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Let It Snow hackathon
(City of Seattle Photo)

Seattle experienced its first snowfall of the season on Thursday night and into Friday and now the city’s leaders are calling upon technologically adept folks to do more than just share pictures of snowmen on Instagram.

The City of Seattle put out a news release Friday afternoon — long after the 2 inches of snow had turned to slush — announcing that it would be holding a hackathon on Dec. 15 for designers and developers and anyone else who might have a good idea for how the city can better communicate with the public during snow or ice conditions.

According to the release, participants will “explore how the City’s data can be transformed into tools that give people the information they need, when they need it.” Here are some more key details from the City’s release:

The evening will include an introduction from Mayor Murray, an overview of the City’s snowstorm response plan, the current Winter Weather Map, and the open data that is available for building new applications. Open Seattle will facilitate a two-part workshop to surface ways the City could better meet Seattle residents’ information needs.

Beverages, snacks, and all required materials will be provided during this workshop. Participants are expected to bring their curiosity and willingness to participate. Space is limited to a maximum of 30 participants, split roughly between people who build technology and a representative sample of Seattle residents.

The City is no stranger to tapping the Seattle tech talent pool when it comes to hackathons. In 2014, the Seattle Police Department invited people to help it figure out how to redact the video streams recorded by police officers from their dashcams and body-worn video cameras.

The City also put on a Hack the Commute event in 2015 to encourage entrepreneurs to build solutions to fix the city’s transportation issues.

Next week’s event is presented in partnership with Substantial, a Seattle-based digital product studio, and the community group Open Seattle, which addresses local civic issues through technology.

The Let It Snow Hackathon will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 at Substantial, 900 E. Pine, Suite 202, in Seattle.

For more information and to RSVP, go here.

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