What's happening?

    Seattle Open Data Day is a one day unconference where we ask:

    how might we ...

  • Make data easy to find and use?
  • Use data to make and improve decisions?
  • Make it easy for everyone to participate in open data & civic technology?

Seattle Open Data Dayfull day of events for incubating civic innovation in our city.

We’re bringing together local governments, businesses, schools, and community organizations, as well as social service organizations, media outlets, foundations, and the public to collaborate on civic innovation that will help our residents and improve our region.

Who should get involved?

You. Urbanists, Civic Hackers, Government Staff, Developers, Designers, etc. — anyone with the passion to make their city better. You can get involved by attending, by leading a session, by volunteering, or by sponsoring the event.

Attend Seattle Open Data Day!

Seattle Open Data Day is a free, one-day event for anyone interested in getting involved with open data & civic technology in Seattle and the surrounding area.

Make sure to read our Code of Conduct.

Sign up for Seattle Open Data Day!


Here are the sessions we know are happening so far! Interested in leading a session? Submit an idea, or come prepared with a session on the morning of February 21.

Privacy and Re-IDing

Let's have a roundtable discussion about privacy and the possibility of re-identification of open city data. Is this something we should be worried about? Are there ways to avoid it? What could downstream impacts be? All thoughts welcome. Led by Meg Young.

*FacePalm* Why civic tech & open gov work is hard, & how to make it easier.

This session for anyone working on civic tech/open gov projects or within government, and finds themselves frustrated by the other side. We'll open with a quick icebreaker, sharing common challenges session attendees have found. Then, the session lead, Sarah Schacht, will walk through root causes for these challenges and techniques for overcoming/addressing challenges. With a decade as an open gov entrepreneur, government advisor, and forthcoming author of a book on open government and civic tech, Schacht has a wide range of experience to pull from for this session. Led by Sarah Schacht.

Everything you need to know about transportation to build a killer app

In advance of Hack the Commute on March 20-22, Seattle Department of Transportation & Commute Seattle will present an overview of the transportation situation in the Seattle metro area as well as the data sets that will be available. (Making this formal!) Led by Candace Faber.

The Other Open Data: A conversation about regulating private data collection

This is about the flip side of privacy–how we can ensure that data we WANT to share is made open. An informal discussion on the intersection of open data and private companies. In a largely unregulated market for personal data, what policies/regulations do we need/want private companies to adhere to? (Example: Uber's data-sharing with the City of Boston for disaster preparedness purposes.) Led by Candace Faber.

The Sound of Inevitability: #BetterBroadband is Municipal Broadband

As many cities and towns build out their own infrastructure for municipal broadband, the White House has announced their push for fast and affordable Internet. We’re at a tipping point. What does this national move mean at the local level? A new wave of universal access to human knowledge? Faster porn and cat videos? A big fight with major corporations? Learn more about what were doing about it in Seattle.' Led by Sabrina Roach.

Privacy and Open Data

A review and discussion of how and why to 'build privacy in' to apps and services. Led by Bethan Cantrell.

Performance Seattle and Open Budget Seattle

Performance Seattle is a portal where City departments publish their performance on selected goals. The initial implementation has goals from 8 departments with all 28 departments expected to join by June 2015. Open Budget Seattle is a dashboard that allows users to easily dive down into the details of the City's. Join Seattle Open Data Manager Bruce Blood to explore these two new new tools. Led by Bruce Blood.

Human-driven design: how to know your users and build what they need

How do you decide what to build? What does your process look like before you write a line of code? How do users’ needs, desires and skills inform how you imagine your solutions and refine your work along the way? Let’s kick around questions like this, and talk about ways to meet users’ needs on their own terms. I can start by sharing the process we used to make Census Reporter, where we researched, designed, reached out, cajoled, built, took criticism, reworked, and ultimately made a tool that serves up a complex data set with a simple interface. And then let's talk about *your* process. How do you plan what you’re going to build next? Outcome: People should leave this session with ideas about: the principles that help you engage in user-centered design, how a design process improves your project, how to craft a process that will work for them. Led by Ryan Pitts.

Lead a session

Interested in leading a session? Awesome! Take a look at the prompts for the event:

    how might we ...

  • Make data easy to find and use?
  • Use data to make and improve decisions?
  • Make it easy for everyone to participate in open data & civic technology?

It's great if your session fits one of the above questions, but isn't required. The session should focus on open data and civic technology and be relevant to the Seattle area.

You'll still have a chance to suggest a session on the day of the event (it's an unconference), but if you submit the idea now we can help pair people with similar ideas, help you brainstorm activities & discussion topics, and you can let us know if you need any specific supplies for your session.

Submit a session idea


We need volunteers to help with outreach, setup, teardown, & documentation of the event! So if you'd like to help promote the event, take pictures or video, help people get registered and find sessions, sign up to be a volunteer.

Sign up to volunteer


Support local civic technology and open data by sponsoring the event!

Learn more about sponsorship


9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21

Food included{9.00 amCoffee and Arrival
9.30 amKeynote
10.00 amGroup Brainstorming and Track Formation
10.30 amSesions Begin}6 hours of
small group sessions!
1.00 pmSessions Resume
4.30 pmRegroup for Summaries
5.00 pmConclusion & Departure

Part of an international group of events

Seattle Open Data Day coincides with both International Open Data Day and CodeAcross.

International Open Data Day

International Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments.

Learn more about International Open Data Day.


CodeAcross is a weekend of events taking place in cities around the world. There will be events hosted simultaneously in dozens of cities all around the globe on the weekend of February 20-22, 2015. The goal of CodeAcross is to activate the Code for America network and inspire residents everywhere to get actively involved in their community.

This year's theme for CodeAcross Principles for 21st Century Government. Let’s implement the principles of designing for people's needs, Making data easy to find and use, and using data to make and improve decisions.

Learn more about CodeAcross.

Partners & Sponsors

Sponsor Seattle Open Data Day

We are grateful you are considering supporting our event. Seattle Data Day is a 100% volunteer driven event put on by Open Seattle. We need your support. Please email us at svincent@codeforamerica.org or wscott@codeforamerica.org if you can help!

We are seeking donations of cash, goods, and services. The easiest way to support Seattle Data Day is to make a cash contribution by check or through our website (link below). Open Seattle is our local arm of the national organization Code for America. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, donations to Code for America (and our event) are tax deductible. All contributors who desire it will receive recognition through event marketing.

Why you should sponsor Seattle Open Data Day

Because, like us, you want to help make Seattle better, together. We’re recruiting extensively from local governments, businesses, schools, communities, as well as social service organizations, media outlets, foundations, and the public. We want to bring these diverse communities together to take on civic innovation challenges that will help our residents and improve our region.

Donate through CodeForAmerica.org

Enter Open Seattle – Seattle Open Data Day In the field for “What inspired your contribution?”