The Great Urban Hack NYC

  • November 6, 2010 · 9:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

The Hacks/Hackers NYC inaugural open(source).athon was so successful, we're going all out with a bigger, bolder version:

Developers, designers, journalists:

Join Hacks/Hackers NYC and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center on Nov. 6 & 7 for The Great Urban Hack, a two-day, overnight, open-source hackathon that celebrates the city.

Design, report on, code and create projects to help New Yorkers get the information they need while strengthening a sense of community -- all in a massive warehouse with an art installation.

Whether it's news, politics, government information, arts, culture or education — any journalism or technology project that helps residents connect to their communities is welcome.

We'll feed you throughout the hackathon, while side presentations will keep your brain (and your energy) going. Bring an open mind, a possible open-source project idea and a willingness to collaborate. There will be API talks including presenters from Streeteasy, which is introducing their new API. Betaworks folks from and chartbeat will be there. The New York City Big Apps challenge will be there to speak, plus a rep from the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Also Mark Malkoff, the viral video comedian who worked for the Colbert Show for four years, will be on hand.

Register now for The Great Urban Hack, a "marathon for geeks," and get ready to build your best open-source ideas for journalism, civic engagement and technology in the city. Need a team? Go to our crowdsourced Google doc

A big thanks goes to our sponsors, Patch, the Knight News Challenge, WNYC, and Google for helping to make The Great Urban Hack possible. And Thank you to Meraki for helping with the wifi.

We look forward to hacking all day and all night with you.


1. Projects should not be under development prior to the start of the event. Pre-existing code libraries, APIs, sketches, and similar raw materials are allowed, but the spirit of the event encourages participants to build what they can in 36 hours.

2. Choose an Open Source Initiative-approved license http://www.opensource..., or, if for a non-code project, a Creative Commons license if an OSI license does not meet your needs.

3. Projects aren't limited to code or an app. Creating websites, design systems, information graphics, maps, etc. are OK!

4. We encourage participants to work with at least one person at the event who they don't already know.

5. We encourage coders and non-coders to work together, with both types actively participating throughout the project's development.

Teams that have elements 4 & 5 get extra points from the judges. (Yes, there will be judges.)
Winners receive glory in the form of Twitter karma and other online and offline publicity TBD. And maybe tickets to something very cool.

—Hacks/Hackers NYC & Eyebeam Art + Technology Center

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  • A former member
    A former member

    awesome group of people and tons of fun to participate.

    November 8, 2010

  • John K.

    My write-up of the event is up on the main Hacks/Hackers site ... ... let me know if I'm missing anything or if you have updated info, links or screenshots of your projects! Reach me via @jfkeefe or

    November 8, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    Thanks for the heads up, fkh!

    November 7, 2010

  • Ben B.

    November 7, 2010

  • fkh

    I liveblogged the final presentations at

    November 7, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    Paul: Yes, those hours are correct. And yes, you can start later and leave earlier. Check-in for registered participants begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Hacking goes from 11 a.m. Saturday to noon Sunday. Details:

    November 5, 2010

  • Paul

    Is this really 9AM Saturday - 6PM Sunday?
    Can we start later/leave earlier?

    November 5, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    It's coming down to the last moment to choose and I'm ambivalent. For one, I'm busy from 12 to 6 tomorrow, so I don't know if I'd be able to join in on something if I arrived that late. Additionally, as I have no income, even $25 is a bit much to swing right now, especially for an event where I'm triyng to network professionally. If I don't eat any of the food, can I just show up?

    November 5, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    If you're registered for The Great Urban Hack, check your email (and your spam folder) for important information. Thanks!

    November 5, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    @volkan @Daniel and @Dick, We've started a Google doc for collaboration. Feel free to add to it here:

    November 4, 2010

  • volkan u.

    If anyone wants a developer with Ruby on Rails, Flash and Javascript experience, let me know ([masked]). Might be relevant: I recently worked on a data visualization app using Flare framework in Flash. (

    November 4, 2010

  • Dick T.

    Anyone interested in working on a NY-related nutrition/fitness concept? We have a django dev and a biz person... need one more person. [masked]

    November 4, 2010

  • volkan u.

    This is an app I use for brainstorming: It also has a component to let you cast votes on ideas.

    November 4, 2010

  • Daniel B.

    Debating whether to come. I have a couple projects I'm working on but they've already been started and I'm not ready to start another long-term project. If there's a project that can be completed in 36 hours, I might be down. Is there brainstorming going on anywhere?

    November 4, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    Hi Kevin, we'll there all night, so plan to continue hacking through the wee hours. :)

    November 3, 2010

  • Kevin W.

    Hey, I'm curious if folks are actually going all night -- I'm coming in from out of town and am wondering if I should bother with finding a place to stay...

    November 3, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    Coffee will be catered. :)

    October 31, 2010

  • Andrew S.

    Mmm, 36 hours of hacking... Is there a source of boiling water? Is there a french press, or should I bring one?

    October 31, 2010

  • Kimi W.

    What are the hours the hackathon is going to operate?

    October 27, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    Here's an idea: Non-coders might want to take a tip from Longshot magazine, and produce a city-themed site, film or audio show/podcast from scratch to finish within the hackathon period, and release it under an OSI or Creative Commons license.

    October 21, 2010

  • Aron P.

    We've been discussing this a lot, and we're wide open to suggestions for how to make it work for programmers and non-programmers alike. Thoughts?

    October 19, 2010

  • Erik H.

    I think that non-coders can work on the code just as well. So much of coding is conceptualizing, planning, organizing etc. There may seem to be a premium on the written code, but at the end of the day it's all about problem solving. And that has little to do with monospaced characters.

    October 15, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    >Jeremy: You don't have to be there the whole time, and you can show up later than the official start.

    October 13, 2010

  • Chrys W.

    >Liz, non-coders can bring their own project ideas and offer their skills to team up with others who'd like to work on something similar. (We'll have a wiki up soon.) The Great Urban Hack is about more than code. :)

    October 13, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Do you have to be there the whole time? Or can you show up at a later point if you have a previous commitment?

    October 13, 2010

  • Liz P.

    Chrys, what role can non-programmers play? I've been to hackathons before and it felt like if you weren't coding, you really had no place there.

    October 13, 2010

  • Erik H.

    Oh it's going down. Can we blast the Matrix soundtrack for 24 hrs.

    October 12, 2010

Your organizer's refund policy for The Great Urban Hack NYC

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

Our Sponsors

  • Google

    Open Source Programs supports Hacks/Hackers open source efforts.

  • Patch

    Reinventing community journalism. Hiring for product and tech teams.

  • Knight News Challenge

    You Invent it. We Fund It.

  • WNYC

    WNYC was one of the Great Sponsors of the Great Urban Hack.

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