Over the weekend about two dozen developers gathered at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland OR for the Open Government West Apps Contest. The Cross-Gov Apps Contest represented one of the first efforts to get government data providers from Canada and the US to share data and expertise through one apps competition event. The goal is to see apps developed that utilize two or more government’s data, or scale across at least two governments.
Tropo was proud to sponsor this event with our friends at Socrata.
Max Ogden, Brian Rice and Randall Leeds teamed up to take the Grand Prize with a 211 social services application that enables any city/government or organization to make information about city services more accessible. Other winners included a Washington State Ballot Box finder (powered by Tropo), Tsnuami Evacuation Route finder (powered by Socrata) and an app that makes it easier to search for contextually relevant legislation using data from Library of Congress. Congrats to all of our winning teams…you guys truly rock!
Big thanks to Sarah Schacht, of Knowledge as Power, the driving powerhouse behind Open Gov West, Chris Metcalf and our data API allies at Socrata who helped sponsor the event, Dugan Petty (State of Oregon CIO), Pascal Schubach of Crisis Commons, and the rest of our judges for helping make this event a grand success!
There was much discussion during Open Gov West 2011 about the value of apps contests and hackathons. Much of the discussion was driven by Willow Brugh, director of Geeks without Bounds and Amber Case, co-founder of Geoloqi whose keynote focused on unlocking the value of these types of competitions and how to make them more sustainable and valuable. More about that later
You can check out my Picasa Gallery of photos from Open Gov West