Open Data Day DC was a yearly hackathon and training event in Washington, DC on the same day as more than 200 other Open Data Day events throughout the world.

After a five-year run, the organizing team has disbanded and is not planning an event for 2017. If you are, let us know so we can help spread the word.

Who Attended?

new to open data

data scientists
project managers
government staff/
domain experts

Attendees self-report in multiple categories.

The 2013-2016 Team

If you have any questions or comments about the event, contact Josh Tauberer at

Joshua Tauberer

Wrote the book on open government data.

Eric Mill

Government and open data hacker.

Sam Lee

Open data specialist and investments manager.

Katherine Townsend

Engagement and open data expert for a government agency.

Julia Bezgacheva

Data Scientist and open data specialist.

Want to run your own hackathon? See for tips.

In Past Years...


The fifth Open Data Day DC was on March 4-5, 2016.

Read what happened at Open Data Day DC 2016.

The event was run by Joshua Tauberer, Eric Mill, Julia Bezgacheva, Katherine Townsend, and Sam Lee, in partnership with our 2016 fiscal sponsor Data Foundation and with the generous help of our other sponsors, Socrata, Fastcase, Sunlight Foundation, Chief, and Amazon Web Services, and with the support of contributions from attendees.

Our interactive/hands-on workshops included: Introduction to Open Data (Eric Mill), Visualizing DC’s Open Data (Kate Rabinowitz), Learn Data Science (Pri Oberoi and Star Ying), Opening the DC Government (Sandra Moscoso-Mills), Open Mapping (Lauren Jacobson), Election-Year APIs (Lindsay Young), an Introduction to the Command Line and Coding (Jessica Garson), Data Visualization with D3 (Chris Given), and office hours.

We also had a number of breakout sessions, and a plenary open data hacking session — as always.


The fourth Open Data Day DC was held on Friday, February 20 and Saturday, February 21, 2015, at The World Bank. More than 300 individuals participated in workshops and project hacking.

Press coverage:

Other links:

Thanks to The World Bank, O’Reilly’s Strata+Hadoop, U.S. Open Data, Development Seed, and Amazon Web Services. The event was organized by Joshua Tauberer (, Eric Mill, Sam Lee, Katherine Townsend, and Julia Bezgacheva (World Bank).

Our interactive/hands-on workshops were:

  • Introduction to Open Data (Eric Mill)
  • Data Science isn’t Magic (Aaron Schumacher)
  • Build With, Not For (Laurenellen McCann and Jessie Posilkin)
  • Open Mapping (Max Richman)

Our breakout groups were:

  • DC’s open data and FOIA (Traci Hughes, Director, DC Office of Open Government)
  • Have data? Get some help making it open. (Tom Lee, Mapbox)
  • Building partnerships for challenges and hackathons (Kat Townsend)
  • Deep-dive into APIs (Lindsay Young, GSA/18F)
  • Data licensing demystified (Rebecca Williams,
  • Open data for business (Joel Gurin et al, Center for Open Data Enterprise)
  • Civic hacking: What’s a hack and what good can we do? (Matt Bailey, Code for DC)
  • Github 101 (Leah Bannon, Code for DC)


With over 300 participants, Open Data Day DC 2014 was our largest yet. This year we expanded to two days, February 22-23, 2014, at The World Bank.

Our projects included law enforcement effectiveness in developing countries, road safety in the Philippines, launching a new Code for Nepal organization, analyzing open budget data, parsing PDFs, measuring corruption, access to local law, parent choices in DC public schools, cataloging open data, mapping DC’s trees, mapping international conflict, and mapping oil infrastructure.

We also ran four workshops: An Intro to Open Data (by co-organizer Eric Mill), An Intro to Open Collaboration (by Leah Bannon), Open Mapping (by Max Richman), and An Introduction to Python (by Shannon Turner)

Flickr | Eric’s Recap | Sam’s Recap | CodeForDC’s Pre-cap | OpenGov Foundation’s Pre-cap

Open Data Day DC 2014 was organized by Joshua Tauberer (, Eric Mill (Sunlight Foundation), Sam Lee (World Bank), Katherine Townsend (USAID), and Julia Bezgacheva (World Bank) and hosted by The World Bank, with a pre-party thanks to Development Seed and MapBox, and photography thanks to the Internet Society.


Our second Open Data Day was on February 23, 2013 at The World Bank.

Over 150 developers, data scientists, social entrepreneurs, government employees, and other open data enthusiasts participated in our event, first at a kickoff Friday night at Google’s DC headquarters and then at the Saturday session at The World Bank.

Participants worked on local DC issues, global open source mapping, world poverty, and open government. GitMachines, a project started at the hackathon, won $500,000 from the Knight News Challenge on Open Government!

We also ran an introductory tutorial on open data.

Open Data Day DC 2013 was organized by Josh Tauberer (GovTrack), Eric Mill (Sunlight Foundation), Katherine Townsend (USAID), Dmitry Kachaev (Presidential Innovation Fellow), Sam Lee (The World Bank), and Julia Bezgacheva (The World Bank). Special thanks to The World Bank, and thanks to Google for hosting our pre-party and to the Open Gov Hub for organizing our closing round of drinks.

Eric’s Recap | Sam’s Recap | Josh’s Recap | Tumblr | Storified Tweets | Flickr One | Flickr Two | Hackpad

Press coverage

DCist: Hack D.C.: Hackers Put Open Data to Use to Help Improve Local Government

The Atlantic Cities: Is There a Link Between Walkability and Local School Performance?

Greater Greater Washington: How school tiers match up with Walk Score

Greater Greater Education: Community of civic hackers for education takes shape


The first Open Data Day hackathon in DC was on Dec. 3, 2011 at the Martin Luther King Public Library with 45 participants. It was organized by Josh Tauberer (POPVOX) and Katie Filbert (Wikimedia DC).

The theme of our hackathon was open government data, and participants worked on improving access to U.S. law, scanning federal spending for anomalies following Benford’s Law, understanding farm subsidy grants, building local transit apps, and keeping Congress accountable. Only about half of the participants were programmers, but everyone found a way to be involved.

Eric's Recap

See how it got started.