
idea3d Modeling using LiDAR3D model of the built environment, using recently collected LiDAR data
Hack for MN 2013
ideaApps/Website for rental property informationcreating a layered rental info site (integrating "rental review" data with google streetview, code violations, inspections, crime, etc.)
Hack for MN 2013
Adopt-a-HydrantHack for MN 2013
Data Source DocumentationHack for MN 2013
St. Paul Crime DataHack for MN 2013
ideaCouch to Parka game-like app (maybe integrated with SMS or other tools) that gives points and achievements to youth
users who participate in outdoor activities or check-in at parks and nature
Hack for MN 2013
App/Website for block clubs to review crime data/statistics
Visualizing Minneapolis Crime Data
Energy Usage map
projectHomescreen for the HomelessA smartphone app that organizes and lists phone numbers, URLs, and apps that can connect homeless populations with various resources, such as shelters, health and legal resources.[Colin Lee]( for MN 2014
ideaEconomic Data (API)The State should make available statistics on the economy similar to the IRS Tax Statistics web page:
Capitol Code 2014
ideaVoter Registration Rate per PrecinctCombining the Registered voters per precinct data with census data of actual population per precinct. This could be helpful for any group trying to register voters, allowing them to focus on the areas with the least Registration density.Capitol Code 2014
ideaWaiting Time at the PollsThe Bi-Partisan Commission on Elections' report stated that no voter in America should have to wait more than 30 minutes at their polling place on Election Day. This app would provide public data on the length of lines/waiting times to alert election administrators and voters about any problems in the system that need attention and it would provide data for analysis after each election to improve planning for the future.Capitol Code 2014
ideaComprehensive aging/caregiver service areas and eligibility infoThe state, counties, and a growing number of nonprofit service providers are offering services to older adults and caregivers. Given the limitations of the health care system and social services, this kind of informal caregiving (i.e., family, friends or neighbors caring for older adults) is crucial.

With the explosion of programs and services in this arena, so comes the confusion around geographic areas, income requirements, etc. Navigating the system takes away valuable time from actually doing the job of caregiving!

What would it take to create a website/app that charts these various services/programs/resources --- after someone enters in their profile information and/or that of their care recipient, they can immediately understand what is available to them -- from meal delivery services for the older adult to caregiver coaching.

Perhaps an organization that already has a platform for web-based tools that help caregivers could then host/integrate it into their offerings. Basically a better, web-based version of Senior LinkAge line that is branded for more than just seniors.
Capitol Code 2014
ideaLivability Index for Rural AreasMost sites (e.g. , studies and maps that I have seen around livability focus on urban environments. What makes a rural location livable? Can we measure it and map it?Capitol Code 2014
ideaRecent fraud listI'm an attorney and often find myself answering client questions about whether some mailing or another that they receive is legit. It's normally not. I'd love to see the SOS have an easy place on the front page of the website where folks could submit info re: these. Sort of a crowd sourced/snopes type area.
ideaSecretary of State APIAn API for easily accessing all the data on the Secretary of State webpage.
ideaUrban Planning for NeighborhoodsNeighborhood groups need tools for understanding how parking (or other livability factors) will be affected by proposals to build a new multi-unit dwelling, replace parking with a bike lane, or adding a grocery store. Currently they have to believe vague reassurances from the developer or government or the fearful cries of opponents.
ideaMN Directory of Manufacturers and Services, ElectronicThe SOS has data available to compile a spreadsheet or application of MN Manufacturers. "Nothing happens until something is sold". This data would be used by MN companies for marketing purposes. Such lists are commercially available from out of state, foreign corporations, but are expensive and incomplete, especially for small or start up companies. "No one answers the phone anymore"

This list should include company or personnel contact email addresses that readily integrate into MS Outlook for mailings.
ideaNames, precincts, and votingIf many people named "Marc" live in an area, what does this say about how the area tends to vote? What do name distributions look like for precincts? Which names are the most predictive about how a precinct votes? How can we visualize this information in an insightful and exciting way? I don’t have the answers but here are some ideas:

- Use “words-used-by” bubble graphs to visualize data. For example, use the last names from democratic voting precincts for one bag of words and republican voting precincts for the other and then visualize these bags with something like
- Use word graphs to view precinct voter names. or and for the german speakers .
- Build a predictive model for how precincts will vote with registered voter name counts as predictive features. Each precinct would be an instance and the democrat vs. republican would be the outcome predicted. It would be interesting to see how well the model would work on held out data. We could also look at which names are the most important to the model’s accuracy. Random Forest classifiers would be the sort of thing to start with.
ideaVisualization tool for desertsIn general, a 'desert' is a region that is poor is some resource. When the MN geocommons is online, it will be a natural place to ask questions like where are the food deserts? the nursing home deserts? the job deserts? How many people live 'far' from a city park? Does the MN geocommons software need a standard widget for viewing the relationship of demographics, travel time and resources?
ideaEnvironment - heat map of monitoring dataA question about arsenic in groundwater came up at the ideation event. Heat maps of groundwater analytes could be made using the MPCA's Groundwater API.

Here's a sample URI requesting groundwater data from monitoring wells in Ramsey County:
ideaEnvironment Tools for local governments and orginizationsCreate tools for city governments and conservation groups that communicate water quality and regulated activities. These tools, templates and examples could then be used by organizations who don't have developer resources or budgets for this kind of work. I put an example up on gethub that displays regulated activities in a city. This could also be done for water quality trends and assessments.

Water quality assessments in the South Fork Crow River watershed:

Lake water quality trend:
ideaMore robust business searchingMake it easier to find business entities by adding search abilities by person and address.
ideaCatalogA catalog of all the data that is available with the ability to vote on the priority of creating the services that will make it available.
ideaMap items from the MN Historical SocietyAlthough I can search the MN History Center's collection for images from Linden Hills, they don't seem to be geolocated or available in a map. It would be fun to have them on a map, like photos on Google Maps or Earth. These be also used to create history tours of neighborhoods.
ideaMobile Voting AppDevelop a web based and/or mobile app that allows residents the ability to vote in local, state, and national elections. This would allow residents from having to go into a polling location. I have a feeling that more people would utilize a service like this and voting participation would go up. It might also reduce the burden at polling locations. If done right it might also increase the accuracy of voting results and make results available in more realtime.
ideaMy Issue At The LegislatureHundreds of bills are authored at the legislature every year. Citizens want to know if legislation is pending for issues they care about. The legislative website lets you do that, but only if you know the bill number. How can we let people articulate the issues they are interested in (by topic or by location) and get an automatic notification when something they are concerned about is introduced, scheduled for a hearing or voted on?
ideaCity Zoning DecoderAs a citizen, I have ideas for xyz (starting a coffee shop with entertainment in a specific residential neighborhood, or building an in-ground pool, etc.) but it's kinda hard to figure out what's relevant to my specific situation, whatever it may be.

There should be some kind of interactive site that's consistent and easy to read.
ideaSense & quantify aerial mapsToday to measure rainfall or snow, we actually have to measure to know the actual quantity. However if we can use aerial pictures and use it to measure that would be cool.

Aerial photos can also be used to sense and alert traffic blocks, accidents or speed on roads
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