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Projects Created at the Hack Day

Participants in the Hack Day in San Diego discuss ways to use data to help people find useful and interesting government information

Participants working at the Hack Day in San Diego.

A week ago, we held the first Hack Day, a nationwide event organized to encourage people to explore the data created by our URL shortening service

Hack day events took place in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, and San Diego. Over 120 people attended the events and explored ways to use data to help people find useful and interesting government information. automatically creates .gov URLs whenever you use bitly to shorten a URL that ends in .gov or .mil. We created this service to make it easy for people to know when a short URL will lead to official, and trustworthy, government information.

Data is created every time someone clicks on a link, which happens about 56,000 times each day. Together, these clicks show what government information people are sharing with their friends and networks. No one has ever had such a broad view of how government information is viewed and shared online.

Here are some examples of what Hack Day participants built with data from

Find government links that are popular near you

Robert, a consultant and professor from San Diego State University, built a tool that lets you see which links were most popular in the past 24 hours near your city or within your country. Try it out and see what’s popular near you.

See where NASA is most popular

Adam Laiacano, an engineer who lives in Brooklyn, NY, analyzed data and found that 42% of all clicks on links go to NASA websites. He created a map that shows that people in Europe are more likely to only click on NASA links, while people in the United States click on links from a wider variety of government links. See Adam’s map on his blog.

Watch as government links are clicked all over the world

Helmut Hissen, a software engineer, made this animation that shows clicks on links from June 2 through July 14:

In the video, red flashes represent clicks from non-mobile devices, and green flashes represent clicks from mobile devices. Note that the final NASA Shuttle launch occurred on July 8. You can see a dramatic increase in activity at the 1:24 mark.

See which links are most popular right now

Barg Upender and Adam, software engineers in Washington, D.C., created a site called that shows which government links are popular in real time.

Create your own hacks

If you are interested in working with data, you can find everything you need to know, including links to code from the Hack Day and a full list of projects on the Developer Resources page.

If you want to share your creation with us, leave a comment on this post or tweet about it using the hashtag #1USAgov.