This weekend, software developers, ordinary citizens and entrepreneurs from around the world will get together to work on improving communities and the governments that serve them on the National Day of Civic Hacking.

“National Day of Civic Hacking is an event when citizens from around the world will work together with local, state and federal governments as well as private sector organizations with the common goal of improving their community through technology,” according to the event’s website.

Participants will collaborate using publicly released data, code and technology to create applications that tackle a local civic or social challenge, and improve the quality of life within their communities.

“Getting this data into an accessible format, which civic hackers work to do, will empower you in your daily life and create opportunities for communities, businesses and governments to make things work better,” according to the website.

Some examples on how apps can help communities include being able to pinpoint the exact location of public transit vehicles, addressing food and housing distribution, providing a way for cities to understand and address residents’ needs, sharing community news, and the seeing where a neighborhood could benefit from community greening projects.

“These technologies can aid in just about anything you can think of: a food distribution system that enables excess food to be redistributed to food programs throughout the city by simply texting your shortage or excess to a centralized database,” said the website.

The National Day of Civic Hacking will take place May 31-June 1 in more than 100 cities around the world.

“Anyone can participate; you don’t have to be an expert in technology, but you do have to care about your neighborhood and community,” said the website.

About Christina Mulligan

Christina is the Online & Social Media Editor of SD Times. She is a 2012 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a concentration in public affairs. She has interned at WNET Metrofocus, WABC Eyewitness News and Newsday.