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This Saturday marks the group’s first major public event since forming in January: a free, open-to-the-public gathering in Providence as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. There will be plenty of discussion of Code Island’s goals at the meet-up. For example, Johnson is interested in getting his hands on a Google Trekker backpack — a personal version of
the Google Street View cameras usually
affixed to cars — that volunteers could tote, say, inside the Superman Building or to the top the state’s highest point, Jerimoth Hill, to digitally capture the experience, upload it, then share it with computer users around he world.

But, for now, fleshing out the Rhody LocalWiki is top priority. By the end of the day, Speck says, he’d like to see the list of topics go from about 15 to more than 100. The project is the perfect advertisement for Code Island, he says. “It is highly accessible to anybody, regardless of their code experience,” he says. “All you need to know is basically how to type and use a computer and the Internet and know something about Rhode Island.”

Even folks who don’t end up going to the meet-up are welcome to submit entries, he says. While we at the Phoenix haven’t done much actual wiki-writing (we have a paper to put out, people), we have been enjoying thinking of entry possibilities. How about a page for “New York System Wieners”? “United Skates of America”? “The Pawtucket Red Sox”? “Narragansett Beach?”

And is there a brave, indefatigable soul who wants to take on, “A Complete List of Corrupt Rhode Island Politicians, Past and Present”?

Code Island’s National Civic Day of Hacking “Wikiathon” starts at 1 pm on Sunday, June 1 at Brown University’s TRI LAB (10 Davol Square) in Providence. For more info, go to: or

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