Pictures: Cary Open Data Day


Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.

Cary, NC – It was a rainy Saturday in Cary. Perfect time to learn about Open Data and write some code.

Cary Open Data Day

About 50 people showed up for Open Data Day at the Cary Chamber. Town of Cary IT provided Wi-Fi and technical support (thanks Bill and Wilson).

Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager for Raleigh gave the keynote. He educated the crowd (me, at least) about the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data Institute and the principles of Open Data.

“Transparent government. Not transparent citizens.” – Jason Hare, Cary Open Data Day


Jason also emphasized the goal of regionalism for open data in the Triangle. That is, municipalities need to adopt similar rules and standards so data can be easily complied for the entire region.

Hacking and Workshops

After the keynote, council member Lori Bush fired up the crowd and solicited ideas for data projects to hack. The group had half a dozen data sets provided by Town of Cary, plus all the open data available on the internet (for example, maps). The group also pitched ideas for data sets they’d like to see made available for future projects.


Crime data was a topic of high interest, as well as data about government spending.

The crowd broke up into smaller groups scattered around the Chamber to work on specific projects. The goal was to have a model up and working by the end of the day.


Throughout the day, workshops popped up in the conference room or the board room. Topics included privacy, Code for America, Triangle Wiki, Github,, data journalism and more.


After a full day of hacking and learning, eight groups presented working open data websites the conference. Crime “heat maps” were popular.


Organizers Ian Cillay and Ian Henshaw of TechnologyTank raffled off a Samsung Chrome Book, won by a PhD student from NC State.


It was an auspicious beginning to Cary as a community tech hub. Open Data Day is a sure-thing to return to Cary next year.

More Pictures

In the spirit of Open Data Day, the entire set of 42 pictures is available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

5 replies
  1. Ian Henshaw
    Ian Henshaw says:

    Hal –
    Thanks for the article and pictures. One correction I would offer is that we had near about 70 people in for the day. Some people came late and a few left early making it hard to count, but based on the name badges left over at the end of the day and the several that we wrote for ‘unexpected friends’, I tally ~70.

    It was a great day and we will have to do this again!
    – Ian

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