Since I'm not a GIS guy, the best thing I can do on this topic today is to point you to a four-part GIS guide written for a Honolulu civic hackathon, as linked and discussed in the blog post "On to the Hackathon, Maps at the Ready."
"...maps are one of the most compelling components of websites and apps, and in recent weeks, the city has been putting more of its GIS map data online, just in time for the Hackathon. Today brought the publication of a four-part “GIS Guide for Honolulu Hackers.” The guide was prepared and announced by Royce Jones on the CityCamp mailing list. Jones previously served as Senior GIS Analyst with GDSI Hawaii and is the head of the Honolulu office for ESRI (one of the world’s leading Geographic Information System firms). The guide was posted in PDF format on the GDSI site:
...The guide offers a great walk-through with several screenshots, and links to documentation and live services."So my advice to everyone considering working with GIS at the "DHMN Civic Hackathon/Appleton 2015" is to click on Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the GIS Guide above and read through them. If you have questions about the stuff you read, do online research before June 6 and talk to coders or GIS people you know to get answers to more of your questions. Then bring all your ideas and the rest of your questions to the June 6 event. Heath or others there should be able to answer your remaining questions, or be able to fairly quickly figure them out.
Maybe we can even get Esri to send a rep to participate in our Appleton hackathon. They've supported many other civic hackathons, so it would be fantastic if they supported ours by having an Esri rep help make our GIS hacks are awesome! I'll work with Heath and Esri to see if they'll send a company GIS guru to Appleton as a hackathon participant.
In addition to the four parts linked above for the Honolulu guide, you may want to look at the open data portals for Portland and Denver.
Portland's GIS webpage looks pretty comprehensive and links to an overwhelming number of maps and mapping tools. Checking out some of the Portland maps might give you an idea for doing a GIS civic hack in Appleton.
Denver's GIS collection is also quite impressive. When I checked for data tagged as GIS on the Denver Open Data Catalog, it returned a list of 170 GIS open data sets. And the DRCOG Geospatial API Cookbook might be of interest to northeast Wisconsin GIS civic hackers.
Let me know if you're aware of other cities with highly useful or effective GIS open data webpages, and I'll update this post to list them above after the Portland and Denver sites. (Send links to bwaldron (at) gmail [dott] com.)
We'll have more GIS civic hack posts on this blog, so check back if you want to map out your plans for the June 6th civic hackathon...