We’re living through a data revolution. To put it in reductionist terms: There’s more of it, and the tools to handle and disseminate it are easier to get and use than ever before.

This presents fantastic opportunities, particularly in the area of civic data. Governments at every level collect and maintain data. The challenge lies in how to provide that data to the public in meaningful ways, so that it leads to a more informed citizenry (so that we get all the benefits that come along with that).

Groups like Sunlight Foundation have led the push toward widespread adoption of civic data best practices. One of the ways they’ve done that is through their Transparency Camp events. The premise is that, by gathering the governments who possess this rich public data, journalists whose jobs are centered on packaging information in useful ways for the public, and programmers and developers who have the skills to create tools based on the data, major steps toward civic data access can be achieved. Just fostering a cooperative relationship between these distinct groups is a major step forward.

We’re excited to announce that AZCIR, along with key partners, including Sunlight Foundation, Galvanize and Institute for Digital Progress, will bring Transparency Camp to Arizona on May 22.

Web developers, programmers, government data specialists, government spokespeople, journalists, students and anyone else interested in promoting the best uses of civic data is invited to join. We will discuss challenges, opportunities, success stories, and we’ll even brainstorm and perhaps prototype data-centric projects that can be developed after the event is over.

We’re very excited and will have more details soon. Tickets are available now at http://bit.ly/TCampAZ.

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