GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011

Code for America

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Code for America connects talent from the web industry with city governments for a year of public service, leveraging the power of the web to bring innovation and openness to the public sector. Inspired by Teach for America, Code for America recruits the brightest developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and researchers to devote a year to building web-based applications designed to solve core civic problems in America’s cities and make local government more transparent, efficient, and participatory. Through our fellowships, Code for America supports and develops the next generation of civic leaders who can realize transformational change in government, and nurtures a community of civic-minded open source software programmers. Cities get access to cutting-edge technology and fresh approaches to problem solving, helping them cut costs, work more effectively, and connect with their citizens in the face of challenges brought on by the budget crisis. And, all software and other work produced by Code for America fellows is shareable and freely available online for anyone to use or modify. Our projects don’t just improve government in our partner cities, but can be adapted to bring innovation to any city that chooses to deploy them. Fundamentally, it’s all about helping American cities use web technology to do a better job of providing services to citizens, while supporting the growth of the next generation of tech-savvy civic leaders.


  • Developing PHP Api Tools Develop standard templates for API libraries and provide ongoing support/improvements to testing strategies.
  • DevTools - Ruby Gems For the summer I want to help create useful developer tools to open government and institutional data. Specifically I want to achieve this through creating Ruby gems that wrap important APIs.
  • Government Gems & Eggs I'd like to contribute to Code for America this summer by working on the Government Gems & Eggs project. I feel my background of contributing to open-source and knowledge of several open-source technologies would allow me to offer something tangible. I've previously worked with several open government data sources in my personal projects, so I'm aware of the difference between properly documented and well-tested APIs versus sloppy, undocumented code.
  • Locality-based volunteer organizing website I am working on a web application to help the hundreds and thousands of people who have indicated in CfA that they would be interested in volunteering to improve their local digital civic infrastructure to collaborate with each other to deploy one of CfA's finished applications, a public art mobile app, in their city.
  • Open Code Libraries for Govt. APIs Develop open source Code Libraries that can be used by developers to better work with government APIs. In particular developing Ruby Gems that can allow easy access to government data and information
  • Open311 Center on Joget Currently Open311 is implemented in cities like San Francisco and is being accepted widely as a standard due to the benefits it provides. However, there are cities which do not have existing resources such as call center, CRMs and hence are unable to make use of the advantages Open311 offers. This project aims to create a cost-effective system (using Joget and communication system like Twilio) for such cities which would provide contact-center interface for allowing Open311 to integrate with it.
  • Open311 Dashboard Create a backend to visualize open311 data from San Francisco and Boston
  • Python DevTools for Government APIs We’re building templates and tools to help developers find, understand, leverage and use government apis. By the end of 2011, we want to have 25ish sets of tools for developers to consume government apis in three languages (Ruby, Php, Python). This will help us build: 1. developer infrastructure, leading to more applications using government data, 2. pool of developers who use our tools and get interested in coding for america, 3. relationships with federal and state government entities w
  • ShortStack and Text Analysis I propose to use textual analysis techniques to improve user interaction and data gathering in the ShortStack web application. Potential topics of interest include automatic tagging, analysis of government pages for clarity of meaning, and grouping of data by textual similarity.