Have you ever wanted to leverage statistics about every neighborhood in the nation to create a useful tool that could look at everything from commute times to median income to poverty rates? U.S. Census Bureau data, available through an open API, can assist you with creating a rich variety of apps as you participate in the National Day of Civic Hacking.
The Census has collected data measuring the general well-being of our country since our nation's earliest days. Directed by Thomas Jefferson, the very first Census was conducted in 1790. Since then, the variety of questions - asked to inform the most important decisions made in the country – has evolved. Today, the American Community Survey (ACS) is the gold standard and most relied upon source for up-to-date socio-economic information every year—invaluable to local decision makers, both public and private.
The Census Bureau has been collecting most of the highly detailed data now found in the American Community Survey for more than 70 years. Businesses use ACS information for site selection and marketing, which promotes job creation and economic vitality. State and local governments use ACS statistics to support decision-making for key programs and services, such as where to build new schools, transportation systems, and emergency services. Information from the ACS is used by federal agencies, congress and think tanks to assess federal government performance, providing measures of the impact and successes of programs on the communities they serve.
- Develop an application that helps business and local governments learn about the socio-economic characteristics of a community to enable evidence-driven decisions that foster local economic development and/or job creation.
- Develop an application that helps local governments plan for disaster recovery by knowing who lives and works in a community.
- Utilize American Community Survey (5 year) estimates via the Census Open API through an application that leverages detailed demographic data, available for every community in the country. (Required)
- Geographic resolution should be at least to the county level and are available down to block-group. See resources section for more information. (Required)
- Mashups of these data with other data sets (public, social, consumer-facing, etc.) in ways that facilitate useful augmentation are encouraged
- Applications should be easy to use for the broadest spectrum possible of intended users (e.g., less technologically sophisticated, people with visual impairment, limited bandwidth, mobile-only, etc.), but a proof-of-concept with a suggestion of how this might be accomplished could also suffice.
- For multivariate displays of data, Intuitive visualizations are preferred. Narrative text with dynamic content that explain visualizations are encouraged where appropriate. See ‘Resources’ for example.
- When you’re ready to share your work, post it to our Application Showcase and tweet a link to it (with a visual / screenshot / video introduction highly recommended) with a headline via twitter. Be sure to include #census and #hackforchange in your tweet!
- Developer portal: http://www.census.gov/developers/
- Developer forum: http://apiforum.ideascale.com/
- Explanation of geography levels.
- Visualization with dynamic narrative content example
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