In partnership with Rally.org (http://www.rally.org), the leading on-line platform for non-profit fundraising, and the Sunlight Foundation (http://www.sunlightfoundation.com), a major government transparency group, we will be sponsoring an event dedicated to hacking PDFs.
While Adobe's invention of the Portable Document Format was a great accomplishment, the technology has one unfortunate side effect: data contained within PDFs is hard to extract and analyze without expensive specialized software. Since governments and other large organizations publish large quantities of data as PDFs, they are providing the appearance of transparency without all the benefits.
Our hackathon will be dedicated to finding new ways to streamline and improve the extraction of data from PDFs. Sponsors will provide specific challenges, including sample PDFs and desired output formats. Hackers, using their own tool or off-the-shelf technologies, will create software to extract the data and generate the specified output. Winning entries will receive cash prizes of up to $500. Teams are also welcome to bring or formulate their own challenges which will be judged for both creativity and quality of execution.
Hackers may participate in person or on line. Detailed specifications and a list of off-the-shelf tools will be listed on the hackathon resource page at http://pdfliberation.wordpress.com . The core locations will be Washington DC, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
Many thanks to Rally.org (http://www.rally.org) for providing the San Francisco hack space!
In addition to RSVP'ing to the the Meetup, we request that you also sign up using this Google Form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rXggRHhlprYfHsB64dZ-zpVrhqMitcPkN1vEMD7_03k/viewform).
For the announcement on the Sunlight Foundation blog please go to http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2013/11/15/opengov-voices-pdf-liberation-hackathon-at-sunlight-in-dc-and-around-the-world-january-17-19-2014/ .