Never heard of a Migrahack? Well, now you have!

By: Jack Xu

Migrahack LogoMigrahack combines “migration data” with “hackathon.” A hackathon (“hackers” and “marathon”) brings people of various disciplines together with the goal of developing open access digital projects that benefit society. Migrahack is unique because it specifically uses immigration-related data to develop digital projects such as maps, graphics, or databases.

Why open access and digital journalism?

There is data, and there is also “social” data. Social data is generated by non-profit organizations (NPOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social enterprises, and other public bodies that help deliver services in health, education, transportation, job training, immigration and other fields. They all collect useful data and statistics, but they do not always share this data due to privacy and other concerns.  However, not all data is private and not all data should cause concern.

There is plenty of data that can tell a story by postal code or gender that should be open by default.  Without having significant segments of data open to the public in a usable format, without skills to read, and without the ability to visualize for easy understanding, the story behind the numbers, the data-driven narratives are denied their potential impact. In other words, access to open data and digital journalism allows “social” data to inform us about the systemic issues we are struggling with.

Migrahack Toronto

 #MigrahackTO is a 2.5 days community hackathon/ training on using migration data for visualization and journalism that will take place from Friday, November 3rd around lunch time to Sunday, Nov 5th, 2017 at Mozilla Office in Toronto.

We will be gathering non-profits, community agencies, journalists and developers to form mixed teams and discover and tell stories supported by acquired data sets. Our primary goal is to the importance of open “social” data, but also to learn about free or affordable tools such as Tableau, while encouraging settlement and immigration sector related non-profits to connect with each other, the tech community and journalists, collaboratively contributing to more accurate reporting about social issues.

On the very last day, we expect to have project demonstrations and a celebration party. A dedicated website will host all completed projects to be used as a reference tool for anyone who wants to experiment further in this field. Here are the details!