October 16, 2012
US Cellular Center, Asheville, NC
9:00 - 9:30
Welcome from Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy
9:30 - 10:15
Opening Keynote Address
“Open Data in Philadelphia: bringing government, commercial and non-profits together”
Robert Cheetham, Architect, OpenDataPhilly President/CEO, Azavea
Business Track
Technical Track
Roadmap to implementing open data
Using open data in the real world – Open Block “Hyper-Local News and Civic Data”
11:15 - Noon
Overcoming the roadblocks: Open data and the law
Using open data in the real world (continued)
Noon – 1:30
Lunch Keynote Address and Networking
“Louisville’s Data Driven Performance Improvement Journey”
Theresa Reno-Weber, Chief of Performance Improvement,
Louisville Metro Government
Business Track
Technical Track
1:30 - 2:15
Success Stories: Open data initiatives that work
Introduction to hacking civic data
2:15 - 3:00
Open data journalism: data access in the public interest
Introduction to hacking civic data (continued)
3:00 - 3:15
3:15 - 4:15
Where the rubber meets the road: Management considerations for using & providing open data
Introduction to hacking civic data (continued)
4:15 - 5:00
Closing Keynote Address
“Hacking as a Civic Duty”
Kevin Curry, Program Director, Code for America
5:00 – ?
Networking and Social Hour



Roadmap to implementing open data

How can you take the ideal of open data and actually turn it into a working system? Come learn how to efficiently implement an open data initiative in your community. Experts who have been through the process will explain how to overcome challenges and avoid common pitfalls.  Learn how to identify and work with potential champions and doubters.  Emphasis will be placed on developing a realistic plan for open data success that breaks an otherwise massive project into manageable pieces, and provides real world benefits.

Overcoming the roadblocks: Open data and the law

You can’t have open data without open records. But, the two are different!  Learn about NC’s open records laws and how they relate to different kinds of information (paper, digital, etc.) Also hear about the practical implications of open records laws as it applies to data and how these laws will affect efforts to open up access to government data resources.  How can clear interpretations of the law create “low hanging fruit” that can benefit everyone?  What roadblocks exist that inhibit the benefits of open data to citizens and businesses, and how can we work together to overcome these roadblocks?

Success Stories: Open Data Initiatives That Work

It’s all well and good to talk about how open government data can benefit citizens, academia, businesses, and the media, but what really works in the real world?  This workshop includes people who have lived through the actual experience of using and providing open data, and they’ll tell us how it benefited their community, how they resourced the initiative, whether it was community-led or government-subsidized, and what their world would look like without open data.

Open Data Journalism: Data Access in the Public Interest

As newsroom staff dwindle across the country in the face of major budget cuts, there will be an increasingly important reliance on open data to fill some of the gaps. Hear how journalists use government data and how open access to government data will impact the quality and cost of effective journalism, and what this means to your community. Learn about how new technologies combined with open data will empower journalists to continue effectively reporting local news, and how you can help.

Where the rubber meets the road: Management considerations for using & providing open data

From a management perspective, do specific open data technologies really matter?  How should government deliver data to citizens, businesses, or other interested parties that need it, and should those entities have a preference for technology delivery?  Can you build a business based on open government data?  Learn the pros and cons of the various business practices surrounding open data and make up your own mind as to what you want to encourage in your organization and in your community.


Using Open Data in the Real World: OpenBlock – “Hyper Local News and Civic Data”

Discover through a live demonstration how open civic data can be used to create a hyper local news site!  The workshop will demonstrate how anyone (even with basic technological understanding) could deploy a fully functioning news and civic data website through the use of open source software, the Amazon Cloud, and currently available Local government data.    Attendees of this workshop can sit back and watch, heckle, or bring a computer to follow along*.

* If you are interested in following along please be prepared with an Amazon web services (AWS) Account.  The workshop will use Amazon’s EC2 instances which have a small cost.   Based on preparation for the workshop the estimated cost should be about $1.50 – $3.00.  We will also assume some basic familiarity with the packages used: python, ssh, gdal, and QGIS – but don’t worry all steps will be fully documented and scripted!  Of course everything used will be available for download to everyone (It is open data day)!

Here is a list of sites to review for preparation:
OpenBlock -
Amazon Web Services -
Gdal -

Introduction to Hacking Civic Data

Come and learn how a civic hackathon works to create civic engagement and to develop real solutions for your community. In this hands-on workshop, you will have a chance to explore existing open government data and explore how that information can feed into real applications. An overview of data portals will be covered as well as how to bring data into Google fusion tables for analysis. You do not have to be a programmer to participate… effective civic hacking requires people who can develop ideas, design solutions to problems, and/or write code. Prizes? Come and see!

This session will be a precursor to a full-fledged weekend civic hackathon to be scheduled in the near future in Asheville.