Over the weekend City of Atlanta officials, together with representatives of Invest Atlanta and Startup Atlanta, hosted the city’s second Govathon. The Govathon, a civic-focused hackathon, brought together members of Atlanta’s dynamic technology development and design community with government officials. The objective was to produce creative and innovative ways to address the complex challenges of municipal government using mobile applications and interactive websites.
“Govathon is an opportunity to create a more open and transparent government by soliciting innovation and creativity from Atlanta’s incredibly talented design and development community,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Technology offers our city an unparalleled opportunity to encourage collective problem-solving through civic collaboration, and I look forward to improving city services by harnessing the talent and ingenuity of our city’s growing technology hub.”
The event kicked-off with city department heads and community members explaining challenges that they face to an audience of technologists. Over the next 24 hours, more than 150 developers and attendees produced 23 ideas and presented them to a team of judges.
“Atlanta’s Govathon enables interconnections across the city’s operational departments and reaches beyond city hall to engage technology experts to improve the public’s interactions with city government,” said Atlanta’s Chief Operating Officer Duriya Farooqui.
Taking first place was the Atlanta Budget Explorer, an interactive web portal that provides users with the ability to examine the Atlanta City budget in great detail and to use clear infographics to compare and contrast data and areas of interest. The website produced can be viewed here, http://govathon-abe.herokuapp.com/.
“The best part of the Govathon was meeting and working with very talented team members who possess complimentary skill-sets,” commented Jon Keltz, part of the first place, Atlanta Budget Explorer team. “We plan on building out the site to include the other funds and further clean the data to make it more digestible, as well as continuing to improve the design. We also look forward to speaking with the city budget office about collaboration.”
Other winning apps encouraged civic participation, visualized and analyzed the city’s vacant lots, and allowed users to easily determine and contact their councilmembers.
“It was a privilege working with the outstanding talent our city possesses to find creative solutions to address the challenges of modern day government,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, Govathon co-founder and Managing Director for Business Development at Invest Atlanta. “It is humbling to me that more than 150 attendees dedicated their time and weekend to collaborate with their city. The Govathon speaks volumes about the dedication of the tech community to civic engagement. I am excited to move forward and to expand our cooperation with our partners in the design and development community.”