Winners of ‘Applications for Democracy’ Contest
District of Columbia mayor Adrian M. Fenty and chief technology officer Vivek Kundra announced the winners of the District’s “Applications for Democracy” technology contest. The contest, launched Oct. 14, invited software developers to compete for the best new applications to make D.C. government data more accessible and useful for the public.
“My administration is committed to making government more accessible and more transparent, and through this contest we’ve gotten help from the most talented developers,” Fenty said. “I’m delighted with the responses. With these innovative applications, we can put government literally in the hands of the people.”
The competition, open to the general public, asked developers to create mashup applications (a Web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool) for the District’s data using popular consumer technologies such as the iPhone, Facebook, Google Maps and others. Contest entries were required to use open source programming. Entries were judged by an appointed jury based on criteria including usefulness to citizens, usefulness to government, and originality.
The District collects and maintains vast stores of data on every aspect of government operations, from government contracts to crime statistics to economic development and much more. The District has already organized and published this data in a real-time data catalog with more than 200 data feeds at http://data.octo.dc.gov.
“Applications for Democracy” solicited the best and most cost-effective ways to package and present this data for easy viewing, analysis and repurposing by the public.
“While the immediate goal of the ‘Applications for Democracy’ contest is to develop innovative software to present District data, its long-term goals are broader,” Kundra said. “By making government data easy for everyone to access and use, the District hopes to foster citizen participation in government, drive private-sector technology innovation and growth and build a new model for government-private sector collaboration that can help all governments address the technology challenges of today and tomorrow.”
The contest attracted more than 25 innovative applications, all licensed as open source and freely available to government and the public.
A full list of submissions can be viewed at appsfordemocracy.org.