White House hackathon a success; could a Patdownathon be next?

The recent White House hackathon might provide a blueprint for surviving the sequester

Last month I wrote about the White House accepting applications from developers wanting to take part in the first ever White House Open Data Day Hackathon. The idea was to get a group of programmers to come to the White House and spend the day playing with the new API for Petitions, the open source engine that powers We the People, the White House petitions site. The hackathon has since been held and last week Peter Welsch of the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy provided a summary of the event.

whhackathon-600x450_0.jpgImage credit: White House Office of Digital Strategy
Programmers hacking away at the White House last month

21 programmers came to the White House on February 22 to hack away and put the new API through its paces. At the end of the day, a number of interesting-sounding projects were presented, some of which will become part of We the People or released separately. They came up with things like maps showing where signatures for petitions came from, embeddable widgets to represent how far along a petition is to getting an official response and a tool to generate a word cloud to reflect the issues about which people are creating petitions. 

They also provided a brief video highlighting the day:

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