By Dan Hammer Yesterday, the Obama administration launched the Climate Data Initiative to support initiatives that transform open information into climate action. Several Global Forest Watch partners – including Google, Esri, and CartoDB – were recognized for their commitments and services to help make this initiative a success. The administration also highlighted EcoHack, an event organized by Data Lab and sponsored by WRI, as a private-sector commitment to assist in this herculean effort. EcoHack World is the continuation of Data Lab’s three-year mission to bring scientists, journalists, digital storytellers, software engineers, designers, and other hackers into the same room to tackle environmental issues that matter. EcoHack has hosted everything from teams creating data visualizations to teams building kites to fly cameras. We have seen that by giving people an opportunity to collaborate on important environmental challenges, we can come up with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The EcoHack event is organized by the Data Lab at WRI, Vizzuality, Public Lab, and Environmental News Lab, and primarily sponsored by WRI. If you can be in one of our three host cities on May 9th and 10th, register for free and be sure to join us. If you have an important project you want to build a team around at EcoHack, be sure to submit those through the EcoHack website soon!

Dan Hammer is a member of World Resources Institute’s Data Lab, a team of data scientists and software engineers currently helping build and improve Global Forest Watch. Their mission is to collaborate with industry, academia, and NGOs to turn big ideas into action through science, big data, and code.