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Apr 5, 2014
Community Design Challenge: A Civic Data Hackathon
Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA)

Civic Data Design Challenge

A project with Hack Oregon and PNCA

In our Civic Data Visualization Workshop, Hack Oregon and PNCA students have been working on a project to redesign the way Oregonians understand and interact with campaign funding in our state.

Join us for a day of creative co-working as we invite the community to use our API to tackle other creative challenges with data surrounding this election year.

We'll also show a sneak peak of our beta product before the official launch in May.

Don't worry if you're not technical-- every person has a valuable perspective and we'll have mentors from the politcal, tech, and design community to help bring ideas to life.

Register your own team, bring your own project pitch, or join others at the event.

Want to know more about our project and design workshop?

Follow our blog at

Jun 20, 2016
Dispatches from the Data Frontier: Hack Oregon Demo Night!!
Empirical Theater at OMSI


Hack Oregon has been hard at work since February using data to find insight on important topics facing our state. We've had over 100 volunteers contribute over 10,000 man hours to bring you one night of data-driven wonderment!

Join us as we unleash a new set of open data projects that will change the way you see Oregon.

Kindly RSVP on Eventbrite

Project Teasers

"Oregon Hunger Equation"
Food Insecurity

Year after year, Oregon has one of the highest reported rates of food insecurity in the country. If you ask the question, "Who's hungry?":

The answer is kids.

The data is clear, but the reality is hard. We've made a dynamic program to explore systemic causes of hunger at home by placing a special focus on resources available to families with young children including regional cost of living, state benefit programs, and inequalities local schools districts.

"Behind the Curtain”
Campaign Finance

We're lifting the veil off election politics with a fascinating high-level view of influence and money in Oregon's election cycles.

Hack Oregon has the only machine readable database for local campaign finance in the country, and we've learned that influence is as much about relationships as it about dollars. And at the local level, your vote matters A LOT.

This year, we've added new meta-data to reveal effects of industry buy-in and individual patronage during an election cycle... with a few surprises. Unlock the real story behind politics and feel ultra-empowered as a voter this November.

“Plot PDX”
Urban Development

Data can tell us a lot about our neighborhoods. At a time when Portland is experiencing rapid growth and change, it's more important than ever that all communities have equal access to information that can inform decisions about the future of our city.

We're giving the community access to a range of data which has never been available on one platform. Explore Portland's neighborhoods as you've never seen them before, on topics that you care about, like demolitions, crime, and the rising cost of rent.

“Crop Compass"

In the Pacific Northwest, we live in one of the most rich biospheres in the world, with global demand for Oregon grown products. We have the ability to produce a wide range of food in Oregon, but we're far from self-sustaining.

How much of our regional vitality is retained inside of Oregon, and how much do we ship out? How do our economic and environmental factors work together to shape our food system? We've created a tool that gives insight into multi-dimensional patterns across land use, crop diversity, subsidies, seasonality, and import/export trends to help understand more about the mechanics of how food gets from farm to table.

"Programming to Progress"

Across Oregon, some schools are lucky enough to have free or low-cost summer school programming and/or after school programming--- and the playing field is not level.

How much of a difference does after school and summer school programming make for early literacy, attendance, and future academic success of students? Hack Oregon has the first aggregate statewide analysis of the link between performance and expanded programming, with some surprising implications of region-wide impact that goes beyond the classroom.

Apr 11, 2014
Hack Oregon "Behind the Curtain" Build Session

Hack Oregon's "Behind the Curtain" campaign finance visualization is continuing to build momentum, and we're inviting anyone who is curious to come collaborate with us.

This week's build session will focus on implementing visualizations for a local candidate dashboard.

We've also fleshed out a wire frame to give more agency to front-end the front-end team.

FYI: the dataset is deep and nuanced super compelling-- some people find it a little addictive. If it's your first time, think about joining us Wednesday @RonToms for our #Beerpatioathon to get a head start on intro conversation.

Look forward to seeing you,

RSVP @hackoregon

May 22, 2014
Hack Oregon: Design Demo and Community Summit

Over the past few months we've shared many beers and pizzas while learning about campaign finance as it relates to data science and user design.

Our Design Team has been hard at work transforming all of our R&D from the Behind the Curtain Project into our final production model.

Get ready for a Blitzkreig of Hackathons as we get ever closer to unveiling a new way to understand influence and elections. (You know, with like, actual facts?)

Moving forward, we're assembling our best teams for the final build stage.

Come to our Hack Oregon Community Summit, Thursday May 22 @Instrument 6-8pm where you can meet the team leaders, learn the build plan, and join a team!

We'll also be demo-ing our front end design and giving a short talk on some of the insights that drove our strategy--- to include revelations about how normal people feel about interacting with two mysterious subjects like politics and data.

If you are thinking about joining a team, here's what we are looking for:

Data Science Team (seeking 4 members)

Spatial Data Team (seeking 5 members)

Data Viz Team (seeking 3 members)

Super Activist Team (seeking 5 members non-technical OK)

RSVP for beer and pizza count: hackoregonsummit.eventbrite.come

Apr 9, 2014
Hack Oregon: Post-Hackathon Beerpatioathon

Have a great time at the Hackathon and want to keep hanging out?

Missed the Hackathon and want to know more about our visualization projects?

Come to Rom Toms Wednesday and we'll have a few beers, unpack our progress from Saturday, and brainstorm next steps.

Looks like it will be a beautiful warm evening on the patio.

See you soon,


Jun 20, 2014
TGIF Hack Oregon Special Data Viz Fun Times :)
Squishy Media

More election data mining and data visualizing. We're almost finished with our Behind the Curtain beta... and it's getting exciting!

spatial data, data viz, non-tech politicos, data science, designers--- we love you!

Check out to find out more about the BTC project.

Special Thanks to Squishy Media for sponsoring our coding comfort and hacking vices.